Although many people consider varicose veins and spider veins a cosmetic problem, they can be signs of another, more serious condition. Venous insufficiency, or vein disease, occurs when the valves inside the veins fail, which hinders the circulation of blood from the limbs back to the heart. Blood pools in the veins, causing what most people recognize as varicose veins.
Venous insufficiency can be caused by disorders such as blood clots (deep vein thrombosis), genetic predisposition and age. As we grow older and often become less active, deep vein valves change and thicken, making valve failure (venous insufficiency) more likely.
Women are more susceptible to this condition than men. However, the following risk factors can elevate your chances of developing venous insufficiency:
- Muscle weakness, leg injury or swelling of a superficial vein (phlebitis)
- Family history of venous insufficiency
- Occupations that make you sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, including jobs that require extensive time driving, flying, sitting at a desk, or standing in the same position
Signs and symptoms of venous insufficiency
Talk to your doctor right away if you notice any of the following abnormalities in your legs and calves:
- Edema (swelling of the legs or ankles)
- Pain that worsens when you stand and lessens when you raise your legs
- Leg cramps, aching, throbbing or heaviness in the legs
- Thickening of the skin on your legs or ankles
- Color change in the skin, especially around the ankles
- Leg ulcers
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Tightness in the calves
Leading treatment for venous insufficiency is closer than you may think
At Carolina Vein Specialists in Greensboro and Winston-Salem, we are proud to be the premier center for vein treatment in North Carolina. For more than 20 years, we have dedicated our practice to resolving the pain and discomfort of venous insufficiency. Don’t let this condition affect your confidence, or worsen to the point that it disrupts your life. Come see how our minimally invasive, office-based procedures can treat venous insufficiency, and get you back to work and living life right away.