Question about leg veins

I have these bulging vein spots in my legs, specifically on the shins. I’ve first noticed them about 15 years ago. They become much more pronounced when I exercise - especially after running. I asked my doc about them during my last physical, and he said they’re nothing to worry about, they’re just a way to regulate blood flow. Something akin to check valve. He kinda lost me with a very detailed explaination. So could someone explain to me what these are in laymans terms? Do they serve as a type of check valve for blood flow? Which way to they regulate the flow - up or down? Does everybody have them? How do they work?

It’s just curiosity on my part, I already know they’re harmless.

"I’ve first noticed.…"? “Explaination”?!? (sigh)

You know, despite how often I hang out here, I actually think I’m getting stupiderer.

What you have are varicose veins.

The veins themselves have very little muscle, so they rely on the movement of the limb muscles to push blood black towards the heart. Of course the limbs aren’t constantly moving so to stop the blood running back down and pooling in the feet every time you stop moving the veinds have one-way valves, so the blood can be pushed towards the heart but can’t run back down again.

A varicose vein is simply a vein in which one of those valves has stoped working. In simple terms blood runs back and pool above the next lowest valve. That can be quite a distance and as a result the weight of the blood causes the vein to bulge above that valve. You can get a more detailed description from that link.

Everybody has valves in their veins, not everybody has varicose veinds which are caused when the valves fail.

Thanks, Blake. That’s what they are alright, and that article is very informative. Funny, I’ve heard of vericose veins, but I always thought they were something else. You’d think the doc would have just said “vericose veins”, but I don’t recall him using those words.