The veins in my hands bulge when my hands are down, but go flat when I raise them up. What causes that?

I am 63 and work out 3 times a week, on the elliptical and also do weight training. Am taking a Tai Chi class once a week as well as a Yoga class.

Answers from doctors (10)


More About Doctor Orange County Vein Care

Published on Apr 01, 2019

Hand veins are normal and never varicose. Rare conditions will cause hand veins to bulge in addition to arm veins, swelling, numbness or other additional symptoms. This, however, is a medical condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which unlikely applies to you, especially without symptoms.

You seem to be active, particularly with the weight lifting, which will create more use of the arms and hence return of blood flow back for recirculating through your arms. It is normal to have pronounced hand veins with exercise. The veins’ draining of blood flow is naturally aided when you elevate your arms.

Answered by Orange County Vein Care (View Profile)

Hand veins are normal and never varicose. Rare conditions will cause hand veins to bulge in addition to arm veins, swelling, numbness or other additional symptoms. This, however, is a medical condition known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, which unlikely applies to you, especially without symptoms.

You seem to be active, particularly with the weight lifting, which will create more use of the arms and hence return of blood flow back for recirculating through your arms. It is normal to have pronounced hand veins with exercise. The veins’ draining of blood flow is naturally aided when you elevate your arms.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Center of New Mexico

Published on May 31, 2015

This is a normal phenomenon. Seldom do hand vein course symptoms.
If bothersome, they can be treated by a vein specialist thought insurance
will not cover in my experience.

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Answered by Vein Center of New Mexico

This is a normal phenomenon. Seldom do hand vein course symptoms.
If bothersome, they can be treated by a vein specialist thought insurance
will not cover in my experience.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas

Published on May 28, 2015

The veins distend when your arms are down and the blood drains back to your heart when you raise them above your heart.

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Answered by Cosmetic Vein Centers of Texas

The veins distend when your arms are down and the blood drains back to your heart when you raise them above your heart.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


When your hands are down the blood pools in your veins due to gravity and hands being at a lower level than heart. When you raise your hands the blood drains out of veins by flowing back to heart assisted by gravity. One way valves in veins also contribute to this phenomenon,

Answered by Premier Vein and Vascular Center (View Profile)

When your hands are down the blood pools in your veins due to gravity and hands being at a lower level than heart. When you raise your hands the blood drains out of veins by flowing back to heart assisted by gravity. One way valves in veins also contribute to this phenomenon,

Published on Jul 11, 2012


The Vein Clinic

Published on May 27, 2015

Your hand veins fill with blood when they are below the level of your heart due to gravity.

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Answered by The Vein Clinic

Your hand veins fill with blood when they are below the level of your heart due to gravity.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vein Specialties of St. Louis

Published on May 27, 2015

Hand veins have improved blood return when elevated. Gravity pressure is increased when down, very warm etc. Additionally as we get older, we lose some of the body fat in our skin which contributes to wrinkles and more prominent veins. We remove these veins for cosmetic reasons if larger, inject if they are smaller with very pleasing results.

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Answered by Vein Specialties of St. Louis

Hand veins have improved blood return when elevated. Gravity pressure is increased when down, very warm etc. Additionally as we get older, we lose some of the body fat in our skin which contributes to wrinkles and more prominent veins. We remove these veins for cosmetic reasons if larger, inject if they are smaller with very pleasing results.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Advanced Surgical Arts

Published on May 27, 2015

This is a very normal effect of gravity on the veins. When your hands are down, blood pushes against the valves and bulge, but when raised, the gravity drains the blood out of the veins so they flatten. Also your veins are probably a little larger than people who do not exercise as much as you do, since the veins need to adapt to increased demand for blood return. Please keep up the good work on staying fit.

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Answered by Advanced Surgical Arts

This is a very normal effect of gravity on the veins. When your hands are down, blood pushes against the valves and bulge, but when raised, the gravity drains the blood out of the veins so they flatten. Also your veins are probably a little larger than people who do not exercise as much as you do, since the veins need to adapt to increased demand for blood return. Please keep up the good work on staying fit.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Owensboro Heart & Vascular

Published on May 27, 2015

This is normal.
The more you work out, more likely to bulge. You do not need any treatment or correction

Answered by Owensboro Heart & Vascular (View Profile)

This is normal.
The more you work out, more likely to bulge. You do not need any treatment or correction

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Byrne Road Vein Clinic

Published on May 27, 2015

What you are seeing is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. When you raise you hands up gravity allows the blood to drain out of your hand veins. When they are hanging down you can see the blood in your hand veins which is normal. Some people just have more visible veins than others

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Answered by Byrne Road Vein Clinic

What you are seeing is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. When you raise you hands up gravity allows the blood to drain out of your hand veins. When they are hanging down you can see the blood in your hand veins which is normal. Some people just have more visible veins than others

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Vanish Vein and Laser Center

Published on May 27, 2015

This is a normal response to gravity and venous blood flow. When the hands are below the heart, the return of venous blood back to the heart decreases and the veins bulge. The opposite occurs when the arms are elevated above the heart.

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Answered by Vanish Vein and Laser Center

This is a normal response to gravity and venous blood flow. When the hands are below the heart, the return of venous blood back to the heart decreases and the veins bulge. The opposite occurs when the arms are elevated above the heart.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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