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What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a common circulatory disease in which the veins of the leg are unable to efficiently return blood to the heart, resulting in pain, swelling, and potentially more serious conditions. You'll want to see your doctor if you notice swelling and tenderness around the ankle and calf that's not related to a known injury.  

The appearance of varicose veins can indicate CVI.  A feeling of tightness or heaviness may accompany the swelling or even a slight discoloration of the skin in the lower leg. If you're sedentary, you're running a risk of developing CVI.  High blood pressure, being overweight, smoking and having a family history of circulatory problems are also key risk factors you're going to want to be aware of. Of course, none of these is a guarantee that you'll develop the condition, and nearly all of them are factors that are within your control using simple lifestyle changes.

Treatment of CVI

Chronic Venous Insufficiency can be successfully treated through pain management, the use of prescription blood thinners, the establishment of a regular exercise routine, and most commonly, the use of compression stockings to improve circulation in the lower legs and feet. The only trouble with compression stockings is that they're hard to put on and take off, especially if your hands and fingers are sore or weak.  But, alternatives are out there, and you can ask your doctor about them.

One example of a comfortable and effective compression stocking alternative that many people have found beneficial is the OrthoSleeve Compression Calf Sleeve.  

With six zones of graduated compression in an easy-on design, the Compression Calf Sleeve provides all the medical benefits of compression stockings without the difficulty and discomfort that keeps many people from wearing their stockings as often as they should.

While Chronic Venous Insufficiency isn't considered a serious condition on its own, it can lead to serious pain, or even make other underlying conditions worse.  So definitely contact your doctor if you think you may have CVI.