Maintaining a healthy body is essential to our everyday activity level and functioning. a large part of keeping us mobile and active is maintaining healthy legs. Did you know that over 50% of adults will experience some form of Chronic Venous Disorder in their lifetime? A chronic venous disorder is a term used to describe venous circulation deficiencies in which the valves of the veins fail to function properly. The result of this is that blood does not return to our heart as well as it should and instead the blood tends to stay and collect in areas in the veins.
Common signs of Chronic Venous Disorders include swelling of the ankle and leg, a feeling of heaviness and tension in the legs, pain or cramping in the calf muscles and skin breakdown such as dermatitis, eczema and ulcers. A visit to your physician is necessary in order to correctly assess and diagnose your condition and to recommend appropriate treatment. It is important to note that Chronic Venous Disorders cannot be cured but you can prevent them from worsening.
Who is at risk of developing Chronic Venous Disorder?
people who sit or stand for long periods of time daily
people who travel long distances
women who are pregnant
people who experience swelling in the legs and feet
people with varicose or spider veins.
people who have been prescribed blood thinners
Tips to prevent worsening of your diagnosed Chronic Venous Disorder and to promote healthy legs:
Avoid sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time. Make sure you stand up and move even if that simply means marching on the spot. If you can take a short walk around your home or office or climb stairs it would be beneficial.
If you have to sit, try to elevate your legs to promote circulation of blood back to your heart.
Regular exercise will improve circulation. Walking, biking and swimming are great example of exercise that will promote healthy legs.
During the summer, a cool shower or bath can help decrease swelling in your legs.
Wear graduated compression socks prescribed by your doctor to encourage controlled blood flow back to the heart.
What are Graduated Compression Socks?
Graduated compression therapy helps treat Chronic Venous Disorders. These custom fit socks and stocking gently squeeze the vein wall together allowing the valves to close and therefore help pump as much blood as possible back to the heart and present from pooling in the legs. This improves your overall circulation. The compression is strongest at the ankle and decreases as the sock continues up the leg.
What do I do if I think I may have a Chronic Venous Disorder?
The most important thing to do is visit your physician in order to have your concerns addressed and properly diagnosed. Follow the tips mentioned above to promote healthy legs. If you require custom or off the shelf compression socks please visit Beaumont Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic by a Certified Fitter.