Varicose veins are an extremely common problem that anyone can develop at any age. While this common vein problem usually isn’t painful and rarely symptomatic, sometimes it does cause pain and discomfort.
Pain caused by varicose veins often goes unnoticed because it can be mistaken for other, more common health problems such as leg fatigue or pulled muscles. Understanding more about varicose vein pain can help you determine if you need to seek help from a vein specialist.
How Painful are Varicose Veins?
Everyone’s pain level is different which makes it hard to determine just how painful varicose veins can be. Some people suffer from extreme cases of problematic veins and don’t experience any pain at all, while others say the pain is unbearable and causes non-stop discomfort.
For most people, however, the pain associated with bulging, swollen veins is described as moderate. Most people say they are uncomfortable, slightly painful, and cause extreme discomfort.
Why Varicose Vein Pain is Often Overlooked
Sometimes people experience leg pain that may be caused by a varicose vein, but it is often overlooked or ignored. It is often overlooked because not all varicose veins appear bright red, bulge out, or have a ropy appearance. Some veins can be problematic and varicose deep below the surface of the skin.
When veins varicose under the surface of the skin, you will experience some symptoms, such as pain, fatigue, and discomfort in your legs, but you won’t be able to see the problematic veins. This makes it extremely easy to overlook the pain or misdiagnosis it as another problem.
Failure to properly identify when pain is caused by a varicose vein can lead to a delay in treatment. Not treating a varicose vein immediately could result in permanent damage occurring to the vein or having you experience pain and discomfort for longer than necessary.
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Symptoms vary from person to person. Some of the symptoms associated with unhealthy veins that may have varicose or spider veins include:
- Veins that have a dark blue or deep purple color
- Veins that don’t appear smooth, but instead appear like knotted cords or ropes
- Legs that feel extremely heavy
- Aching legs
- Pain that tends to get worse after standing or sitting for extremely long periods of time
- Intense itching that is centered around one or more of your veins
- Bulging veins that bleed
- Pain and tenderness around discolored or bulging veins
- Development of skin ulcers around the ankles
- Veins that appear hard
Discuss Vein Treatment Options with a Specialist
You don’t have to live with the pain and discomfort of varicose veins. There are a number of treatment options that may be available to you. A vein specialist, like Dr. Chris Pittman, can help create a customized vein treatment plan for you.
If you aren’t experiencing any pain or discomfort, Dr. Pittman may recommend making lifestyle changes, such as exercising more or not standing for prolonged periods of times or have you try compression stockings which have been known to improve vein health. If you are experiencing pain and discomfort, Dr. Pittman may recommend non-invasive vein treatment options such as foam sclerotherapy or endovenous laser treatment.