Heavy, painful legs?
What is poor blood circulation
Healthy veinsHealthy veins have small valves which prevent blood flowing backwards.
Unhealthy veinsWhen the internal walls of the veins are damaged, and these valves don’t work as they should, blood can flow back into the veins, resulting in pooling in the lower leg and leading to uncomfortable symptoms that can worsen over time.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation
Treat Your Symptoms Early
Heavy, Painful Legs
The first stage, with no visible signs of venous disease. However, damage may already be starting to accumulate inside the vein. This leads to venous reflux and is why you should start treating, even if your only symptoms are heavy and painful legs.
Ignoring initial symptoms can cause the condition to worsen, leading to broken blood vessels or “spider veins” and visible veins. They aren’t usually painful but are an important indicator of leg vein problems. It’s important not to ignore this early sign as the condition can rapidly progress.
Visible varicose veins
Left untreated, stage 1 turns to stage 2 with the veins becoming unusually dilated, stretched out and sinuous. These obvious, bulging veins on the legs and ankles are a clear sign of chronic venous insufficiency.
Swelling of the ankle and leg
Edema (swelling) may appear in stage 3 caused by increased pressure and leakage as a result of further deterioration of the venous walls and valves.
Continued poor circulation can lead to stage 4, characterized by darkening of the skin around your ankles (hyperpigmentation), redness, dryness, itchiness (venous eczema), hardening of soft tissues and the development of whitish patches.
Stage 5 is defined by the presence of open but healed areas of skin called ulcers. These can be painful and affect your quality of life, making it difficult to move around.
If you reach stage 6, you will have open wounds called ulcers on your legs. Internally at this stage there is more deterioration in circulation and increased leakage in the capillaries.
Only a doctor can advise you regarding your diagnosis and treatment.
By recognising the symptoms and taking action, you can significantly reduce the likelihood of your condition progressing and lessen the impact on your day-to-day life.
Factors affecting blood circulation
Women are typically more at risk, and a family history, as well as simply growing older can increase your chances of developing symptoms.