If you are like the other millions of people with vein problems, you might already know that poor vein health can cause aches and pains. This is especially true for people with varicose veins in their lower legs. You might also have knee pain and wonder if your vein problems are causing your knee pain.
As it turns out, your vein problems may indeed be the source of your sore knee.
About Varicose Veins and Pain
Arteries and veins are part of the circulatory system. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the cells of your body, which use the oxygen and other nutrients in blood to function. The cells create toxins as they work, and deposit these toxins in the blood for removal. Veins carry the toxin-rich blood from the far reaches of the body back to the heart.
Gravity helps arteries deliver blood down towards your feet, but your veins must fight gravity to move blood upwards and out of your legs. Small valves inside the veins help. These valves open and close inside the vein, and trap blood in small segments of the vein in between heartbeats to prevent the blood from flowing backward.
Blood can pool when a vein and valves do a poor job of moving blood up out of the lower legs. Doctors refer to this as chronic venous insufficiency.
Varicose veins are bloated, twisted veins that look like red or blue twisted cords lying just below the surface of the skin. These unhealthy veins develop as the result of poor circulation – faulty valves within the veins fail to allow blood to flow downward and accumulate in your lower legs between each heartbeat. The accumulating blood causes the vein to swell. When affected veins are near the surface of the skin, they appear as varicose veins.
Varicose veins are usually a cosmetic problem, which means they cause embarrassment but no other symptoms. The diseased veins can also cause other symptoms, such as itching and aching. Varicose veins can also cause pain.
When varicose veins swell, they press against other tissue. This pressure can cause pain.
Pain from varicose veins can sometimes be the result of a blood clot. Blood must flow constantly to maintain its thin, liquid consistency. When blood sits still for too long, clots can develop, a condition known as thrombosis. The clot can prevent blood from flowing freely through the affected vein, and the blocked blood flow can damage tissue. The reduced blood flow and tissue damage can cause pain and persistent swelling of the leg, a condition known as edema.
Varicose veins typically affect veins in the legs, so many of the symptoms associated with varicose veins occur in the legs, including around your knees. The knees are especially prone to pain from swelling because there is not a lot of soft tissue near the knee.
If you have vein problems and are experiencing aches and pains, such as knee pain, vein treatment can help. There are a number of different types of vein surgery techniques available today that treat the varicose veins and other vein problems that can lead to knee pain.