varicose veins symptoms

Varicose Veins: Pain, Swelling & Managing Your Symptoms

As we age, our veins can lose elasticity and stretch, which can cause the valves within our veins to become weak and allow blood, which should be moving toward our heart, to pool in our veins. When this happens, our veins become varicose and appear enlarged, gnarled and either blue or purple. And while they may cause you to become self-conscious, they may not cause any other symptoms.

However, it’s not uncommon for people with varicose veins to experience a number of additional symptoms, including:

  • Mild swelling of the ankles and feet
  • Painful, achy, or “heavy” legs
  • Throbbing or cramping in your legs
  • Itchy legs, especially on the lower leg and ankle
  • Discolored skin around the varicose vein

Managing Your Symptoms

If you’re experiencing pain and swelling due to varicose veins, some lifestyle changes and at-home remedies may help. They include:

  • Exercising – and losing weight if you need to
  • Taking a cool bath or shower – or simply soaking your legs in cool water
  • Not wearing tight clothing or high-heeled shoes, which can put undue pressure on your legs
  • Elevating your legs while sitting, resting and/or sleeping
  • Avoiding sitting or standing for long periods of time. And when sitting, avoiding crossing your legs
  • Wearing compression stockings or socks

Surgical Options

If the pain and/or swelling caused by varicose veins becomes severe, or you’d like to simply eliminate the appearance of varicose veins, there are a number of surgical options available – most of which are performed in an out-patient setting and require minimal recovery time. For information or to schedule a consultation at Vascular & Interventional Specialists of Prescott, visit or call 928.771.8477.

Note: Although most varicose veins are generally considered a benign condition, they can, in some cases, signify more serious circulatory issues. Because of this, it’s important to work with your doctor to understand the root cause of the condition.