Healthy veins are essential to living. They work alongside our arteries to carry blood throughout the body and back to the heart. Our circulatory system does this a million times over in a lifetime. A healthy vein can easily manage the return of the blood back up to the heart, against gravity through the use of one-way valves. As we age there is a decrease in our vein elasticity and the valves become ineffective. Blood begins to pool causing the vein to stretch and become swollen and knotted. When this happens, visible varicose veins appear. Vein disease has a strong genetic link and tends to run in families. Females are more likely to develop varicose veins due to hormones and the stress of pregnancy. Occupational requirements are also a big risk factor in the development of varicose veins.