When you have varicose veins, they can be — or appear to be — the source of a lot of hardships. Aches, pains, itches, and more can all be feasibly attributed to these stubborn little veins in your legs. But sometimes, the side effects of varicose veins can surprise you. In fact, you may discover that your varicose veins may be causing more problems than you originally thought. 

Many have questioned whether their hurting knees can be attributed to their varicose veins. As practicing vein specialists working in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, it’s a question we’ve heard many times. Today, we thought it was time to set the record straight once and for all about whether varicose veins can make your knees hurt.

Are My Varicose Veins the Cause of My Knee Pain?

First, it must be made clear that every situation is different. While one person’s vein issues may be the cause of their leg pain, for another, it could be something else entirely. However, generally speaking, varicose veins can cause considerable leg pain, causing or exacerbating existing pain around the knee.

Some of this is simply down to time. As you age, you are more likely to develop varicose veins, osteoarthritis, and sometimes, both. These two forces can work together to compound your knee pain. The majority of varicose vein pain is more often felt throughout the calf, but it is entirely possible that the pain can migrate up to your knee. 

Furthermore, as varicose veins can make activities like walking painful and difficult, feeling an ache in your legs and the soft areas around your knees post-exercise is definitely a possibility. This does not rule out other ailments affecting your joint. This is merely noting that it is possible for varicose veins to cause knee pain or make your current knee pain worse, no matter its original source.

Why Do My Varicose Veins Make My Knees Hurt?

To understand why varicose veins can cause your body to hurt, we must first understand varicose veins themselves.

Your veins don’t start to hurt out of nowhere. Instead, the pain is indicative of the fact that there is a problem with the vein itself. More times than not, that’s venous insufficiency, where the vein fails and causes a buildup of blood. This buildup can cause discoloration, pain, and many other side effects.

Depending on where this vein is located, the pain can also find its way to different parts of your leg, including your knees.

Notably, the effects of varicose veins are not just limited to pain. As we’ve previously discussed on our blog, varicose veins have been linked to itching, burning, general discomfort and more.

What Can I Do About My Varicose Vein Knee Pain?

Even if your knee pain is not caused by your varicose veins, the solution is the same: rest, ice, elevation, compression. 

Resting your legs gives them time to recover, allowing you a brief respite from the pain. While resting, gently apply ice to your knee, allowing it to reduce your swelling and pain. This can be repeated several times over the course of a day, but try not to keep any one area iced for more than 20 minutes.

If you can, elevate your legs. By elevating your legs, you allow the blood to flow back toward the center of your body, which will in turn reduce swelling and pain. Finally, you can try compressing both your legs and knee using properly-fitted compression stockings and/or an elastic bandage.

These are all short term, temporary fixes. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, there is only one answer: vein treatment.

Vein treatments are quick to perform and provide near-instant relief from pain. As vein specialists, we’ll discuss your specific pain issues with you so we can find the best treatment for your specific pain. Best of all, this relief can be performed quickly — the majority of our patients can return to work on the same day. If you’re interested in seeking vein treatment, reach out to us on our contact page and we will be more than happy to help.