Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Causes Signs and Symptoms

Heavy legs

Treatment and Relief

Daflon for CVI


Tired legs, a symptom of venous insufficiency

Why do my legs feel tired, heavy and swollen?

In the legs, the veins have to push blood back to the heart against gravity, which they do by contracting the muscles around them and by a system of valves that prevent the blood from flowing backwards. This system may fail, however, and when this happens, the veins, unable to push as much blood back to the heart as they should, may swell and some of the fluid can leak, causing swelling and heaviness in the legs.1

My legs feel tired, but does that mean I have venous insufficiency?

The feeling of tired legs associated with venous insufficiency may manifest as a dull ache, palpitations or a feeling of pressure after prolonged standing. Some people have also described their feeling of tired legs as numbness in the legs, "aching" legs, or some sort of stiffness.It is relieved by taking steps to facilitate blood circulation, such as elevating the legs, walking, wearing compression stockings and/or using venoactive drugs.3

If you think you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Predisposing factors

There are some factors that predispose people to suffer from tired legs. Some of these factors cannot be modified, such as age, gender (female), genetic inheritance or hormonal status (pregnancy), but others may be avoided or modified, such as a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged exposure to sun and heat, excessive standing, overweight and constipation.1 Therefore, advice and recommendations for dealing with tired legs should be followed.

What should I do about it?

Venous insufficiency and tired legs are frequently considered as minor problems by healthcare professionals and are not given the importance they deserve.4 Early diagnosis and the use of preventive treatments, however, may alleviate symptoms and progression of the disease.2 In addition, venous insufficiency can become complicated and aggravated if not properly managed.2 It is therefore necessary to address the problem of tired legs as early as possible with preventive and therapeutic actions.2

Preventive measures include:2

  • Follow a healthy diet and avoid obesity.
  • Exercise and walk whenever possible.
  • Avoid prolonged standing and, if standing, flex the calf muscles from time to time.
  • Avoid tight clothing and footwear.
  • Wear compression stockings.
  • Take cold showers and have leg massages.
  • Keep legs elevated during resting.

There are also medications that help to increase the tone and consistency of the veins, and help to improve symptoms and prevent progression of the disease.2

How can I relieve the pain of tired legs?

Fortunately, there are some practical tips for relieving the pain of tired legs, with habits that can be adopted both at home and at work, and which could come in handy in specific situations and at specific times when symptoms may be aggravated, such as on a flight, during pregnancy or in the summer.1,5,6


  1. Sociedad Española de Farmacia Comunitaria. Guía práctica para prevenir y tratar el síndrome de piernas cansadas. Available at: accessed May 2022
  2. Piera Fernández M. Piernas cansadas. Atención especial. Farmacia Profesional. 2002;16:96-99
  3. Youn YJ, Lee J. Chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins of the lower extremities. Korean J Intern Med. 2019;34:269-283.
  4. Eberhardt RT, Raffetto JD. Chronic venous insufficiency. 2014;130:333-346.
  5. Maya RA, Pérez F. Documento SEMG: Manejo y derivación en insuficiencia venosa crónica. Available May 2022 at: Last accessed May 2022
  6. Gallus AS. Travel, venous thromboembolism, and thrombophilia. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2005;31:90-96.