Tuesday, December 8, 2015

High heels and crossed legs

High-heeled shoes are often associated with bad veins, but have you ever wondered why? It’s all about the ability to move the ankle, also known as ankle motility. The calf muscle acts as a pump to push blood against gravity from the feet and legs, back up to the heart.

If the ankle does not have full range of motion, it is considered an independent risk factor for venous disease. When one is wearing high heels, the calf muscle cannot be fully extended, which decreases its power within the pumping mechanism. 

In a similar vein (sorry!) many patients at the Vein Healthcare Center have asked if crossing their legs causes varicose veins. The answer is: we don’t currently know. There is no research supporting this claim, but anecdotally, Dr. Asbjornsen will occasionally see a patient who crosses one leg over the other and experiences issues with her or his small saphenous, a vein that begins at the back of the knee and extends down the backside of the leg. Continuous pressure on this vein may damage the valves, or at least impede flow, which could create permanent damage. 

To learn more about risk factors for vein disease, including environmental risks, feel free to explore the Vein Healthcare Center’s website, or request an appointment online. Or if you’d like to talk with someone in person, call us at 207-221-7799. We look forward to hearing from you!

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