Venous diseases

The veins transport blood to our heart every day

What are venous diseases?

The veins in the legs have to work particularly hard to achieve this. If they can’t cope, the blood pools in the legs, and various forms of venous disease can develop.

Venous diseases are very widespread. Many men and women in Germany even have chronic venous disease. The predisposition is often genetically programmed, but factors such as standing or sitting a lot at work, obesity and lack of physical exercise also play a role. Tired and heavy legs, pins and needles or swollen ankles can all be signs of venous insufficiency. Venous changes can be effectively counteracted by interpreting the symptoms properly and taking early preventive measures.

Examples for venous diseases

Typical examples of a venous disease are:

The venous system

While the arteries transport blood from the heart to the body, the veins transport the oxygen-deficient blood back to the heart – against gravity. This function is supported by the so-called muscle pump in the leg muscles and the venous valves. Like a valve, these prevent the blood from flowing back down the leg. If this system begins to fail, the blood pools in the legs. We develop spider veins, varicose veins, venous inflammation and, in very advanced stages, venous leg ulcers.

Signs and symptoms

The first changes in your leg veins have normally already started long before you discover varicose veins or other visible signs. Tired or itchy legs, swollen ankles in the evening, pins and needles or pain in the legs are the first signals of changes in the veins. The so-called “warning veins”, a circle of distended veins at the ankle, is an important early sign.

These are followed later by swelling due to the accumulation of water, so-called "thick legs".Consult a phlebologist so he/she can choose the treatment that is most suitable for you. Incidentally: the examination is completely painless and presents no risk at all.

The CEAP classification system

( Rabe, Eberhard; Gerlach, Horst E. (2005): Praktische Phlebologie. 2nd revised version. A. Stuttgart: Georg Thieme Verlag.:

Risk factors

Venous insufficiency is often genetic. But other factors such as basic connective tissue laxity, pregnancies and hormonal changes favour venous disorders. Alcohol, which relaxes blood vessels, can also have an effect, as can obesity and persistent digestive problems. Habits such as standing or sitting a lot and a lack of physical exercise are also unfavourable.


"Better to walk and lie down – than sit and stand" is the rule of thumb of the German Venen-Liga e.V. [Vein League]. Plenty of physical exercise and specific vein exercises keep your veins healthy and elastic. The alternating contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the legs really keeps your blood on the move. Hot and cold showers are also a treat for your legs.

Start wearing compression garments regularly. This way, you will not only prevent spider veins and varicose veins. In many cases, garments in the lower compression classes will suffice. Surgical appliance retailers and fashion shops sell trendy models that don't look like compression stockings at all.

Apropos styling: leave your high heels in the wardrobe more often and wear flat shoes.

The reason: in high heels, the muscles in the feet are fairly inactive and the pressure the muscles exert on the venous system is weaker. In flat shoes, in contrast, the foot can roll over easily, which, in turn, activates the calf muscle pump.

How can venous diseases be treated?

Venous diseases are not curable, but they do respond well to treatment. There are many treatment methods, even for advanced clinical pictures. The most important of these are compression treatment and vein surgery.

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