Varicose veins are bulging and at times painful veins often found on the legs. They usually result when valves in the veins become weak, allowing blood to stretch out the veins and vein branches. There are a number of risk factors that determine who might develop varicose veins. One of the most powerful risk factors is family history. Another is a history of injury to the legs which sometimes can contribute to damaged vein valves that subsequently (usually years later) can result in varicose veins. Other factors such as age, hormonal changes, pregnancy, sedentary lifestyle can contribute. If you are worried about varicose veins, and wish to learn more, now the ability to diagnose and options for treatment are better than ever.