Veins take blood back to the heart. Normal leg veins are built to be one way. Veins have one way ‘check’ valves that open to allow blood to flow up towards the heart, but the valves close when gravity pulls blood back into the veins as you sit or stand.
Most vein problems develop when the ‘check’ valves in a vein malfunction – become ‘leaky’ – and allows gravity to pull blood back into the leg veins – this is venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is a common medical problem affecting over 20% of adults.
Venous insufficiency can cause many leg symptoms. These symptoms include painful, achy, tired, heaviness, throbbing and restless legs. Leg swelling and cramps or ‘charley horses’, unsightly and painful varicose veins.
Less common, but more serious symptoms include: lower leg discoloration, itching, eczema, dermatitis and sores or ulcers.