Pain is present in the form of a dragging or aching sensation. Occasionally, throbbing and itching may occur. The pain is exacerbated by standing, is progressive throughout the day, is typically felt in the muscles in the calf or thigh, and is relieved by rest and limb elevation. It is also frequently relieved by the wearing correctly fitted gradient support hose.

Leg Heaviness and Fatigue

This is due to excess fluid in the limbs (edema) and incompetent valves. When on your feet for extended periods of time, blood flows back down the leg veins and causes it to pool and in turn, bringing on feelings of heaviness and fatigue.

Leg Cramping

Leg cramps occurring at night (nocturnal leg cramps) are a common symptom of venous disease. Why? The exact mechanism that causes cramping in the legs is uncertain, but when the cramping is caused by the poorly functioning veins, the symptoms are often alleviated by correcting the underlying problem. Conservative measures, such as elevating the legs, walking regularly, and wearing compression therapy may reduce the frequency of night cramps. Treating the underlying venous insufficiency may be a permanent solution.

Restless or constantly moving legs

Unpleasant or painful sensations in the legs and an urge to move the legs is usually an indication of venous insufficiency. Symptoms occur when you are relaxing, inactive or at rest, and can increase in severity during the night or latter part of your wake period. Swollen Limbs-When the fluid (Edema) remains in the lower limbs for an extended period of time, the leg tissue will start to absorb it which causes the lower legs to swell. The most common cause of leg edema in people over age 50 is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a condition that affects up to 30 percent of the population.

Skin Changes

If the skin on your leg(s) suddenly becomes drier, itchier, or flakier than normal, this is a common symptom of a deeper vein issue. Those who are plagued by vein disease receive no relief from topical creams, and their symptoms gradually increase in severity.


Venous insufficiency leg ulcers are the most common type of leg ulcer, accounting for 70% to 90% of all ulcers. All the previously described skin changes are pre-ulcerous conditions and if these progressive changes are not reversed, it leads to slow tissue death and then to ulcers. When ulceration begins, there is partial skin loss in an already abnormal area. Venous insufficiency ulcers are generally superficial, irregular in shape, and have moderate-to-high amounts of drainage. Although ulcers are rarely life-threatening, they cause much morbidity from pain, discomfort, and fluid discharge.

Women are three times more likely than men to have a venous insufficiency ulcer. The risk of ulceration is 7.5 times greater in individuals over the age of 65.