When Bulging Veins Are Bad…
If you’ve ever spent time with someone who enjoys lifting weights, you’ve probably heard the term “get swole.” Their goal is big muscles, usually accompanied with several bulging veins. We associate these images of vascular arms and legs with health and fitness, which they often are. However, bulging veins can also be the sign of an unhealthy condition -- especially if you haven’t been exercising. If you’ve got veins rising from your skin, below are some things to consider before determining if they’re good or bad.
1. Do they go away?
Even Olympic athletes have veins that eventually recede to their muscles over time, so it’s okay if your veins become increasingly visible after long runs or heavy weightlifting sets. However, if they stay bulging long after your body has recovered, it may be the sign of a damaged valve within the vein.
2. Do they bulge when you’re standing or sitting for long periods of time?
Bulging veins after doing vigorous exercise is natural. Veins become dilated in order to cool the body. Bulging veins after 20 minutes on the couch is not normal. If your leg veins are visibly bulging all the time, it is likely they are varicose veins.
3. Do your legs feel heavy at end of day?
Most people with varicose veins say the pain is subtle for the most part. As the day goes on, you may feel a dull throbbing, heaviness, aching and/or tiredness in your legs. Some people experience cramps and restless leg syndrome too. Others complain of an itching, crawling sensation on the skin of the legs. Rarely is the pain intense unless there is something more serious occurring such as inflammation, infection or blood clots. Because varicose veins put you at a higher risk for blood clots, you should have them evaluated early. In the event the varicose veins change or become “angry” looking, you should call your physician right away.
Varicose Veins are very common occurring in ~50% of adults over the age of 60. They also commonly occur during pregnancy. Varicose veins are progressive and worsen over time. To keep legs healthy and active, early evaluation is key. Early evaluation prevents further damage inside the leg and allows for simpler, safer management or treatment. Varicose vein evaluation, diagnostics and treatment are covered by most insurance plans including Medicare and Medicaid.
If you’re interested in taking the first step to healthier legs, please call to schedule an evaluation at 866-695-8346. Healthy Legs = Active, Happy Life!