The vascular system is comprised of the heart, arteries, and veins. Veins are blood vessels that return blood from the body back to the heart. To overcome the force of gravity, the veins possess one-way check valves, which open to allow blood flow to the heart, and close to prevent backwards flow (reflux) with gravity. As a vein becomes dilated, valves begin to fail. This leads to the development of varicose veins which allow blood to pool in the lower extremity, causing a host of complications.
The true cause of varicose veins is unknown, but we know trends. It is clear that some people develop the condition with no apparent reason.
The following are risk factors, which can increase the likelihood
of developing venous insufficiency:
* Standing occupations
Complications may include:
* Blood clots
* Skin changes
* Rashes that fail to heal
* Open sores
* Darkening of the skin
* Quality of life impairment due to pain and swelling
If you have a sitting or standing profession you should consider taking walking breaks and wearing properly fitted compression stockings. Stockings are not what our grandparents used to use. There are an assortment of colors and fabrics that take away the medical look while offering substantial protection from complications related to venous disease. If walking is limited at work, consider targeting 10,000 steps per day to help maintain healthy legs.