What is it exactly? Venous insufficiency is when your vein’s valves have stopped moving blood flow back to the heart. The easiest way to explain it… the veins have gone on strike. Whether a blockage or a valve malfunction, blood flow has drastically slowed and as a result blood is pooling in the feet and legs. This buildup increases pressure and inflammation in the feet causing bulged veins and discoloration of the skin.
While it's unpleasant, venous insufficiency isn’t entirely your fault! Regrettably, it is a trait that is often seen in family history. So while we don’t encourage everyone to call up grandma and blame her for that dull achy leg pain, there is truth to be told in the fact that genes are a leading influence.
Outside of family inheritance, there are other lifestyle causes. Venous insufficiency can develop from smoking, obesity, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), heavy lifting, pregnancy, not exercising enough, and standing/sitting for long periods of time.
While not all are entirely unavoidable if it’s a bad habit causing the damage we encourage kicking it. Below is a quick list of the symptoms that may indicate you are developing or already suffering from venous insufficiency.
- Itchy or tight feeling skin on the legs
- Darker colored skin near the feet and ankles
- Varicose veins (Unsure? See our helpful info page here to learn more)
- Leg sores or ulcers
- Swelling in the lower extremities
- Pain in the legs with standing or walking
The symptoms above seem rather annoying and uncomfortable to endure day in and day out, wouldn’t you agree? We did our homework and looked into some popular treatment strategies & options currently available. What we found most interesting is that the specific treatment is based on several factors, from age and medical history to your expectations and tolerance of therapies. As a result, we paid specific attention to both evasive and non-evasive possibilities with the hope that they’ll help inform you about the variety of treatment paths available. Here’s a quick look at what we found:
- Wear compression garments to help improve blood flow.
- Don’t sit or stand for too long.
- Research endovenous therapy or sclerotherapy for treating problem areas.
- Elevate the legs and if the doctor recommends it try extended bed rest.
- Consider medications that assist with blood flow improvement.
- If a candidate, look into surgery to remove or repair the damaged veins.
- Keep up limited exercises (i.e. walking is super valuable).
As seen above, there are a couple of homecare remedies that should help ease the pain and keep progression to a minimum; however, there are also some cases where it’s best to have a medical professional step in.
If you want to read up before heading to your local physician we suggest checking out www.vascularweb.org for more information on vascular health. We truly believe it’s all about making sure you have the right tools and proper knowledge to make an informed decision in regards to your wellbeing.