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Blood circulatory system and its abnormalties

How does the circulatory system works?

Sistema circolatorio Our blood flows in a closed circuit. It is replenished with oxygen in our lungs and is transported to our body’s organs by the heart through the arteries. These organs retain the oxygen and nutrients contained in the blood and return their waste products to it. Blood, after it releases its oxygen, is carried back to the lungs where it is replenished with oxygen.

The power behind the cardiovascular system is performed by the heart that pumps oxygenated blood through the arteries. The veins carry oxygen-free blood from our peripheral zones back to the heart.
Here we focus our attention on the veins in our lower limbs, which can be:

  • superficial veins (epifascial or superficial veins)
  • deep veins (subfascial, in muscular interstices)

Risk factors

Abnormalties in the circulatory system

With the passage of time and as a consequence of incorrect daily habits, pregnancy, familial predisposition and hormonal problems the walls of veins may gradually dilate, losing tone and elasticity. The one-way valve system is compromised. Blood struggles to return back to the heart and tends to stagnate, especially in the distal parts of the legs (first the ankle and then the calf), this causes fatigue, heavy sensation and oedemas.

Leg muscles play an important role in venous blood return. When the muscle contracts it compresses the veins. Blood is moved and pushed towards the heart. Venous valves act so that blood flows in one direction.


These are small red or bluish veins that appear on the surface of the skin. They are commonly called “capillaries” and when they dilate they become very visible and form spider vein blemishes. In most cases they are formed without precise causes and even when there are no circulatory problems. Onset can be favored by: familial predisposition, pregnancy, the “pill”, trauma or excessively vigorous massages.

Venous reflux

This is an alteration of venous circulation. Blood tends to remain in the periphery and not to go back to the heart. Reflux can be present even in apparently normal persons but is more evident where veins are more diseased.

Varicose veins

These are vein dilations that can, with time, become tortuous. The most common (truncal varicose veins) are formed near the saphenous and collateral veins. Peripheral networks can also be formed (reticular varicose veins) on the rear surface of the thighs and legs. Reticular varicose veins are often considered to be only an aesthetic problem. However they can become venous insufficiency disturbances such as truncal varicose veins. Varicose veins, in their early stage, give a feeling of heaviness to the legs and ankles and a sensation of fatigue and tension. Then there may be swelling of the legs (oedema) with night cramps. Hypodermitis may also take place (with inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue). Untreated venous insufficiency can become chronic with the presence of ulcers.

Venous thrombosis

This is the presence of a blood clot in the veins, often caused by slowing down of blood flow. Thrombosis can strike deep veins with the risk of pulmonary embolism. If the thrombus forms in a superficial vein (often varicose) the skin becomes red and hot, the vein is painful and develops hardness. Generally there are no risks of pulmonary embolism in this case. The causes of deep venous thrombosis may be varied: from blood diseases to trauma or prolonged bed rest.


This is a lesion of the skin. It is not very painful if it is not infected and requires frequent medication, usually twice a week. Venous ulcers generally occur on the inside of the ankle and are caused by an alteration in venous circulation, sometimes accompanied by arterial insufficiency (ulcus mixtum). The most decisive cure is surgery on the saphenous vein (when efficacious), backed up by medication, physical therapy and elastic compression.


Cellulite (fibro-sclerotic edematous panniculopathy) does not depend on a single cause but almost always with a combination of genetic, dietary and hormonal factors, However, it can be worsened by certain mistaken behaviors: an excessively sedentary life, incorrect diet, smoking and alcoholic beverages. The plasma fluid, expelled by compressed and weakened capillary veins, accumulates and stagnates in superficial adipose tissue. Microcirculation is gradually compromised and cellulite degenerates first into small nodules (accumulation of fat cells), then into large nodules (merger of small nodules), noticeable in the classic areas: buttocks, hips, abdomen and thighs.

Solidea, with its wide collection of graduated compression stockings and tights, features the proper compression for prevention and cure of any abnormality of the circulatory system.

Those with a genetic predisposition, leg edema, telangiectasias and modest edemas can have their problems controlled by the 10/15mmHg compression offered by  Class A articles:

Individuals suffering from varicose veins,  acrocyanosis and in cases of post-sclerotherapy of telangiectasias can benefit from the Class I light graduated compression (15-18mmHg) e Class I strong graduated compression (18/21 mmHg) of articles:

Individuals with truncal varicose veins, varicose veins with substantial edema post-varicectomy or post- sclerotherapy, arthrosis of the foot and knee are recommended to use the Class I graduated compression (18-21 mmHg) of articles:

Individuals with post-thrombotic syndrome, treatment of ulcers (caused by venous insufficiency), post-trauma syndrome, Angiodysplasias, DVT (deep venous thrombosis), deep venous insufficiency, reversible lymphedema, lipoedema are recommended to use the Class II graduated compression (25-32 mmHg) of the articles:

Also available in the Plus Line version (used in cases of exceptional increases in the girths of the lower limbs).

Individuals with severe edema, chronic hypodermitis or irreversible lymphedema are recommended to use the Class III graduated compression (34-36 mmHg) of articles:

Also available in the Plus Line version (used in cases of exceptional increases in the girths of the lower limbs).