Tired and Achy Legs (Leg Pain) – How Compression Stockings Can Help

Do you experience tired and achy legs, or symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, cramping, heaviness and/or restless legs?

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from a condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the veins with-in our legs no longer allow blood to travel back to the heart, causing tired and achy legs, or worse. (Arteries carry blood away from the heart, while veins carry blood to the heart).

Healthy veins contain valves (similar to those in the heart) which open and close to ensure blood is returned to the heart.

 

tired-and-achy-legs-valves-good

Valves open when muscles contract (Left), allowing blood to return to the heart. Valves close when muscles relax. Blood cannot flow backwards.

 

When these valves become damaged, blood begins to flow away from the heart and leads to the pooling of blood and fluids. Enlarged and twisted veins (varicose veins) are then noticed on the outside of the leg as well as leg and ankle swelling. Pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may result if left untreated.

 

tired-and-achy-legs-valves-bad

Blood flows backwards in damaged vein

 

What Causes A Person To Develop Tired and Achy Legs or CVI?

There are a number of factors that contribute to a person developing CVI. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Prolonged standing or sitting
  • Obesity
  • Tight fitting clothing
  • Wearing high heeled shoes
  • Pregnancy
  • Hereditary factors
  • Advancing age
  • Smoking

 

How Can Tired and Achy Legs or CVI Be Treated?

Treatment will depend on many factors, including the reason for the condition and your particular health status and history.

Some simple yet effective treatment recommendations may include:

  • Avoid long periods of standing or sitting – When taking long flights or car rides, flex and extend your legs, feet, and ankles about 10 times every 30 minutes to keep the blood flowing. If you need to stand for long periods of time, try walking when possible and take frequent breaks to sit down and elevate your feet.
  • Exercise regularly – No equipment is required. Simply walking can be sufficient and extremely beneficial.
  • Elevate your legs – While sitting and lying down, elevating your legs assists with returning blood back to the heart.
  • Swimming – Swimming eliminates the effects of gravity to prevent blood from pooling. It also allows your calf muscles to contract and assist with returning blood back to the heart.
  • Compression socks and stockings Compression socks and stockings are designed to support your veins and improve circulation. The external graduated compression of socks and stockings act as a layer of muscle by gently squeezing the stretched vein walls together, allowing the valves to close. The distance between the walls of the vein is reduced, thereby restoring blood flow to a normal state and allowing blood to flow back to the heart.

How Compression Works

Graduated compression socks/stockings work by applying the highest amount of pressure at the foot and gradually decrease up the leg. This encourages the blood in your veins to flow back towards your heart.

Compression Variety

Compression stockings come in different compression levels, lengths, colours and patterns. The amount of compression and length of the stocking is chosen based upon the location and damage to your veins.
Compression products must be professionally measured by certified fitters to ensure the best fit and reduction of symptoms. BioPed’s lower limb specialists are trained to both fit as well as select the best products for you.



Read More Articles:
  • Orthotic Slippers and Staying Pain-Free at Home

    Whether you regularly wear orthotics or just want a little extra foot support around the house, orthotic slippers are a great way to keep your feet happy....

  • arthritis-joint-pain

    Joint Pain

    Over 4.5 million Canadians have arthritis and in the coming years, this number will continue to grow. It is quite common for arthritis to be present in the hips, knees, ankles or feet. It can arise with age, from normal wear and tear on the joint. However, it can also arise as the result of infection, poor genetics, a prior injury, surgery, or in association with a disease process, such as psoriasis. Obesity and lifestyle choices can also lead to arthritis, especially in the hips, legs and feet....

  • How to find the right shoe size

    Contrary to popular belief, our shoe size continues to change as we age! Weight gain or loss, pregnancy and the effects of aging are all common causes for changes in the length and width of our feet. If you haven’t measured your feet in the last 12 months, you may be included in the nearly 1/3 of men and ½ of women wearing the wrong shoe size....

  • 3 Tips For Finding A Good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist

    Having trouble finding a good Custom Orthotics Expert or Foot Specialist? Have you ever had orthotics that didn't seem to work, or even worse, made your issues worse? Watch our video to learn 3 tips to finding a good provider. ...

  • Foot Pain Stretching – Relieve Your Foot Pain

    The symptoms described above are the result of a condition called “Plantar Fasciitis”. The following foot pain stretching techniques are very effective at relieving pain caused by this condition:...

  • Bunions – Relieve The Pain

    Most bunion pain sufferers don't actually know the wide array of solutions that exist to help relive their foot pain. As a result, most bunion pain sufferers simply try and live with it. We are here to change that and provide relief to those suffering from this type of pain....

  • Plantar Fasciitis Foot, Heel & Arch Pain

    Plantar Fasciitis is the most common type of Heel Pain? If you wake up from bed in the morning and experience a shooting heel pain when your feet hit the floor, you could be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. ...

  • Do You Work On Your Feet All Day?

    Standing all day, whether work or at play, can do a real number on your feet, legs, and back! Each year in Canada, thousands of work-related foot injuries are reported and an increasing number of sick days are taken because of leg and foot problems....