Chronic Venous Disease

Causes of Chronic Venous Disease

Heavy, Painful & Swollen Legs

Varicose Veins


Venous Insufficiency And Venous Disease - Are They The Same?

What is venous insufficiency?

Venous insufficiency is a disease characterised by a decrease in venous reflux from the lower limbs, the legs, to the heart.1

What happens in cases of venous insufficiency is that the valves of the blood vessels lose their functionality. As a result, the pumping of blood is compromised. This causes blood to stagnate and leads to varicose veins and edema in the legs as a result of the dilation of the veins.1

There are various degrees depending on a patient's symptoms and/or signs.  In the early stages there is pain, tiredness, and weakness of the legs in the lower limbs. These symptoms are sometimes accompanied by cramps during the night or a feeling of restlessness at night1, referred to as Restless Legs Syndrome.2,1

In more advanced cases of venous disease, skin manifestations such as spider veins may appear, which may develop into varicose veins.2 In advanced chronic venous disease, edema and  changes in skin pigmentation also appear, as well as eczema, dermatitis and ulcers.2

venous disease

Treatment of venous insufficiency

Venous insufficiency is a chronic and progressive disease1 in which several types of treatment are combined to improve symptoms. These treatments are intended to combat chronic venous disease. They consist of: the application of topical ointments (which help to improve the symptoms of heavy legs), combined with the taking of medication with venotonic activity. These drugs increase the tone of the blood capillaries, improve blood circulation and reduce edema, treating the problem at the source.2

Where necessary, usually related to the severity of venous insufficiency, the use of compression stockings or compression therapy is recommended. The aim is to prevent edema in the legs. Finally, in more serious cases, surgery may be required.3

Early detection of venous insufficiency is very important, as is treatment from the onset of symptoms to prevent the pathology and symptoms from worsening and further deterioration.


  1. Tratamiento de la insuficiencia venosa crónica. El papel del extracto de hojas de vid roja. Pablo Ortiz. accessed: May 2022
  2. Guías de Práctica Clínica en Enfermedad Venosa Crónica. accessed May 2022
  3. Recomendaciones para el manejo de la Enfermedad Venosa Crónica en Atención Primaria. Last accessed May 2022