If you’ve noticed an unsightly appearance to the veins in your legs, or have been experiencing swelling and pain, you may have what’s known as varicose veins. Or, you could be experiencing what’s called “spider veins.” Although both do not typically lead to additional health problems, varicose and spider veins may cause aches, cramping, fatigue, and swelling of your lower legs. Some people even describe the feeling as having heavy legs.
If you’re experiencing either spider veins or varicose veins that are leading to physical symptoms, visiting a Durham, NC vascular center like ours at Champion Heart can help you find treatment. And help you learn more about the differences between the two.
Spider Veins Versus Varicose Veins
Although spider veins and varicose veins have similar root issues, their appearances are different, and their symptoms can vary.
While spider veins are typically painless, they can often appear a little unsettling. Spider veins are the result of small, damaged veins and they often look like bulging webs on legs or feet. They’re often a flow-on effect of varicose veins.
They can have a swollen look to them, and although they aren’t usually indicators of a more serious health concern, many people choose to treat them for cosmetic purposes. Additionally, they do have the potential for aching pains, swelling, or discomfort. When this occurs, treating spider veins becomes more important and necessary for returning quality of life and mobility to a person experiencing symptoms. Pain may also be more noticeable after standing for long periods.
Varicose veins, like spider veins, are most of the time an aesthetic concern. However, varicose veins are more likely to be painful, as well as be an indicator of more serious health problems. This condition appears as large, twisting veins that are raised on someone’s legs.
What Causes Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
Veins throughout our body carry deoxygenated blood to our hearts. Our veins have one-way valves that prevent blood from flowing backward. But sometimes, these valves fail. This causes a rise of pressure in our veins and results in both spider and varicose veins. Several factors can influence the likelihood of a valve failing and lead someone to be predisposed to varicose or spider veins.
- Occupations that involve a lot of moving around or standing for long periods of time (retail work, teaching, nursing)
- Past blood clots
Your cardiovascular system is made up of all the veins throughout your body. Therefore, cardiologists can help you address and treat your spider or varicose veins. And, while lifestyle changes can help improve symptoms and help you control them from developing any further, depending on severity levels, there are other options for treatment. These treatments are often minimally-invasive and can easily be accomplished in a Durham, NC vein clinic.
In particular, sclerotherapy is a treatment that involves injecting a saline solution into the vein, which results in the vein gradually clearing up over the next few weeks. This type of treatment is completed in an outpatient setting. Endovenous ablation, on the other hand, involves either the use of small lasers or radiofrequency energy and can be done as an outpatient procedure or as day surgery.
Schedule an Appointment with Champion Heart & Vascular Center
If you’re experiencing leg pain or swelling, varicose or spider veins could be the issue. However, you could also be experiencing another type of venous disease. Together, we can determine what might be causing your symptoms, and create a plan for treatment suited for your needs.
Aches and swelling can impact how much we enjoy our daily life and how productive we can be. Schedule an appointment today to start the treatment process.