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.

What is venous insufficiency treatment and what does it accomplish?

When the veins in a person’s extremities – usually the lower legs – are not effective in circulating blood up to the heart, the person is said to have venous insufficiency. This condition, like most, has unique risk factors and symptoms. Venous insufficiency treatment is also specialized with the goal of reducing swelling and pain by “jump-starting” blood flow in the lower legs.

This problem can be either acute or chronic. Certain illnesses and injuries can cause it, in which cases it usually clears up once the illness or injury no longer exists. Chronic venous insufficiency is more commonly seen and is caused by an alteration in the valves in the blood vessels. It will present health challenges to patients for a long period or for the rest of their lives.

In a “healthy” body, the deep leg vein valves work well to prevent blood from collecting in the lower extremities. But if the valves are damaged or simply are no longer there, blood will linger in the veins. This is a particular problem for people who spend long amounts of time on their feet.

Various other factors create the risk of developing this condition. Older people, particularly women, are more susceptible as are people who are taller than average, obese, pregnant or have an existing or previous case of deep vein thrombosis in one or both legs. As noted, people who are on their feet for long periods are more at risk, and so are people who are seated for hours at a time.

A number of symptoms can be present including pain, changes in the color of skin in the area of the ankles – often redness – superficial varicose veins, harder and thicker skin on ankles and legs and leg and ankle ulcers.

The most commonly prescribed venous insufficiency treatment is either compression stockings worn on the affected area or compression pumps, which send steady or intermittent air pressure through sleeves worn where there is swelling.

Many varieties of treatment equipment are available. Spectrum Healthcare has a wide understanding of swelling and inflammation conditions and we carry a full line of products designed to help people reduce swelling and pain.

If your physician has recommended venous insufficiency treatment, give us a call at (888) 210-5576. You can also reach us through our website here. We’ll be happy to help you find the products that work optimally for you.