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Woman seeking treatment for her varicose veins

Do Varicose Veins Cause Numbness in Your Limbs?

Varicose veins are known for causing leg discomforts like aching, burning, or pressure.


But one of the lesser-known side effects of varicose veins is numbness.

Numbness in your limbs is not only alarming, but it can also increase pain from sharp tingling sensations.

About Varicose Veins

You have several veins running throughout your body. Your veins are responsible for your blood’s circulation. Inside your veins are one-way valves that push blood to and from your heart.

When your valves weaken or become damaged, pressure builds up inside your veins from the poorly-circulated blood. This pressure is what causes varicose veins.

Varicose veins are often twisted and swollen in appearance. Many people have them, but not everyone with varicose veins experiences physical or neurological symptoms from them.

Why Do Varicose Veins Cause Numbness?

One of the reasons varicose veins happen is poor circulation in your legs and feet.

When the nerves and tissues in your legs and feet aren’t getting adequate blood flow due to poor circulation, they experience oxygen deprivation.

Oxygen deprivation is what causes tingling or numbness.

Remember those times when your arm or leg has suddenly gone numb from laying on it wrong? After adjusting your position, you get a feeling of pins and needles that can sometimes be extremely uncomfortable.

When one of your sensory nerves is compressed from a cramped position, its messaging with your brain gets interrupted. Once the pressure is removed, the nerve’s functioning resumes, which results in the uncomfortable (and sometimes outright painful) sensation of pins and needles.

Because varicose veins decrease oxygen in your extremities, they can cause pinching or pressure in your sensory nerves as well. This is why you may experience an oscillation between total numbness and painful tingling.

Is Numbness from Varicose Veins Dangerous?

You might be wondering if numbness from varicose veins is dangerous. After all, if your arm or leg can recover from temporary compression without causing harm, isn’t the same true for varicose veins?

While symptoms of numbness from varicose veins may not be dangerous on their own, they could be indicative of more severe complications such as:

  • Ulcers
  • Blood clots
  • Internal bleeding

In general, varicose veins are not something to be worried about. However, underlying health issues could be lurking beneath the pain of varicose veins.

You should see a medical provider about your varicose veins if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe, constant pain and swelling in your legs
  • Heaviness or dull, aching sensations in your legs after physical activity 
  • Sensitivity or tenderness around varicose veins
  • Open sores on your skin

If you’ve tried some home remedies for alleviating the symptoms of varicose veins, such as lifestyle changes, exercise, or compression socks with no improvement, it might be time to see a vein specialist.

If you’re experiencing pain from varicose veins or are concerned that your varicose veins could be indicative of an underlying health condition, call Metropolitan Vein and Aesthetic Center for a consultation.

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