How does our venous system work?

The venous system is part of the circulatory system. It is the venous system’s task to transport the deoxygenated blood from the body back to the heart and from there onwards to the lungs. Numerous tiny vessels called capillaries and venules, collect the used, deoxygenated blood from all over the body and pass it onto the veins for return transport to the heart. Approximately 2,000 gallons of blood flow back to the heart through our venous system every day.

The deoxygenated blood in the venous system is darker than the oxygenated blood in the arteries. Another distinguishing feature is blood pressure, which is considerably lower in the veins than in the arteries. The veins count as the low-pressure system in our circulation. Many vessels in the venous system run parallel to the arteries. But there are also many additional veins that do not run alongside an artery, especially in the subcutaneous fatty tissues of the arms and legs. Thus, our venous system is larger and denser than the arterial system.

Pulmonary Circulation

The cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is comprised of an arterial component that delivers nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to the tissues by way of arteries and capillaries. Pulmonary circulation deals with the movement of blood between the heart and the lungs. Deoxygenated blood is transported from the heart, through the pulmonary artery, and then to the lungs where it is re-oxygenated. This re-oxygenated blood flows back to the heart and is pushed out to the rest of the body.

Systematic Circulation

Pulmonary circulation deals with the movement of blood between the heart and the lungs. Deoxygenated blood is transported from the heart, through the pulmonary artery, and then to the lungs where it is re-oxygenated. This re-oxygenated blood flows back to the heart and is pushed out to the rest of the body.

These two venous systems are separated from each other by connective tissue fascia and muscles and are connected by a third venous system – the perforating veins (i.e. communicating veins). 

The venous wall consists of three layers:

  • intima (= inner layer)
  • media (= middle layer) and
  • adventitia (= outer layer)

The walls of the veins are thinner than those of the arteries. They are more distensible because they contain fewer elastic and muscle fibers. 

The Venous System body image

When veins become distended, call for compression.

Physical exercise keeps the veins moving.

As soon as we contract our muscles to walk, they squeeze our veins together. This pumps the blood up and out of our calves towards the heart. This is where the term “calf muscle pump” is derived from. After the contraction, pressure in the emptied veins drops and more blood can be sucked in, which explains why physical exercise is so important for healthy venous function.

exercise for the venous system

Without physical exercise, the muscles cannot exert mechanical pressure on the veins, which then become distended and prevent the valves lying inside them from closing properly anymore. The blood pools and the superficial veins, which are not stabilized by muscles, become dilated. This is noticeable as a feeling of tension and tired, heavy legs and visible as swelling, spider veins or tortuous varicose veins.

This is when medical compression garments can help. With their defined pressure gradient – medi® compression technology – mediven® compression garments reduce the venous diameter.

This enables the valves inside the veins to close again and transport the blood more quickly towards the heart. Tense legs relax and the formation of blood clots (thromboses) is prevented. Thanks to the treatment, patients benefit from an improved sense of well-being.

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