How to improve venous insufficiency
Venous insufficiency is a very common disease: the prevalence of Chronic Venous Disease in the UAE was found to be between 60%-64%. The most common leg symptoms reported were leg pain (72%), heavy legs (44%), night cramps (44%) and Sensation of swelling (23%).1 It is a disease that worsens over time and must be treated from the outset to alleviate its symptoms and to prevent progression of the disease and its complications.
You can make some changes in your daily life to improve venous insufficiency in the legs and to achieve greater effectiveness of treatments. First and foremost, it is essential to change your lifestyle, particularly if you are pregnant3. All actions should focus on improving venous reflux.
- Elevating the legs: the pain and other symptoms of venous insufficiency are caused by venous hypertension. Elevating the legs for 30 minutes above heart level, preferably 3 or 4 times a day, reduces venous hypertension, improves skin microcirculation and reduces venous ulcers and oedema3. Intramuscular pressure will decrease, thus helping to alleviate the pain caused by blood stasis in the veins3 .
- Exercise: the calf muscles act by pumping blood back to the heart. For this reason, physiotherapy and exercises are aimed at restoring the function of the calf muscles3. The ankles, which with their movement increase blood flow, are also involved in venous circulation. It is advisable to flex the ankles and toes to effectively accelerate the speed of blood3.
- Compression stockings: these exert maximum pressure on the ankles that decreases progressively towards the thighs, and they also exert an external force that promotes drainage of oedema in the legs.3 To be effective, they must be worn regularly from the morning on. It is important to select the degree of compression of the stocking that is suitable for the corresponding level of severity of the venous insufficiency3.
Products for venous insufficiency
In addition to a healthy lifestyle, there are numerous venoactive substances that are used in the treatment of venous insufficiency. These include a variety of active ingredients, some of natural origin, which act at different levels on oedema and the symptoms4: they increase venous tone, act on the inflammatory process in the valves and venous wall, reduce oedema, relieve pain, improve lymphatic drainage and reduce blood viscosity. There are numerous products on the market, many of which are a combination of several active components4. Among these active components, saponins and flavonoids stand out. In their purified and micronised form, they are highly recommended as they have demonstrated their effectiveness in the treatment of symptoms and oedema4.
Is there a cure for venous insufficiency?
Although venous insufficiency in the legs is a chronic problem, treatment should be started as soon as possible to alleviate the symptoms and to avoid progression2. Above all, it is necessary to make changes in daily habits such as elevating the legs, exercising or wearing compression stockings2.
- Rabe E et al. Int Angiol. 115-105 :31 ;2012. United Arab Emirates results.
- Eberhardt RT, Raffetto JD. Chronic venous insufficiency. Circulation. 2005. 10;111(18):2398-409.
- Lower extremity pain from chronic venous insufficiency: A comprehensive review. Cardiol Ther. 2021;10:111-40
- Carrasco E, Díaz S. Recomendaciones para el manejo de la Enfermedad Venosa Crónica en Atención Primaria. 2015. Available at https://www.semergen.es/resources/files/noticias/venosaCrocina_1.pdf Last accessed on May 2022
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