Vein weakness in the legs

Vein weakness in the legs

The veins transport the blood back to the heart. Valve flaps in the veins prevent blood from flowing backwards in the wrong direction. In addition, the “muscle pump” supports the return transport of the blood: like squeezing out a water hose, the muscles squeeze the leg veins with every movement, and thus the blood flows on. But about every second, German is no longer relatively healthy. The circulatory system demands high performance to pump blood from the toes back to the heart: 9,000 litres flow through the veins and against the force of gravity every day. That corresponds to over 500 crates of mineral water that you wanted to put on the table. Venous insufficiency can occur for a variety of reasons. How does this arise, and what helps?

The blood flows through the veins.

Blood does not flow back from the body to the heart simply because the heart is pumping. The blood in the veins is also transported to the heart because the vein walls and their muscles contract.

The veins have valve-like sluices, also known as venous valves, so the blood does not lose its way. These non-return valves only open when pressure from below and immediately shut off again when there is a backflow from above. The venous muscle pumps on the soles of the feet, ankles and calves also transport blood back to the heart. As you run, your muscles repeatedly push on your veins, helping to push blood toward your heart.


development of venous insufficiency

If you know how the blood flow works, it is easy to imagine that some stresses poison the veins, such as constant standing in many jobs. Gravity pushes the blood down and constantly against the valves and walls in the deep veins of the legs. After a while, the vein walls can no longer cope with the strain and give way. Due to the enlargement, the venous valves no longer close correctly and only part of the blood is transported back. Another part is pushed into superficial veins, which also expand.

It comes to varicose veins (varices). There, the blood flow is slowed down, the blood accumulates, and water is pressed out of the bloodstream into the surrounding tissue ( oedema ). Especially in the evening, the legs are heavy, swollen, painful, tingling, or itchy. Vein walls also become damaged over time. They lose their elasticity and become susceptible to inflammation and the formation of blood clots ( thrombosis ).

Causes of weak veins

The development of vein problems is particularly favoured by the following risk factors:

  • Movement poverty
  • overweight
  • Predominantly standing or predominantly sitting activity (legs motionless in the vertical)
  • pregnancy
  • Taking birth control pills, especially in smokers and in women over 30 years of age
  • Stagnation of blood by surgery
  • increased tendency to clot
  • hereditary vein and connective tissue weakness


Prevent venous insufficiency

As with many other diseases, the same applies to venous insufficiency and varicose veins: the best thing is to prevent it! Most risk factors can be eliminated or at least reduced. Helpful general measures to prevent vein problems are:

  • Exercise: You may want to sit down if you have heavy legs. But that is wrong. Walking as much as possible every day gets the muscle pumps going. Particularly suitable sports are swimming, running, cycling, cross-country skiing, hiking, dancing, and golf.
  • Avoid sitting or standing for long periods: Elevate your feet as often as possible (lower legs at heart level) or at least tense and relax the muscles of your feet and legs, incorporate foot circles and toe-stand exercises. Do not cross your legs when sitting.
  • reduce obesity
  • Wear flat shoes and loose clothing that does not cut into the hollows of the knees or the groin: high heels impede the muscle pump, and tight jeans and knee-high stockings that are too tight prevent the blood from flowing back.
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine.
  • Cold stimuli tighten the veins: regular contrast baths or contrast showers of the legs from the feet to the thighs, preferably several times a day.
  • Avoid exposure to heat and extensive sunbathing: It is best to bathe in a tub, sunbathe or sunbed. Go swimming and take long walks on the beach. Sauna in moderation (individual courses only short, between plunge pools) is allowed as long as there is no phlebitis.

What else helps against vein problems?

There is also exceptional support for vein problems. Talk to your doctor and get advice at the pharmacy:

  • Compression stockings help with heavy legs and prevent swelling but are unsuitable for treating varicose veins. They are available as stockings or pantyhose in many fashionable colours in the pharmacy.
  • Oedema is prevented and reduced by so-called oedema protectives – preparations made from horse chestnut seeds, red vine leaves or buckwheat herb. They seal the vein walls and increase wall tension. Rutin, which is mainly found in garden rue and other plants ( e.g. buckwheatfennel, black currant) and is also available as a ready-to-use preparation, has a similar effect. The effect is noticeable after two weeks at the earliest; the vein remedies should also be taken for life.
  • Ointments and gels that stimulate blood circulation or prevent blood clotting, such as horse chestnut seeds or heparin, alleviate the symptoms.

Effective means for the veins

The range of venous drugs is extensive. However, the effectiveness of many substances has yet to be objectively proven, or the agents contain active ingredients but in far too small quantities. Preparations from the pharmacy are dosed high enough.

Only a few active ingredients have received good marks in large-scale studies. The extract of:

  • Horse chestnut seed (look for the word “aescin” on the package)
  • Japanese cord tree (look for the word “troxerutin” on the package)
  • red vine leaves (look for the word “flavonoids” on the pack)
  • Butcher’s Broom Rootstock (look for the word “Ruscogenine” on the package)


Compression stockings for venous insufficiency

Swollen ankles and aching legs are the first signs of venous insufficiency, progressing over time in many sufferers. Then the water accumulation becomes more pronounced and no longer subsides at night. Brown spots characterize the skin’s appearance; in some places, there are hardened white skin areas. Compression treatment must be started at this point at the latest to prevent an open leg.

With the pressure from the outside, the cross-section of the vein is reduced, and the flow rate of the venous blood is increased as a result. At the same time, the compression stocking serves as an abutment for the muscle pumps. With this support, the stretched veins also bring the blood back to the heart. Compression stockings or tights are prescribed by the doctor and made to fit perfectly in the pharmacy – in the morning when the legs are not yet swollen.

Admittedly, wearing a compression stocking daily requires stamina and is highly annoying, especially in summer. But In many cases, it is necessary to prevent further consequential damage.

By the way, The best treatment results are achieved when compression therapy is combined with one of the herbal medicines already mentioned.



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