Venous insufficiency is defined as the poor circulation of veins, the blood having difficulties leaving the legs and moving up to the heart. This condition affects the valves of the veins, whose main function is to prevent reflux into the more remote parts of the heart that are not as effective. This valve failure is associated with increased pressure in these vessels; which ultimately leads to the stagnation of blood in the lower limbs, a major source of pain. It is mainly women who are affected by venous insufficiency although men are not entirely spared. These problems are becoming more frequent and increase with age. Some diseases such as the occurrence of phlebitis and peripheral venous thrombosis increase the risk of occurrence of venous insufficiency.
A series of symptoms accompany venous insufficiency:
- a sensation of having heavy legs, especially at the end of the day, alleviated by standing up or walking;
- swelling of the legs, particularly in the ankles and calves;
- tingling or numbness: restless legs;
- the onset of muscle cramps;
- the appearance of visible and unsightly varicose veins;
- problems with advanced skin color changes, ulcers.
However, some cases of venous insufficiency have no symptoms.
The interview can help guide the diagnosis. The doctor can inspect legs with varicose veins and test some of the veins. The main test for diagnosing venous insufficiency is a Doppler ultrasound of the lower limbs. This examination is coupled with a Doppler examination, which allows the study of blood flow.
The treatment of venous insufficiency is to:
- wear stockings;
- take venotonic drugs;
- conduct regular lymphatic drainage to fight against edema and heavy legs;
- if necessary, treat with sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a product that will underline the presence of a clot in the faulty vein;
- a surgical treatment is also possible with the stripping of varicose veins.
It is possible to prevent venous insufficiency:
- practicing a "soft" sport (cycling, walking, running, swimming, gymnastics, golf);
- elevating the lower limbs during the night;
- quitting the habit of crossing your legs while sitting;
- avoiding exposure to heat, especially floor heating.