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Varicose Veins: How To Prevent Leg Pain From Getting Worse?

Varicose veins do not cause any life-threatening consequences, but it can be a huge cosmetic concern. Here's how you can prevent it.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Apr 24, 2023 17:55 IST
Varicose Veins: How To Prevent Leg Pain From Getting Worse?

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If you notice enlarged and twisted veins bulging out of your legs and feet, get yourself examined for varicose veins. Also known as spider veins, they are caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing properly, leading to the pooling of blood in the veins. This causes the veins to become distended and swollen, resulting in blue or purple rope-like appearances on the surface of the skin. 

Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Shoaib Padaria, Director, Varicose Veins Specialist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, says, “Varicose veins are often accompanied by symptoms, such as aching, pain, swelling, and fatigue in the legs.” They are more commonly seen in women and older adults and are often the result of age, genetics, pregnancy, obesity, or prolonged standing or sitting. Having said that, here are a few things you should know about varicose veins and ways to prevent them from getting worse.

Also Read: Leg Swelling Could Be A Sign Of Deep Vein Thrombosis: When Should You Be Concerned?


Several factors can contribute to the development of varicose veins. These include:

Weak or damaged valves

A valve helps in assisting the blood-flow in one direction. The veins in our body contain one-way valves that help regulate the flow of blood towards the heart. If the valves weaken or become damaged, blood can collect in the veins, causing them to become enlarged and twisted.


As we age, our veins can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch and become more prone to damage.


Some people may inherit weak vein valves or tend to develop weakened veins, which can increase the risk of developing varicose veins.


Women are more at risk of developing varicose veins than men. This is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.


During pregnancy, the increased pressure on the veins in the pelvis can cause varicose veins to develop in the legs.


Carrying excess weight can put pressure on the veins in the legs, increasing the risk of varicose veins.

Prolonged standing or sitting 

Being in a standing or sitting position for a long time can increase pressure on the veins, leading to varicose veins.

Also Read: High Blood Pressure: 6 Things That Can Immediately Affect Your Blood Pressure Levels

Are Varicose Veins Life-Threatening?

Varicose veins are generally not considered a life-threatening condition, says Dr Padaria. However, they can cause discomfort, pain, and swelling in the affected area. In certain cases, varicose veins can lead to complications, such as skin ulcers, bleeding, and blood clots.

Blood clots in the veins can be dangerous if they break down and travel to other parts of the body, including the lungs, which can lead to Pulmonary Embolism (PE). 

In addition, there’s a probability of severe complications, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or venous insufficiency. Therefore, if you notice any unusual symptoms related to varicose veins, seek prompt medical attention.

Ways To Prevent Varicose Veins From Getting Worse

While there are no sure-shot ways to prevent varicose veins, there are some things that can help prevent them from getting worse. Here are some helpful tips:

Regular exercise: Exercise helps to improve blood flow and can reduce the pressure in the veins.

Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on veins and worsen varicose veins.

Wearing compression stockings: Compression stockings are helpful in pushing the blood back up to your heart.

Avoid standing or sitting for prolonged periods: Try to take breaks and move around during the day if you sit or stand for extended periods to encourage blood flow.

Elevating your legs: Raising your legs above your heart for 10-15 minutes several times a day can help to reduce swelling and pressure in the veins.

Practising good posture: Avoid crossing your legs when sitting, and try not to put too much pressure on one leg.

Eating a healthy diet: Eating a diet low in salt can prevent fluid retention and swelling.


For most people, varicose veins are a cosmetic issue. Due to its purple-bluish appearance, many individuals find it repulsive. However, if left untreated, these can also become a distressing health problem, leading to heavy legs or cramps in the lower legs (calves). It is best to visit your healthcare provider and seek appropriate medical treatment. Managing your weight, eating a healthy diet, wearing compression stockings, and regular exercise are some of the measures you can take to prevent the complications. Remember, if you experience any significant symptoms, such as skin ulcers or blood clots, it is essential to speak with your doctor.