Varicose veins are veins that are enlarged and twisted.
According to WebMd, "Varicose veins develop when you have faulty valves in your veins and weakened vein walls. Normally, the one-way valves in these veins keep the blood flowing efficiently against gravity up toward the heart. When these valves do not function properly, blood pools, pressure builds up, and the veins become weakened, enlarged, and twisted."
Varicose veins are most commonly found in the legs although they can also be found in other areas of the body.
Symptoms of varicose veins may include, aching, heavy legs (this can get worse at night and after exercise), appearance of spider veins in the affected leg, and ankle swelling. Your skin may also change color in the effected area. Colors to look out for are brownish-blue or red. And it may become dry and itchy. It is perfectly normal to develop stasis dermatitis or eczema because of waste products building up in the leg. Minor injuries to the area may bleed more than normal and/or take a long time to heal. In some people the skin above the ankle may shrink because the fat underneath the skin becomes hard. Patients with varicose veins can also develop restless leg syndrome. This is when your legs feel as if they can not stop moving. This uncontrollable urge to move your legs can get worse in the evening and while you are trying to rest.
You may be at risk for developing varicose veins if you are pregnant, female, overweight, aging, have a family history of varicose veins, or are sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time. Varicose veins can improve if you wear compression stockings. These will encourage better circulation in your veins. Another way to treat varicose veins is by elevating your legs. A doctor once said that if you lay on your back and hold your legs in the air so that your feet are pointing upward this also helps your circulation and reduces the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins.
If you are suffering from varicose veins try this great exercise. Lay flat on your back. With your hands on the back of your thighs lift your legs upwards and point your toes to the sky. Hold this position for three minutes. Now lower your legs so that your shins are parallel to the floor. Keep your hands on your thighs. Hold that position for three minutes. Then rest flat on your back for three minutes. If you are on your feet a lot and your veins get sore this exercise will help reduce the swelling and encourage better circulation.
Varicose veins are uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Millions of people suffer from varicose veins. Exercise and wearing support stockings are two great ways to treat this condition without surgery.