7 Myths About Varicose Veins
Reports of varicose veins can be found in medical journals dating back as far as the Roman Empire. You better believe that over the last two millennia people have come up with some pretty crazy ideas about varicose veins. These vary from what causes them, what they tell you about yourself and how to treat them.
While most of the dubious wives tales have fallen to the wayside, there are still some common misconceptions out there that don’t hold water. Let’s examine the seven (7) most persistent.
Clearly, nobody wants to have dark-purple varicose veins bulging from their thighs, legs or ankles. Nevertheless, around 50% of adults do and they just keep getting more prevalent as we age.
It’s no wonder that in our eagerness to understand what causes them and how to get rid of them once and for all, people are willing to believe anything that makes sense to them, even if it’s not supported by the science.
So let’s set the record straight and learn the truth about varicose vein causes and treatments. Don’t be too embarrassed if you’ve believed some of them in the past. We won’t tell anyone.
Myth #1: Varicose Veins are Caused by Crossing Your Legs.
While this might seem to make sense to someone with a basic understanding of varicose veins, it just isn’t true. Yes, varicose veins occur when blood gets trapped in a vein causing internal pressure to build. However the external pressure exerted on the veins when you cross your legs is minimal. Similarly, wearing tight shoes or tight pants have very little impact on varicose veins.
Crossing your legs and wearing tight clothing can aggravate varicose veins if you already have them. However, it is not the cause. The most likely culprit are defective valves or weakened walls in the vein. These cause internal pressure (which works very differently than internal pressure). When blood cannot make its way back to the heart, it will pool in areas of the veins, causing them to swell. Crossing your legs or wearing restrictive clothing does not pinch the vein.