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Saphenous Vein Pain When Walking

author image Jackie Carmichael
Jackie Carmichael has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in "Woman's World" and "American Baby" magazines. Carmichael is a licensed registered nurse and has worked in fields related to cardiovascular health and psychiatry. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The Ohio State University.
Saphenous Vein Pain When Walking
Pain in the saphenous vein when walking might be related to varicose veins. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

The greater saphenous vein is a large vein in the front of your leg that stretches from your foot to your groin. Its purpose of the greater saphenous vein is to deliver blood that has been drained of oxygen through one-way valves to the deep femoral vein, which then moves the blood back to the heart. If the valves fail, blood pooling can occur, a condition known as varicose veins; varicose veins are among many potential causes of pain in the saphenous vein while walking. If you experience saphenous vein pain when walking, consult your doctor.

Venous Reflux Disease

Venous reflux disease that occurs in the greater saphenous vein is a type of venous insufficiency that prevents the proper flow of blood that needs oxygen up from the lower extremities. The valves that move blood flow up don't function properly, causing varicose veins. According to VNUS Medical Technologies, approximately 25 million Americans have varicose veins, a progressive disease that can range in severity.

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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can vary in severity and in their location in your lower leg or legs. Spider veins, for example, are mild and might only be a cosmetic problem. If you only have pain in one leg or saphenous vein when you walk, the condition may only be affecting that leg. In addition to feeling pain with varicose veins, you might experience bluish or enlarged veins in your leg, an increase in pain when sitting or standing, itching around a vein or veins and skin ulcers around an ankle, which can be an ominous sign, MayoClinic.com warns.


Treatment for varicose veins is typically non-invasive. Varicose veins might even respond to self-care treatments like wearing compression stockings to assist blood flow, refraining from wearing tight clothes that impede blood flow, losing weight, doing light to moderate exercise, elevating your legs and not standing or sitting for extended periods of time. If you have varicose veins that don't respond to self-care measures or the condition is severe with rapid progression, your doctor may suggest one of several available treatments.

Get Up and Move

Walking may be good for saphenous leg pain caused by varicose veins. According to MayoClinic.com, walking gets blood circulating in your legs. Talk to your doctor about your saphenous vein pain when walking and make sure your activity level is appropriate.

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