Varicose veins, those twisted and bulging veins often found in the legs, can be more than just a cosmetic concern. While many people dismiss them as mere aesthetic issues, here at University Pain Medicine Center, our team wants you to understand how varicose veins can sometimes signal underlying health problems that warrant attention.
Symptoms to pay attention to
If you have varicose veins, here are specific symptoms you should watch out for:
1. Pain and discomfort
Mild discomfort is not uncommon with varicose veins, especially after long periods of standing or sitting. However, persistent and throbbing pain, aching, or a heavy sensation in your legs could indicate you have a more serious issue.
Pain that interferes with your daily activities or sleep should be a red flag. This could be a sign of venous insufficiency, where the valves in your veins aren’t functioning properly, leading to blood pooling and increased pressure.
2. Swelling and inflammation
While some swelling and inflammation can be expected with varicose veins, excessive swelling that worsens throughout the day and doesn't improve with elevation could signal a more significant problem. Swelling and inflammation might also be accompanied by redness, warmth, or tenderness around the affected veins.
These symptoms might mean you have a possible blood clot requiring immediate medical attention.
3. Skin changes
Varicose veins can cause changes in the skin around the affected area. Watch out for skin that appears discolored, darkened, or has a reddish-brown hue. These changes may result from blood pooling and insufficient circulation.
In addition, the skin might become dry, itchy, or even develop rashes or ulcers. Such skin alterations indicate that the condition might be progressing and affecting the overall health of the area.
4. Restless legs and leg fatigue
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) refers to an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, often accompanied by uncomfortable sensations like itching, tingling, or crawling. While RLS can have various causes, it can be linked to venous insufficiency or varicose veins.
If you cannot sit or lie still due to these sensations, it's worth exploring whether your varicose veins are contributing to your discomfort.
When to seek medical attention
While mild varicose veins are common and may not necessarily warrant immediate concern, you need to pay attention to your body and recognize when symptoms cross the line from cosmetic to potentially serious.
If you experience any of the symptoms discussed here, reach out to our team for expert medical attention. We can perform a thorough evaluation, recommend appropriate tests, and determine the best course of action.
Ignoring persistent and worsening symptoms can lead to complications, such as skin ulcers, bleeding, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots form in the deep veins. Early detection and intervention can help manage varicose veins effectively, prevent complications, and improve your overall quality of life.
If you're experiencing pain, swelling, skin changes, or restless legs along with your varicose veins, it's time to take notice. Book an appointment with us at University Pain Medicine Center at the location nearest you. Call or use the online scheduler now. We can help!