Fibromyalgia and Varicose Veins

Fibro Cloud

A lot of people find themselves suffering from varicose veins at some point in their lives. Statistics show that around 50% of the US population over the age of fifty has them. In most cases, the veins aren’t a serious problem. But as with many conditions, fibromyalgia can make them worse.

So, what exactly causes them? How are they affected by fibromyalgia? And what can you do to treat them?

What Causes Varicose Veins?

Your muscles and the chambers of the heart act like pumps, pushing blood through the arteries. Valves in the veins control the flow of blood down into the body and back up into the heart. When these valves stop functioning properly, the blood can pool in the veins. As a result, they become engorged as they swell with blood.

They engorged veins develop most commonly in the legs and look like bulging cords across the skin. This usually makes them easy to diagnose, as they’re often very noticeable with the naked eye. But there are a few symptoms that also indicate that you may have varicose veins.

Often, they are painless. But they can cause a tingling or burning sensation along the course of the vein. They may also cause a sort of dull, throbbing pain through the legs, or a feeling of heaviness in the limbs. The pain may also be worse after standing up as the blood moves into the legs. And you may also experience cramping in the legs from time to time.

But varicose veins can also cause more serious health problems. The veins can burst and begin to bleed, especially if you bump or accidentally cut them. And the extra blood pressure in the veins can cause fluid to build up in the tissue, leading to painful ulcers or sores. Finally, blood clots can easily form when they develop deep in the tissue of the legs. These blood clots can cause the leg to swell up and can potentially lead to life-threatening complications.

There are a number of things that can lead to weakened valves and varicose veins. Age is the single biggest factor. As our bodies get older, the valves naturally begin to weaken. Genetics play a serious role as well. People with a family history are significantly more likely to develop them themselves. Finally, a sedentary lifestyle or being overweight can put pressure on the veins and weaken the valves.

These risk factors also tend to play a role in fibromyalgia, which makes varicose veins a serious concern for people with the condition.

Varicose Veins And Fibromyalgia

It wouldn’t be accurate to say that having fibromyalgia causes you to develop varicose veins. Instead, the sorts of people who tend to develop fibromyalgia also tend to have a higher risk of vein problems. Women are significantly more likely to develop them. And women also have the highest risk of developing fibromyalgia.

And the difficulties that people with fibromyalgia face in getting enough exercise also means that they have a higher risk of becoming obese, which increases the odds of developing vein problems.

But there’s also evidence that people with fibromyalgia tend to be more sensitive to pain. So the pain of varicose veins may be more intense in people with fibromyalgia.

Luckily, there are a few things you can do to treat them.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The condition usually doesn’t require treatment unless you’re experiencing significant pain or other complications. But if you just want to reduce mild pain, you can usually do so with compression socks. These are widely available in drug stores and work by helping to push the blood out of the legs. And elevating the legs above the head can also help relieve some of the pressure.

For more serious cases, there are a number of surgical options available. The basic idea behind all of them is to remove the veins that are causing trouble. Surgeons can do this by injecting chemicals into the vein that shut off the flow of blood, or by using lasers that destroy the veins through the skin. Once the veins are dead, they naturally wither away and become scar tissue.

For veins that are deep in the leg, or don’t respond to treatment, doctors can surgically remove them. But it’s usually best to exhaust the less invasive options first.


The preceding article is from and posted here for sharing purposes only. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your personal physician.

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