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Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
6
Apr

Chronic Venous Insufficiency: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Published: 6 April, 2022

This is a 5-minute read.

Between 30% and 40% of people in the U.S. have some form of venous disease, yet it’s still a commonly misunderstood and overlooked health issue. Hundreds of thousands of people could have a venous disorder without fully realizing it.

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a venous disease that occurs when the circulatory system is unable to move blood to the heart efficiently. The condition is most common in men and women over the age of 50 and often arises due to certain health situations or a genetic predisposition.

Without proper intervention, chronic venous insufficiency can damage the body’s tissues and lymph vessels. This leads to pain, swelling, discoloration, skin breakdown, and non-healing ulcers. Patients with advanced CVI may have recurrent cellulitis infections that can be life threatening. 

When the disorder is diagnosed early enough in its progression, there are many treatment options available. This is why it’s so important to identify CVI and its causes and then seek effective therapies that yield the best possible outcomes.

Common Symptoms of Chronic Venous Insufficiency

The most common symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency are apparent in the lower legs. Beware of symptoms like:

  • Swelling throughout the legs and ankles
  • Pain while walking that eases somewhat with rest
  • Persistent itchy or tight feeling in the legs
  • Discolored skin, especially brown coloration around the ankles
  • Open sores and wounds that won’t heal
  • Cramps, spasms, and an urge to move the legs around

Some people with chronic venous insufficiency have varicose veins, which are raised purplish veins that zig-zag across the surface of the legs. In some cases, patients also describe deep throbbing and aching leg sensations that come and go.

While restless leg syndrome is a separate diagnosis that involves the nervous system, many people with chronic venous insufficiency report similar symptoms like a constant and almost irresistible desire to move their legs. Anyone with these symptoms should talk to a doctor to pin down their diagnosis and determine the best course of treatment.

What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

With time and age, as well as pregnancy and sitting positions that can cause higher pressure in the veins of the legs, the valves of the veins can lose their patency. This reduces the efficiency of blood flow in the leg veins. Conditions like deep vein thrombosis and phlebitis are also commonly associated with CVI.

Lifestyle factors play a significant role. People who smoke cigarettes or get very little daily exercise are more likely to develop chronic vein issues than the general population. 

There is a strong genetic and family history component to chronic vein disorders. Also, overweight and obese people have an elevated risk, as do people who have recently experienced leg trauma or leg surgery.

Effective Treatment Options for People With CVI

Treatment for chronic venous insufficiency focuses on applying external compression to restore the ability of blood in the leg veins to flow in the correct direction towards the heart. Elevation and compression stockings are two common interventions that are usually suggested for the condition. 

Surgical and outpatient procedures like ablations, ligations, and vein strippings are additional options a vein doctor might offer.

Pneumatic compression therapy is a medical device for at-home use with a proven history of effectiveness for treating the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency. Lympha Press addresses venous stasis by increasing venous blood return, reducing edema fluid buildup, and increasing lymph transport.

Lympha Press for Chronic Venous Insufficiency

If you’re a doctor or patient with concerns about CVI, please take a look at the innovative therapy options from Lympha Press. We offer devices that provide an array of benefits including decreased pain and symptom relief for people with chronic venous insufficiency.

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