Venous hypertension is simply high blood pressure inside the leg veins. It is caused by the failure of one-way valves in the veins.

Venous HypertensionDefinition

These one-way valves are located in all veins keep blood from flowing backward. When we stand, we flatten the veins in the foot, which causes the blood to go up to the calf through these one-way valves. Walking causes the calf muscles to flex, which flattens the calf veins and similarly – through the one-way valves – forces the blood upward. This process works up the body, eventually bringing the blood all the way up to the heart.

These valves tend to fail in around 25 percent of the population in their 30’s. As we age, the likelihood of failure increase by about 10 percent each decade, though women, especially after having had children, are affected at a higher rate than men until both sexes are in their 50’s; then chronic venous insufficiency affects men and women evenly, at about half of all people over the age of 50 registered some degree of chronic venous insufficiency.

Venous hypertension is a progressive disease because one failed valve leads to another, and another. When gravity causes downward pressure on the blood inside the valves when standing to make one valve fail, the valve below it then has an even bigger job to perform. More pressure is exerted on this valve, which increases the likelihood of it failing as well, and so on. Venous hypertension can also cause the vein branches to swell and bulge becoming noticeable through the skin. This condition is called varicose veins.


Possible symptoms of venous hypertension may include swelling, leg cramps, itching, fatigue, and venous leg ulcers. This condition is more common in women than in men, as pregnancy puts more pressure on the blood valves.

Relief is on the way. If you feel that you may be a victim of venous hypertension, give us a call today.