Sitting on Spider Veins

Sitting on Spider VeinsMan, woman, young and old—sitting with our legs crossed is a custom that crosses the barriers of gender, age and class. Whether we prefer to sit wrapped up on the floor or scrunched into an oversized chair, we are not sitting long before one leg crosses itself over the other. And for many people, this position will remain for hours until it is time to stand up and move onto the next location where we can sit once again.

Folks living in Atlanta who have spider veins or varicose veins are often a bit less likely to cross their legs so haphazardly. That is because crossing your legs is often associated with the development of vein disease, including varicose and spider veins. However, many vein experts agree that leg crossing shouldn’t be too huge of a concern for those worried about their veins.

The myth surrounding leg crossing and vein disease came from the notion that crossing your legs compresses veins in the calf, which results in increased pressure on the veins and ultimately the development of spider and varicose veins. While there are many environmental factors that can increase your risk for varicose and spider veins, there is no validated evidence that simply crossing your legs will severely impact your likelihood for developing vein disease.

Understanding the Causes of Vein Disease

Spider and varicose veins start with problems in the internal valves of the legs. These one-way valves are supposed to direct blood through the body as they make their way to and from the heart. When the valves stops working correctly, blood cannot flow forward as it once did. This causes blood to flow backwards towards the ankle and pool, ultimately leading to spider and varicose veins.

There are environmental factors that can impact your chance of developing spider and varicose veins, and sitting is one of them—but the way your legs are placed while sitting isn’t necessarily a factor. Sitting for extended periods of time—much like standing for extended periods of time—can cause blood to pool. The same goes for excess pressure build-up on your tissues and veins due to pregnancy of obesity.

The best way to prevent varicose and spider veins from developing is to move more frequently. While sitting with your legs crossed for hours may not be a direct cause of spider and varicose veins, the fact that you are sitting for so long could be. While at work or traveling make a point to stand and stretch once every hour. Your veins will thank you for it!

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