What are Varicose Veins?

The veins in your body have valves that open to allow blood flow to the heart and close to prevent the backflow of blood. When these valves become weak or damaged, some blood pools in the vessels, causing the veins to enlarge and twist. Varicose veins mainly occur in the legs, and to most people, these are a cosmetic concern. However, other people with bothersome symptoms such as muscle cramps and leg swelling may need to see a vein specialist in New York, NY, for further treatment. Below are the risk factors for this vein problem.


When you weigh more than you should, the weight causes extra pressure on the veins, weakening and damaging their walls. If you have varicose veins and are overweight, losing some extra pounds may help alleviate symptoms such as pain and swelling. Exercise and dietary changes are standard weight-loss measures that you may consider.


Most women develop varicose veins during pregnancy due to the increased blood volume. The weight of the fetus also exerts pressure on the veins in your lower abdomen, putting you at risk of varicose veins. During pregnancy, hormonal changes also contribute to enlarged and twisted veins in your legs. The good news is that the problem tends to fade away after childbirth when the increased pressure is relieved.

Family history with the condition

There is a high likelihood of developing varicose veins if your parents, siblings, or other family members have the same problem.


Your risk of developing varicose veins increases as you advance in age. Aging causes wear and tear of the valves, weakening and damaging these structures. For this reason, they may not achieve their full function and allow some blood to accumulate in the veins.

How can I reduce the risk of varicose veins?

Although you cannot prevent the occurrence of varicose veins, several measures can help you reduce the risk of the same. They include:

  • Exercise

Physical activity is good for the muscles in your legs which help the veins push blood to the heart. Exercise strengthens these muscles, facilitating even better blood flow to the heart. Besides reducing your risk of varicose veins, activity can help you lose and maintain the ideal weight.

  • Lose extra weight

Since obesity is a risk factor for varicose veins, losing extra weight can help you be on the safer side. Your doctor may advise watching your diet and making physical activity part of your daily routine. Obesity predisposes you to varicose veins and other health problems like type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

  • Avoid standing or sitting for long hours

When you remain in a sedentary position for a long time, blood does not move as it should. If you have a desk job that requires you sat all day, remember to take breaks after every 30 minutes to walk around and stretch. Taking breaks will help move blood from the legs to your heart. Those that need to stand for long hours can prop one leg on a stool to reduce pressure.

If you have enlarged veins in your legs, reserve a session with your doctor at Elite Veins for treatment to improve your overall well-being.