If painful legs are a regular part of your life, you may have venous insufficiency. Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when veins become faulty – the walls and valves are not working correctly, allowing blood to pool in the legs. You may associate this with varicose veins, which are the affected veins themselves.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Knowing what causes varicose veins can help better explain chronic venous insufficiency. Venous valves are designed to be one-way, keeping blood flowing up to the heart. Commonly, in legs, these valves stop working and blood flows down, pooling in the legs. As blood remains, the veins become stretched, leading to bulges and pain.
Some signs of chronic venous insufficiency include:
1. Swelling. Legs become swollen, especially in the lower areas down to the ankles. This is worsened by prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
2. Fatigue. Legs feel tired and sore, even without physical activity to cause the fatigue.
3. Flaking, itching skin. This can occur on both the legs and feet, and combined with other symptoms is a good indicator of venous insufficiency.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Treatment
It is important to seek out chronic venous insufficiency treatment, as this condition can cause problems if left untreated. Small blood vessels in the legs can burst, leaving overlying skin prone to bleeding and inviting internal tissue damage and ulcers on the skin. This, in turn, can lead to infection which can become quite widespread, quickly.
Chronic venous insufficiency treatment is typically handled through a combination of methods and techniques. With a vein doctor, you can work to reduce risk factors that are controllable, like prolonged standing, smoking, and weight. Regular exercise, as long as it is not going to further cause vein issues, can be very beneficial, and simple treatments like compression stockings go a long way.
Your vein doctor can also treat current varicose veins through minimally invasive, in-office procedures, allowing you to heal from the veins that are already problematic without facing the side effects and downtime of surgery.
These treatments may be joined by medications to handle infections and blood clots, and your doctor could suggest specific supplements to assist in your treatment. Always talk to a qualified, experienced vein doctor before starting any course of treatment, as it all depends on your specific situation.