Request Appointment
Georgia Endovascular Logo

Can crossing your legs cause spider veins?

Posted on October 17, 2023

If you cross your legs, will you get spider veins? That's a good question, but before sharing the answer, we need to also ask: How many times a day do you cross your legs? Are they crossed right now? Will that cause immediate vein problems, or does it take longer for vein damage to develop? Here’s what you need to know.

Crossed Legs and Spider Veins?

There's no clear evidence that crossing your legs causes spider veins. But there is a clear connection between how much you cross your legs and how noticeable varicose veins become. Why? The connection results from pressure, since varicose veins form when your veins aren't able to function at full capacity. So, since crossing your legs can limit your blood flow, that could lead to extra blood pooling, further stretching out your varicose veins and making them more prominent.

And the problems don't stop there. If you're a chronic leg crosser, you could stress out the popliteal vein, running through the back of your knee. In turn, it becomes harder for blood to flow up the back of your legs. So, with time, your vein health suffers and your risk for blood clots rises. The risk is particularly increased for a DVT, since the popliteal is considered one of the 'deep veins' where these potentially life-threatening clots may form.

Does Crossing Your Legs Cause Spider Veins? Other Positions to Avoid

While the science is still out on leg crossing and varicose veins, this position is problematic for other reasons. Sitting with crossed legs can lead to back pain and leg pressure. Plus, sitting all day (whether or not you cross your legs) can further increase your risk for varicose veins, since remaining stationary leads to pooling blood in your legs, stretching out your veins and allowing them to bulge beneath the surface of the skin.

Want to keep your crossed legs from causing long term damage, but can't seem to quit this position? Here are a few ways you can protect your veins:

  1. Optimize your your work station for vein health by adjusting your seat to a height where both feet can comfortably rest on the ground.
  2. Never stick to one position for too long. Ideally, aim for quick walking breaks every half hour. But if that isn't possible, something as simple as taking a few steps around your desk can help keep your blood flowing.
  3. Not able to get up and move? Bring the workout to your desk, reaching down to touch your toes or moving your ankles in clockwise and counter-clockwise circles. Anything that keeps your blood flowing can protect your veins from the harmful impacts of pooling fluid.

Recognizing Varicose Veins

Not sure if crossed legs have already caused spider veins? Here are some some signs to look for:

First, take note of any visible veins, even if they aren't bulging or twisted. Any changes in the color or visibility of your veins could mean trouble is on the way. Also, take note of itchiness or dry patches of skin over your veins, along with changes in the color of the skin, since all of these could indicate varicose veins are forming. Finally, if you're frequently dealing with swollen, heavy or aching legs, it's worth scheduling a consult with our Georgia vein specialists.

Now, it's finally time to address the original question: does crossing your legs cause spider veins? For now, our answer is “maybe.” So, as vein doctors based in Georgia, we hope that you'll make small efforts to sit in healthier positions. And, if you're concerned that varicose veins have formed already, click here to request an appointment.


Take the Quiz
Georgia Endovascular leaf icon
Contact Us
Experienced Vein Specialists
Find out why more patients choose non-surgical vascular and vein clinics for treating various venous diseases. Schedule an appointment with our vein specialists today.
Schedule an Appointment
Georgia Endovascular Logo in white
Contact Us
3225 Cumberland Blvd. Southeast
Suite 520
Atlanta, GA 30339
Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm


Please contact our dedicated specialists to schedule a consultation today.

Schedule an Appointment
sister site - Georgia Fibroids logo in whitesister site - Georgia Hemorrhoid logo in whitesister site - Georgia Knee Institute logo in whitesister site - Georgia prostate institute logo in white

2024 Georgia Endovascular. All rights reserved. Website Design by Healthcare Success