How do the veins of our legs work?
The lower limb venous system ensures the return of blood to the heart and lungs.
The veins of our legs are organized into two networks:
- A network of deep veins concealed within the muscles and therefore invisible;
- A network of superficial veins, sometimes visible under the skin as blue nets.
While standing or sitting, gravity slows down the venous circulation running back to the heart. So that the gravity doesn’t
cause blood to flow back into the veins when we are standing or sitting, the entire venous system of the legs has a very
powerful system of anti-reflux valves.
Role of muscles that support the deep veins
The close connection between the tone of the calf muscles and the diameter of the intramuscular veins has been known for a
very long time. It was recently confirmed by a study conducted by BED REST-CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales).
It has been proven that in order to reduce the expansion of the veins due to the muscle atrophy, deep muscles, also known as
postural muscles, play a greater role in the venous return than superficial muscles, and it is necessary to find activities that
will mobilize both agonist and antagonist muscles to work simultaneously performing high amplitude exercises. These criteria
have led researchers to define an Active Vascular Gymnastics, new physical method to strengthen the vein walls of the lower
limbs. Postural muscles are an important element of the compression of the deep venous system. 80% of the deep venous
system is located inside the postural muscles of the lower limbs.