How Veins Work
If you’re contemplating one of our vein procedures with one of our doctors, or just want to maximize your vein health, understanding how veins work and some common vein problems will be very helpful.
There are two main types of vessels through which blood flows. They are veins and arteries. Arteries carry blood away from the heart while veins carry blood back to the heart. Small, one-way valves inside the veins make it possible for veins to carry blood against gravity and back to the heart. In your legs, for example, blood is forced through the veins every time your calf muscles contract. When these muscles relax, the vein valves close. This prevents backflow and keeps the blood flowing towards the heart.
Vein problems are often caused by gravity. As venous blood is flowing against gravity, the blood pressure within veins is increased.This causes the walls of the veins to stretch over time. Eventually, the veins become so wide that the vein valves are unable to completely close. The resultant leaky vein valves can frequently cause varicose veins in the thighs, ankles and feet.
Problem veins have a huge hereditary component. Pregnancy is also another leading cause of spider and varicose veins. This is due to the massive spike in the hormone progesterone that occurs during pregnancy. Progesterone causes valves to dilate and veins to stretch to deliver extra blood flow to the baby. Another cause of vein valve damage is increased vein blood pressure. This can be caused by a clot is lodged inside of a vein.
In addition to genes and pregnancy, age, gravity and long periods of sitting or standing are the main factors behind spider and varicose veins. Therefore, it is important to not lead a sedentary lifestyle. Get regular exercise and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Your veins – and the rest of your body – will reap the rewards of an active life.
Put Your Problem Veins in the Past
For more insight on other vein issues, you can read more about significant health problems that start with vein issues or schedule a consultation to optimize your vein health today.