venous insufficiency

a condition that occurs when the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs.

Understanding Venous Insufficiency

Leg veins return blood from the lower extremities to the heart. Proper vein blood flow occurs against gravity. Pumped by the leg muscles, venous blood travels through one way valves in the leg veins which allow only upward flow toward the heart.

Venous insufficiency occurs when the one way valves fail or “leak,” allowing blood in the vein to follow gravity and flow backward toward the feet. This causes pressure to build up in the veins, distending them so that they bulge out of the surface of the skin and cause leg vein pain. Symptoms such as aching, fatigue, swelling and skin color changes can occur and worsen over time if the varicose vein causes are left untreated.