Varicose veins are the price man has to pay for standing upright. Four-legged animals do not develop them.

Veins have the difficult task of bringing blood from the lower extremities to the heart. They do this without the benefit of a pump and against gravity. Blood travels uphill by muscular ...Varicose veins are the price man has to pay for standing upright. Four-legged animals do not develop them.

Veins have the difficult task of bringing blood from the lower extremities to the heart. They do this without the benefit of a pump and against gravity. Blood travels uphill by muscular contractions of the legs during movement and the contractions of the lungs during breathing. The pressure created by this action brings the blood up to the heart. A series of valves then prevents the blood from flowing down to the feet.

Such a system, however, is not as effective as it should be. Because the veins of the legs are farthest from the heart, they are usually subject to more pressure. When this happens, the veins dilate and blood stagnates in them. The stretched veins often appear knotty with little bumps in them. This condition is known as varicose veins.

People who spend long hours standing are more prone to develop varicose veins. By the very nature of their work, barbers and salesladies usually have them. Pregnant women also have varicose veins because of the pressure of the enlarged uterus on the veins entering the pelvis. Other factors which contribute to the condition are tight garters and girdles, inflammation of the veins (thrombophlebitis), pelvic tumors, and obesity.

Those suffering from varicose veins usually complain of a heavy, tired feeling or pain in the affected area. This can be temporarily relieved by elevating the feet to drain the veins of blood which has stagnated. Fat people should lose weight while tight garments should be discarded.

Avoid standing for a long period of time. Exercises like walking and running can help the circulation of blood in the legs. Left untreated, varicose veins can cause the whole leg to swell accompanied with a bad case of eczema.

“For many people, varicose veins and spider veins - a common, mild and medically insignificant variation of varicose veins - are simply a cosmetic concern. For other people, varicose veins can cause aching pain and discomfort. Sometimes the condition leads to more serious problems. Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other disorders of the circulatory system,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

A sure cure for varicose veins is removing the diseased veins and letting the other veins do their work. Fortunately, the condition usually affects the superficial veins under the skin and not the deep veins which provide a great amount of blood to the heart. The affected veins are either tied off and removed or shriveled by injections. Surgical treatment is another option.

“Fortunately, treatment usually doesn't mean a hospital stay or a long, uncomfortable recovery. Less invasive techniques generally allow varicose veins to be dealt with on an outpatient basis. Self-help measures - such as exercising, losing weight, not wearing tight clothes, elevating your legs and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting - can ease pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment within three months after delivery,” said the Mayo Clinic.

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Author's Bio: 

Janet Martin is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premiere online news magazine www.thearticleinsiders.com.