Crossing your Legs? You Could be Risking Thread Veins

crossed legsSitting with your legs crossed is a habit many of us develop over the years and for many the position feels so normal that it becomes uncomfortable not to cross your legs. 

Previous research in America has shown that 45% of American women cross their legs most of the time

  • 72% said that they did it out of habit
  • 69% said it was more comfortable
  • 44% had been taught that it is polite
  • However, 75% believe that it is bad for circulation

But if you are sitting at a desk for hours on end with your legs crossed, then you need to be aware of the potential risks and these do include thread veins.

4 Risks of Crossing Legs

  1. Elevated blood pressure – Crossing your legs at the knee can temporarily cause an increase in blood pressure. The blood in your legs has to be pumped back to your heart against gravity already, crossing the legs increases resistance to the blood flow, so the body has to increase your blood pressure in order to push your blood back up to your heart.
  2. Posture issues – Crossing the legs causes weight to be unevenly distributed. This leads to back and neck pain. When the legs are crossed, there is pressure on the pelvis, lower back, mid back and neck. It may be unrealistic to sit with perfect posture all the time, but do try to address it when you remember
  3. Foot Veins and Nerves – Crossing your legs affects the veins and nerves in your legs and feet. It can cause pressure on the major nerve in your leg that passes just below your knee and along the outside of your leg. This pressure can cause “pins and needles” in the short term, but for some, repeatedly sitting with the legs crossed can lead to nerve damage.
  4. Thread Veins – The veins are responsible for circulating blood around the body and back to the heart. Crossing your legs increases the pressure on the veins, impeding blood flow which can weaken or damage the veins in your legs, causing blood to collect so that spider veins or thread veins appear. There are other causes too – such as genetics, pregnancy, sun exposure and standing for extended periods.

So uncrossing the legs and taking regular breaks to move around will definitely be a good idea. It should aid freer circulation and limit the risks of posture issues occurring.

Vein Removal Treatments

Where thread veins have already developed, these rarely go away of their own accord. However, thread veins or spider veins on the legs can be treated in private clinics like Cosmedics Skin Clinics, who offer thread vein removal at a selection of clinics based in London using the latest surgical techniques including laser vein treatmentmicrocautery treatment and sclerotherapy injections with trained doctors and surgeons.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.


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