Permission to Cross

In case you’ve been avoiding positioning your legs in a crossed position for the sake of your health or looks, it may be time to take another look at what really causes varicose veins and other health issues.

According to Dr. Darren B. Schneider, the chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, crossing your legs does not cause vascular problems such as the physical appearance of varicose veins.

Dr. Schneider said in a New York Times article that “most varicose veins are caused by a problem intrinsic to the veins, woman-crossing-legscharacterized by weakening of the vein walls and failure of the valves that control blood flow.” He also added that genetics likely have a larger relation to vascular concerns, rather than the way we position our legs.

These veins can be aggravated by the chronic elevation of pressure for long periods of time, which is why pregnancy, obesity and standing often throughout the day are all associated with the development of varicose veins. “Wearing tightfitting clothing or high heels may also make them worse,” Dr. Schneider said.

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