Normal circulation involves blood carrying oxygen being pumped from the heart into the tissues via arteries and then returning de-oxygenated blood carrying other waste products from the tissues back to the heart through the veins. Your arteries might be in good health but if your veins are not working properly and leaking back into the tissues due to varicose veins then in the long term tissue damage to your lower legs can occur leaving you at risk of varicose leg ulcers later in life.
People with venous disease will often find relief from their swollen feet and ankles and alleviation of tired and aching legs by elevating their legs at the end of the day. There are many and varied medications and devices marketed as circulation boosters (e.g. the brand Revitive™). Medical Graduated Compression Stockings have Evidence Based Medicine to support their use to improve leg vein circulation and improve leg vein health. Not all stockings are created equal so before you russell up the money to pay top price for a pair check the fit and compression rating, plus sizes are recommended for taller vein patients.
However, these methods only provide temporary relief and do not prevent tissue damage from occurring in the long term. An Ultrasound investigation can establish if your aching or swollen legs are caused by poor venous circulation.
Dr Nick Kemp writes a column in Style Magazine educating Brisbane readers on matters of venus health and questions frequently asked by patients at his vein clinic.