Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

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Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Leg

What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition that develops when valves in the veins of your legs and pelvis aren’t working properly. This causes blood to pool in these veins, leading to swelling, pain, and other symptoms.

If you have chronic venous insufficiency, your veins are unable to carry blood back to your heart efficiently. This can lead to swelling of the legs and lower body, which can be painful. It also increases your risk for clots that can travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs (called pulmonary embolism).

Chronic venous insufficiency may be caused by genetic factors or by other conditions. It’s more common in women than men, typically appearing after menopause when estrogen levels drop.

What are the types of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

The three stages of CVI are:

Stage 1 (Physiologic)

This stage is usually asymptomatic and does not require treatment.

Stage 2 (Chronic)

In this stage, there is mild venous insufficiency that may require compression stockings or other treatments.

Stage 3 (Severe)

In this stage, there is severe venous insufficiency that requires surgery for treatment.

What are the causes of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

The causes of chronic venous insufficiency are not always clear, but they can include:

  • Varicose veins
  • Family history of CVI
  • Fluid retention (edema)
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Pregnancy
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time

What are the symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

The symptoms of CVI include:

  • Swelling in your legs (often worse after sitting for long periods of time)
  • Pain in your calves or ankles, especially when you first get out of bed in the morning
  • Discolored skin on your legs (this discoloration may be red or blue)
  • Skin that feels warm to the touch
  • Leg pain, heaviness and swelling in the legs
  • Varicose veins in the legs
  • Skin discoloration on the legs
  • Lumps and bumps on the legs

What are the risk factors for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Common risk factors for this condition include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), varicose veins or a family history of varicose veins, obesity, pregnancy, smoking and extended periods of standing or sitting.

If you have one or more of these risk factors and experience symptoms such as leg pain or swelling, it is important to seek medical attention right away. The sooner you receive treatment, the better your chances are at preventing long-term damage to your veins.

Recommended Exercise

Leg

What are the exercises for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Doctors recommend doing some exercises to help with CVI. These exercises will help improve the flow of blood and reduce swelling caused by CVI:

Walking – brisk walking is the best exercise for improving circulation. It helps improve blood flow throughout your body and improves symptoms associated with CVI.

Swimming – water supports your body weight, making it less painful on your legs than land-based activities such as running or jogging. Swimming also helps you increase overall fitness levels by strengthening muscles that support your lower body and joints.

Cycling – this is another low-impact exercise that can improve circulation throughout your body as well as strengthen muscles in your legs and core area (abdominals).

What are the treatments for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

There are lots of different treatments for Chronic Venous Insufficiency. Here’s a breakdown:

Keeping your legs raised (elevated)

Keeping your legs elevated can help with circulation and relieve pressure on your veins. This can be done by simply sitting in a chair or using pillows or foam wedges to prop your legs up while you’re at home or work.

Medicines

You might be prescribed medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen to help reduce swelling and pain, but these medications can cause side effects like stomach bleeding or ulcers so they shouldn’t be taken for more than a few days at a time without talking to your doctor first.

Endovenous laser ablation or radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

Endovenous laser ablation uses heat from lasers to shrink enlarged veins and treat CVI, while radiofrequency ablation uses high-frequency electrical current instead of heat energy from lasers to shrink enlarged veins and treat CVI. These treatments are usually done.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Leg

What brace is used for Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

The Unna Boot is a device used to treat Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). It’s a compression bandage that covers the entire leg, from the ankle to the thigh.

The Unna Boot is typically worn at night and during periods of inactivity, such as when you’re sleeping or sitting. The goal of wearing this boot is to improve blood flow and reduce swelling in your legs.

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