t is a blood-vessel that ensures the return of blood from peripheral tissues to the heart. The vein has a role in thermo-regulation and is considered a “reservoir”.
In the lower limbs we have valves that act as anti-reflux valve.
Venous flow is carried out by the contraction of the calf muscles, the movement of the foot on the ground and the movement of the diaphragm in the deeper system.
Blood is driven upwards with every movement and cannot return downwards because of “anti-return” valves.
A primary deep venous system, which drain 90% of the blood and do not carry varicose veins (fig.1).
An accessory superficial venous system, great and small saphenous veins where varicose veins can develop (fig.2).
The formation of a varicose vein is due to a chronic superficial venous insufficiency, a malfunctioning valve incontinent system : the blood does not go back toward the heart in varicose veins.
Approximately 60% of the population is afflicted. Varicose veins result in a permanent dilatation of one or more superficial veins becoming highlighted and unaesthetic at sight.
The international classification CEAP1 2 (Clinical, Etiological, Anatomical, Physiopathological) evaluates chronic venous disease. The clinical stages are defined as follows:
The presence or absence of symptoms (pain, heavy legs, pruritus, impatience).
They are numerous, they may be absent or associated with varying intensities, they may be due to “deep” varicose veins not seen to the naked eye (internal varicose veins):
The advice of a doctor is essential to distinguish the functional signs of the venous system from other factors not related to varicose veins.
Hereunder, images showing the evolution of the disease
The hereditary tendency is a most important factor, chronic venous disease is congenital, all the other factors only worsen or accelerate an existing fragility :• Static standing over a long period of time: hairdresser, surgeon:
Physical activity is the best prevention and the best way to activate the supporting venous system : walking, bicycling, swimming, aqua-gymnastics.
An elastic restraint, support stocking, is very useful for all conditions at risk to compensate the venous deficiency such as an over exposure to heat, upright or motionless standing over a long period of time and pregnancy…