Normal veins have valves that prevent the blood they carry from flowing backwards – away from the heart. When the valves do not function properly, they can allow blood to flow backwards and pool in the legs. When this occurs, it is referred to as venous reflux. Venus reflux can cause pain, lead to varicose veins and, if left untreated, chronic venous insufficiency.
Approximately 30 million Americans have venous reflux disease. Individuals are at greater risk for developing venous reflux disease if they are obese, inactive, older, female, have had multiple pregnancies, have a family history of the disease, have a personal history of blood clots, or are required to stand for long periods during work.