Venous insufficiency treatments – how do they work?

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the veins in a person’s legs are not able to effectively pump blood back to the heart. The result is swelling, which can be painful. Venous insufficiency treatments are aimed at getting the blood moving out of the problem area and back into efficient circulation.

In some cases, lifestyle changes can be effective treatments. Often a physician or physical therapist will recommend that a person with venous insufficiency elevate his or her legs above the level of the heart at certain periods of the day and for certain lengths of time. Avoiding standing or sitting for more than an hour at a time may also be recommended along with regular exercise and maintaining an ideal body weight.

While these all can be appropriate venous insufficiency treatments, sometimes the condition is severe enough to require more direct treatment. In these cases, there are two methods of therapy that have been shown quite effective for most people: compression pumps and compression wraps.

Compression pump systems consist of a compression pump that is programmable, and different styles of garments, or sleeves, that fit over the affected body part, which in the majority of cases is the lower leg below the knee. Other sleeves are designed to be worn over the hands and arms when these areas are affected.

Based on direction from the physician, patients can program their pumps to deliver a specific amount of pressure as well as dictate the speed of the pressure and the type of compression, either sequential or graduated. An example of a top level pump is the Biocompression Sequential Circulator SC 2004.

This device works well to reduce pain and swelling by, in a sense, taking over for the lymphatic system and moving fluid back into proper circulation. It is used to treat lymphedema (either primary or secondary) and also venous stasis ulcers that can result from venous insufficiency. It’s easy to use, portable and economical.

Compression wraps are worn over the affected area and provide constant pressure to prevent blood pooling and swelling. They’re available in a number of styles and sizes. Many patients opt for these when more intense therapy from pumps is not necessary.

Spectrum Healthcare are experts in venous insufficiency treatments and the equipment used to reduce edema in patients with swelling disorders. We’d be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you have about our lymphedema products if you’ll call (888) 210-5576. You can also contact us through our website.


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