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Have you noticed visible veins behind your knee that appear purple or bluish in color? These veins often stand out more than veins in the rest of your body — after all, unlike most other veins, these ones are clearly visible through the skin.

While having a visible vein behind your knee is fairly common, there are cases when this could be a sign of varicose veins. 

As vein care specialists in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, we frequently hear concerns from our patients about visible veins behind the knee and in the back of the legs. In this article, we will discuss these veins, when you should be concerned, and possible reasons for discomfort in this area.

What Are My Back-of-the-Knee Veins, and Should I Be Worried?

Many people ignore the veins behind their knee — but if you’re feeling any discomfort or pain in that area, you might be worried about whether these veins can cause you any issues in the future.

In general, visible veins on the back of the knee are just fine. These veins are part of your body’s circulatory system, which helps transport blood from your lower legs back up to your heart. This area has both deep veins and the superficial veins you can see through the skin.

One of the most important veins in this area is the popliteal vein, which collects deoxygenated blood from your lower extremities and returns it to the heart for oxygenation. It runs alongside the popliteal artery, forming an important part of the venous network in your leg.

In short, seeing these veins behind your knee is totally normal. However, if you’re experiencing any swelling, itching, or pain in these veins, it’s worth consulting with a vein specialist as you may have varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Simply put, varicose veins are veins that do not function properly. Sometimes, veins can struggle to carry blood back to the heart. The valves inside the veins, which help maintain the correct blood flow direction, may not be functioning correctly, leading to blood collecting in the veins and stretching them out.  

This can cause them to become swollen, twisted, and potentially painful, often appearing as bulging, bluish or purplish lines under the skin on the legs. In turn, this can make your legs feel heavy or achy.

Fortunately, treatment for varicose veins is quick and simple. If you are uncomfortable with or do not like the appearance of your varicose veins, specialists like ourselves can offer you treatment that will permanently remove them.

Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?

Varicose veins can develop due to various factors like age, genetics, sitting or standing for long periods, pregnancy, and more. While some of these factors are harder to control, there are some methods that may prevent varicose veins from developing.

First, try to stay active and avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Moving around can help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood pooling in your legs. Simple exercises like ankle stretches and knee bends can be beneficial, and elevating your legs for 15 minutes three times a day can also enhance blood flow and reduce ankle swelling.

Second, consider wearing compression socks or stockings. These can help keep your vein valves in proper position, improving vein function and reducing swelling and pain.

Third, maintain a healthy lifestyle. While some risk factors are beyond your control, eating a balanced diet with complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats, along with sufficient water intake, can contribute to better blood circulation.

Remember, you might not prevent varicose veins entirely, but these steps can contribute to overall vein health and comfort.

Key Points to Remember

If you are experiencing discomfort or pain in the veins behind your knee, it’s important to seek professional attention. While visible veins in this area are normal, swelling, itching, or pain could be a sign of a vein issue. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can keep your veins healthy and reduce your risk of varicose veins.

However, if you want to get rid of your varicose veins for good, the only way to do so is treatment. Today’s treatments are simple and fast — in fact, a majority of our clients are able to return to work or their everyday lives on the same day as their treatment.

If you have any questions or concerns about your veins, don’t hesitate to visit our Milwaukee, Wisconsin clinic, or contact us here. Our team of experts is ready to provide you with information and help alleviate any worries you may have.