L&R Medical
Healthy legs and feet

Understanding your veins

The circulatory system comprises of arteries and veins, arteries deliver blood to the body and veins collect used blood and delivers it back to the heart.

What causes poor blood flow and what does good circulation look like in the veins?

Good blood flow in the veins

Good blood flow is important for keeping skin and tissues healthy. In a healthy leg tiny valves inside your veins open and close to ensure blood moves around the body in the right direction.

What does this look like?

  • Leg muscles contract - Movement causes muscles in the legs and feet to contract and relax.

  • Valves open - When the muscles contract valves inside the veins open causing blood to flow towards the heart.

  • Valves close - When the muscles relax the valves close preventing back flow of the blood.

Poor blood flow in the veins

If these valves become damaged, blood can flow backwards causing veins to stretch and swell. Poor blood flow can cause your legs to feel sore and can also stop any wounds on your legs healing as well as they should. 

What does this look like?

  • Leg muscles contract – Movement causes muscles in the legs and feet to contract and relax.

  • Valves open - When the muscles contract valves inside the veins open causing blood to flow towards the heart.

  • Damaged valves unable to close - Damaged valves allow back flow of blood and cause swelling of the leg and skin conditions such as varicose eczema.

How Compression therapy helps the veins

Compression therapy counteracts poor blood flow by applying a firm continuous graduated pressure to the muscles and veins in your legs. It exerts more pressure at the ankle to encourage blood to flow up the leg.

What does this look like?

  • Leg muscles contract - Compression therapy helps to support the muscles during contraction and relaxation.

  • Valves open - Vein walls are pushed closer together allowing damaged valves to operate correctly.

  • Valves close - When the muscles relax the valves close fully preventing back flow of the blood.

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