Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to our heart. In our legs, are two groups of veins, deep and superficial. The superficial veins, just below the skin surface, deliver blood to the deep veins that run within our calf and thigh muscles. The muscular action of our calves helps to pump the blood against the force of gravity towards the heart. One-way valves inside the veins ensure the blood flows efficiently.
If these valves fail, blood tends to pool in the superficial veins. Over time, the affected veins distend with blood, becoming knobbly, twisted and tortuous (become ‘varicose’).