Varicose veins are large, raised, swollen blood vessels that twist and turn.
Varicose veins is a term commonly used to describe visible leg veins. But true varicose veins are dilated and very prominent. Small varicose veins may not be a problem, but as varicose veins worsen they become distended and tortuous (full of twists and turns) and can cause the legs to feel heavy and ache.
Swelling of the feet and ankles is an early sign of impaired function of the valves in our veins that keep the blood flowing, and severe varicose veins can be very painful.
There’s good evidence varicose veins have a genetic link and are also associated with a history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots that obstruct the veins).
It’s not possible to prevent varicose veins from forming, but simple actions can improve blood circulation in the feet and legs, and stop varicose veins from getting worse.
Pain caused by varicose veins is usually relieved by elevating the legs or by wearing support hose.
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