Varicose veins occur when valves preventing backflow of blood returning to the heart become weakened (often because of pregnancy or weight gain), and blood pools in the veins of the legs, causing them to bulge. You can reduce some of the symptoms (like pain and swelling) by elevating your legs to promote blood drainage to the heart and avoiding standing for long periods of time. Wearing compression stockings while standing can stall their development. Various kinds of surgery can also address varicose veins - either by removing them or by closing them off.
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