Leg Vein Swelling | What You Need To Know

Having swollen leg veins can be a symptom of many underlying conditions, ranging from minor to serious. It is important to understand the causes and treatments for this condition to prevent further complications. Here's what you need to know.

What Is Leg Vein Swelling?

Leg vein swelling, also known as varicose veins, is a common condition characterized by swollen, twisted veins that typically appear in the legs and feet. This condition can be caused by weakened valves in the veins. The valves are meant to prevent blood from flowing backward as it travels to the heart. When these valves don't work properly, it increases the pressure in the veins and can lead to swelling, twisting, and bruising of the veins.

Does Leg Vein Swelling Hurt?

Leg vein swelling is generally not painful, but it can be uncomfortable. Symptoms may include aching and throbbing in the affected area as well as a feeling of heaviness in the legs. Additionally, those with leg vein swelling may experience itching and burning around their swollen veins.

What Causes Leg Vein Swelling?

Leg vein swelling is often caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Pregnancy. During pregnancy, it is common for the veins to become swollen due to an increase in blood volume.
  • Age. As we age, our veins may become less flexible, and the valves may become weaker.
  • Obesity. Being overweight or obese can put added pressure on the veins, which can lead to leg vein swelling.
  • Hereditary factors. If there is a family history of varicose veins, you may be more likely to develop them.
  • Standing or sitting for long periods. This can cause the blood to pool in your veins, which increases pressure and leads to leg vein swelling.

Additionally, varicose veins can be caused by medical conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, and pelvic congestion syndrome.

How Is Leg Vein Swelling Treated?

Treatment of leg vein swelling depends on the severity and cause of the condition. Options may include:

  • Lifestyle changes. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce leg vein swelling.
  • Compression stockings and socks. These special stockings can compress the veins, which helps reduce pain and swelling. While not the most fashion-forward choice, they do work.
  • Compression devices. Special compression pumps can help reduce swelling in the veins by applying pressure to the area and promoting better circulation.

Your doctor may also opt to surgically remove your varicose veins in one of the following ways:

  • Sclerotherapy. This is a procedure that involves injecting a solution into the veins to cause them to collapse. Your body will eventually absorb the veins.
  • Laser ablation. This procedure uses a laser to heat and close the vein. The body will eventually break down the unused portion.
  • Vein stripping. This involves surgically removing the veins in their entirety by making a series of small incisions along the leg and removing the vein in sections.

Talk to a local medical team like the Center For Advanced Vein Care about treatment options for your leg vein swelling. They will be able to help you decide on the most effective course of action.