Does Crossing Your Legs Cause Spider Veins?

Unfortunately, spider veins are unavoidable, with more than half of all women in the U.S. affected by them. However, if you’ve ever been told that crossing your legs will cause spider veins, rest assured, this information falls into the medical myths category. Crossing your legs is not one of the causes of this vascular problem. Spider veins and varicose veins are enlarged veins that are visible through the skin and caused by increased blood pressure.

Varicose veins can be caused by weak or damaged valves in the veins. The heart pumps blood filled with oxygen and nutrients to the whole body through the arteries. Veins then carry the blood from the body back to the heart. As your leg muscles squeeze, they push blood back to the heart from your lower body against the flow of gravity. Veins have valves that act as one-way flaps to prevent blood from flowing backwards as it moves up your legs. If the valves become weak, blood can leak back into the veins and collect there (an issue called venous insufficiency). When backed-up, blood makes the veins bigger and they can become varicose.

Spider veins can be caused by many factors.  Most Americans over age 50 have spider veins.  Spider veins run in families – if mom or dad has spider veins you are much more likely to develop spider veins.  Hormonal changes and weight gain with pregnancy, obesity, female gender, high blood pressure and occupations which require standing for extended periods of time are also risk factors for developing spider veins.  Crossing your legs, however, will not cause varicose veins or spider veins to form.  You should however, avoid sitting for prolonged periods.  If you must sit, consider doing heal-toe maneuvers.  Rocking from toe to heal helps constrict the calf muscle which then compresses the leg veins and forces blood up out of the legs.

If you are prone to varicose veins, have a strong family history, are pregnant, or stand for long periods of time, consider wearing graduated compression stockings that are properly fitted by a vein specialists. Even though spider veins are often unavoidable, they can be treated.

If you have concerns about your spider vein legs and are looking for spider vein treatment, let the doctor at Lakeshore Veins  guide you in the right direction. Our vein specialists offer a number of minimally invasive, in-office procedures, including Sclerotherapy in our Milwaukee area vein clinic.   We offer new technologies with more than 20 years of  experience and know how to create a personalized treatment plan for you. Call (262) 241-3999 or Contact Us Online to set up a consultation today.

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