Compression therapy is the basis for the success or failure of all procedures described in the following.
Only consistent compression therapy allows swollen, congested, and inflamed legs a chance to heal. This principle has been applicable for centuries. Especially in the last several years, there have been great innovations in compression bandages as well as compression stockings.
How does compression therapy work?
The compression bandage or stocking squeezes tissues and veins and thereby helps in: transporting water that has accumulated in the tissues; preventing venous reflux; optimizing or normalizing blood return; increasing flow speed; and thereby restoring hemodynamic balance in the legs. In patients with a tendency for swelling, compression therapy slows the passing of blood from the capillaries into the tissues and thus protects it from edema and nutritional damage. At the same time, the diameter of easily-manipulated veins is reduced through compression therapy, which provides protection against the formation of a blot clot (thrombosis).
Value of venous supplements
Chronic venous insufficiency with associated vein extension, edema, blood drainage disorders, and risk for thrombosis is an indication for various venous supplements. Horse chestnut extract or extracts from red wine leaves may help relieve symptoms as they prevent fluid accumulation and strengthen vessels. This is the effect of so-called flavenoids that the body incorporates into the vessel walls of veins. These flavenoids seal the walls of veins and prevent the passing of fluid into the surrounding tissue and thus help avoid water accumulation (“heavy legs”) and edema.
However, these supplements do not prevent the development of varicose veins, nor do they achieve a reduction in existing varicose veins.
These supplements are recommended only for a reduction in symptoms and as support in other treatment measures.