Reasons Why Varicose Veins Affect the Legs

woman touching smooth legsVaricose veins affect nearly 30 million Americans. These unsightly gnarls are the result of damaged veins, most commonly found in the lower legs.
Why is this the most affected area of the body?

How Veins Work

Veins play an important role in the human body. Arteries carry blood from the heart to other areas and veins help circulate blood back to the heart. If vein valves weaken and narrow, it’s harder for blood to travel back up to the heart and repeat this vital process.

Leg veins are located furthest away from the heart and have to work against gravity. When veins enlarge and the valves no longer close properly, blood can reverse flow back down the legs, thereby pressurizing all the veins downstream. Bumpy, purple varicose veins are the result of blood pooling in the legs.

Maintaining Vein Health

Although our leg veins have distance and gravity working against them, there are ways to fight back! The following tips help promote vein health:

  • Lose weight. Carrying excess body weight puts additional pressure on the leg veins. Consult with your doctor about a healthy weight range for your age and physical condition.
  • Get and stay active. When we sit at a desk or stand behind a counter all day, our legs are most affected. Sedentary living keeps the muscles from contracting, which stifles the veins.
  • Stretch often. Stretching should not be limited to before and after workouts. Keep the muscles in your legs loose with simple exercises, like calf flexes you can do at work!
  • Drink water. Blood needs water to flow through the body properly. Stay hydrated, but keep in mind that not all liquids aid in this process; avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you shouldn’t have to live with painful, heavy or restless legs another day. Contact the Vein Centers of Connecticut to schedule a consultation today!