The circulation of our lower extremities is composed of two separate but connected systems of blood vessels:
- Arteries – carry nutrient and oxygen rich blood away from the heart to the legs. Movement of blood in the arteries is provided by the heart’s pumping function.
- Veins – carry the deoxygenated blood from the legs, back to the heart. Movement of blood in the veins is accomplished by a “muscle pump.” Every time we squeeze or engage our leg muscles, they compress the veins and push the blood up, just as you would a tube of tooth paste.
What is venous insufficiency?
In order for the blood in our veins to move the correct direction (back toward the heart), our veins contain a series of one-way valves. If these valves malfunction, the resulting condition is called “venous insufficiency.” These malfunctioning or leaky valves allow increased pressure to build up in our legs potentially leading to:
- Swelling or tightness
- Varicose or “bulging” veins
- Cramping, aching and heaviness
- Burning and stinging
- Skin discoloration and ulcer formation
Why do people develop venous insufficiency?
There are many reasons people may develop venous insufficiency including:
- Genetics (family history)
- Prolonged standing or sitting
- DVT or blood clots
- Trauma or surgery
- Being overweight
How is venous insufficiency diagnosed?
Symptoms of venous insufficiency can vary greatly from person to person. Many times these symptoms develop slowly over time and are often perceived as an unavoidable part of the aging process. Other medical problems such as; back or spine disease, heart disease, kidney disease and arthritis can have similar symptoms, further complicating the diagnosis. One of our experienced providers will take the time to review your symptoms and medical history in a free consultation. We will explain to you, in detail, your options for evaluation.
Testing options include: