Vein problems are often caused by venous insufficiency which occurs when leg veins have lost their ability to move blood back up to the heart from the legs. This occurs when the vein walls have weakened to the point where there are insufficient to squeeze fluids up the leg against gravity and blood seeps back down past the valves and pools into the lower legs.
Vein Problems Can Cause:
•Spider Veins: spider veins are superficial, but they can indicate a larger venous insufficiency issue
• Varicose Veins: when the walls inside the vein stretch and become misshaped, they are called “varicose veins.”
•Venous Stasis Ulcers: leg and ankle ulcers (called venous stasis ulcers or venous stasis wounds) are very common due to venous insufficiency. These are sometimes painful. For more detailed information on venous stasis ulcers click HERE.
Risk Factors for Venous Problems (Vein Problems & Venous Insufficiency:)
•age over 50 • heredity • low blood pressure •varicose veins• being tall• inactivity •muscle weakness •a previous injury to the legs •family history of venous insufficiency •history of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots) in the legs •obesity •pregnancy •smoking •being female •sitting or standing for long periods
The symptoms of venous insufficiency include:
- A dull aching, heaviness, burning, throbbing or cramping in the legs
- Leg pain that gets worse when standing
- Pain that gets better when legs are raised
- Flaking, itching or tingling on the legs or feet
- Swelling of the legs
- Redness of the legs and ankles
- Skin color changes around the ankles
- Varicose veins on the skin surface
- Thickening and hardening of the skin on the legs and ankles
- Ulcers on the legs and ankles
- A wound that is slow to heal on the legs or ankle
Treatments for vein problems & venous insufficiency include first, conservative management complete decongestive therapy (unna boots, multi-layer compression wrapping, pneumatic compression pumps, manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) and sometimes diuretics. For more stubborn venous ulcers we offer venous ablation, a minimally invasive procedure.