Health & Medical

Venous Reflux: All You Need to Know

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Written by Nancy

Affecting around 40% of the U.S. population, venous reflux is one of the most common vein diseases in America.

Also known as chronic venous insufficiency, this persistent disease occurs when the blood is unable to flow back to the heart properly. Caused by dysfunctional valves, the condition results in blood pooling in the veins and legs, thereby putting the patient at great risk and in an immense amount of pain.

With an increasing number of people falling victim to the disease each day, it’s important to familiarize oneself with its causes, symptoms, treatment plans, and prevention strategies.

Here is everything you need to know about the condition to identify whether you’re at risk and taking the right measures accordingly:

What Causes Venous Reflux?

Venous reflux is commonly caused by either blood clots or the development of varicose veins. As blood begins to build up in the area, the body’s valves become dysfunctional and are unable to transport blood to the heart properly. Other common causes that trigger the development of venous reflux include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Weak muscles
  • Cancer
  • Genetics
  • Sedentary lifestyle/job involving sitting at a desk for a long period of time


Venous reflux commonly manifests itself through severe swelling of the legs and ankles.

This may worsen with time if the condition is left untreated for long.

While most people also experience severe pain that worsens while standing, others may not feel a similar sensation because of high pain tolerance. This is one of the most common reasons why people don’t seek treatment, which ultimately results in the condition escalating.

Leg Swelling specialists

Other common symptoms include:

  • Leg cramps
  • A heavy and throbbing sensation in the leg
  • Itchiness
  • Weakness
  • Leather-like skin near the affected area
  • Discoloration


Radiofrequency ablation is the most common treatment for venous reflux.

This method utilizes a small electrical current to create heat in nerve tissues. With the insertion of a small needle to the affected area, the doctor is able to navigate the section with the assistance of x-ray scans. Patients don’t feel any pain as the generated heat prevents the transference of pain signals to the brain.

Because of its minimally invasive nature, patients are allowed to leave the hospital within the few hours of the treatment. Its low risk of complications also makes it a popular and effective choice for venous reflux.

Prevention Strategies

While it may be hard to prevent venous reflux caused by genetics, there are some prevention strategies that can be followed to minimize the condition and get it treated at an earlier stage. Individuals who don’t have a family history of the condition can make the most of these strategies and avoid the disease altogether:

  • Regular exercise to promote blood circulation and muscle utilization
  • Quitting smoking
  • Weight control for a healthy body

Consulting professionals for a check-up to determine where you stand in relation to the condition is an ideal way to eliminate doubt. If you’ve been noticing leg pain lately, get in touch with Varicose Veins Doctors. Based in NYC, their expert and experienced team of vein specialists will help you determine the right course of action for complete prevention or treatment.

About the author


I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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