People with Venous Disease
Keep Moving + Graduated Compression Therapy
Venous disease or poor circulation is fairly common among Americans. Approximately 15-20% of people in the United States have some variation of the disease. Venous disease is a result of diseased or irregular veins and hinders your leg’s blood circulation to your heart. You can take two important steps to improve your quality of life: keep moving and wear a graduated compression stocking. Together, these actions help keep blood circulating throughout your body.
Your Circulatory Highway
When your heart sends blood around your body, it’s providing the oxygen and nutrients needed to stay healthy. How circulation works:
- Arteries carry blood that’s rich in oxygen from the heart throughout the body.
- Veins then return blood back to the heart so it can be re-oxygenated.
- Valves in the veins open to let blood move up, then quickly close to stop blood from flowing backward.
- Your legs are another key part of keeping blood moving back to the heart. When calf muscles contract, they squeeze the veins and push blood upward.
When valves become weak or damaged they allow blood to leak backward. Weakened calf muscles can also cause poor circulation. Both of these factors could lead to venous disease.
Venous symptoms and diseases include:
- Varicose veins
- Leg swelling and pain
- Spider veins
- Venous malformations
- Vascular malformations
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Deep Vein Thrombosis/Blood Clots
- Leg skin change
- Leg ulcers
The most common risk factors for venous disease are:
- Family history or prior patient history of blood clots
- Multiple pregnancies
- Trauma or surgery to the leg
- Prolonged sitting or standing in place
Compression Therapy for Venous Disease
To improve circulation, graduated compression stockings are often part of a management plan. Activities like taking a walk or riding a bike are also important. As you move, graduated compression stockings apply pressure to the support the calf muscle and outside of veins to help the valves close. The compression starts at the ankle and gradually decreases as it works its way up the leg, helping to improve circulation, manage your discomfort/swelling and give you more freedom to move.
After managing the vein’s internal functions through compression therapy, venous disease patients can strengthen and improve their legs by:
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Getting up to move if confined to sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Preventing injury
Your physician can help suggest the necessary pressure needed for your compression garments based on the severity of your condition and the type of venous disease you live with. For best results, venous disease patients will benefit from wearing the compression garment throughout the day unless instructed by your physician to wear the garment at night.
Contact your physician to see if compression therapy is a good way to manage venous disease and connect with a local Juzo dealer to find the best fit for your compression garment.