Over time, certain veins have a tendency to develop faulty valves which eventually fail. Superficial veins — those located outside the muscle and under the skin — are more likely to become stretched out and dilate, leading to faulty valves which cannot close properly. When the vales fail, the blood is allowed to flow backwards and pool in the veins of the legs. This is known as venous reflux or venous insufficiency. This will eventually result in varicose veins, spider veins, leg swelling, skin changes and in some patients, venous stasis ulcers.
Various issues contribute to the development of vein disease, including:
- Physical inactivity
- Activities requiring prolonged standing or sitting
Age and heredity are unavoidable factors, but you can help reduce your risk of vein disease by getting moderate exercise on a regular basis and maintaining a healthy weight.
Regular exercise such as walking goes a long way in preventing the problems caused by vein disease. Leg movement, particularly using your calf muscles, clears the blood out of your veins, which helps to relieve venous congestion.
Vein disease is serious and will progress every year if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment will prevent pain and other complications from progressing.