Have you ever wondered what is causing your legs to swell on a hot day or at the end of a long day?
Whilst there are many causes of lower limb swelling, the most common cause in people over the age of 50 is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This condition affects up to 30% of the population, so you are not alone in your suffering.
What is CVI?
Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves in the veins that carry blood from your body back to your heart become damaged or dysfunctional. The valves help prevent the backflow of blood as it travels against gravity with the assistance of surrounding muscles as they activate. Over time, the valve dysfunction causes blood to pool in the veins resulting in; spider veins, varicose veins, swelling, dermatitis and leg discomfort. In severe cases the skin can breakdown and develop into ulcerations.
What causes it?
- Prolonged sitting or standing
- Age over 50
- History of deep vein thrombosis
- Female sex
How can we help?
It is firstly important to consult with your general practitioner, establishing the cause of your swelling to ensure you are partaking in the correct treatment pathway. If you are diagnosed with venous insufficiency we can help by providing a wide range of conservative treatment options:
- Compression stockings to help reinforce the veins by using a gradient pressure to prevent blood pooling.
- General treatment appointments to ensure healthy nail and skin care.
- Accommodative orthopaedic footwear with extra depth, width, or stretchy neoprene material. A good tip is to buy your shoes at the end of the day when your feet are more swollen to get the right fit.
- A specific exercise program to encourage circulation and specific muscle activation.
- Gentle lymphatic drainage massage can help reduce retained fluid to accelerate progress.