Veins carry de-oxygenated blood from the outer parts of the body back to the heart and lungs. The blood in the legs has to fight against gravity to travel up the leg. The vein valves play an important role in this process, preventing a back-flow of blood. Vein disease, also called venous reflux disease, is the weakening of the vein walls and valves, which allows a backflow of blood down the veins. The blood pools in the leg causing an increase in pressure in the veins, which results in the symptoms of vein disease. These symptoms include varicose veins, spider veins, swelling, edema, pain, aching, throbbing, burning, numbness, cramping and heavy feeling legs or ankles.
Vein disease is hereditary. Other factors that can lead to vein disease are pregnancy, prolonged periods of standing or sitting and obesity. Luckily, vein disease can be treated.