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.
Walking compresses the deep veins in the leg muscles and this pumps the blood out of the legs. This is the most important mechanism to improve clearance of venous blood out of the legs. If you sit on an aeroplane for a long flight you might be aware of some ankle swelling because you haven’t been walking.
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.
But 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.
The price of the initial consultation at our Vein Clinic in Brisbane and Toowoomba includes a venous duplex ultrasound examination for which there is a medicare rebate.