Veins carry blood from your body’s tissues back to your heart. There, they pick up more oxygen and bring the newly oxygenated blood back to the rest of the body. Each valve contains multiple valves, which keep the blood flowing regularly and in the proper direction. Often, if there is a problem with your veins, it is actually the valves that are not functioning well.
Vein problems can stem from:
- Family history of vein disease
- Gender – women are more likely to develop vein problems than men
- Leg injury or surgery
- Long periods of standing or sitting
In addition, crossing your legs and wearing high heels won’t help – but they are unlikely to cause vein conditions.
The most common types of vein conditions are:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) happens when you have a blood clot in a leg vein.
- May-Thurner syndrome, also known as iliac vein compression syndrome, is a rare condition that occurs when the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery, increasing the risk of DVT.
- Paget-Schroetter's syndrome is a type of DVT that forms in the arms.
- Spider veins are thin red lines of blood vessels that appear on legs and feet; they are usually harmless.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome can cause compression of the veins or arteries in your arms.
- Varicose veins are larger than spider veins. While they are usually harmless, they are more likely than spider veins to lead to leg swelling and pain.