By Federico M. Richter, MD

Painful, swollen legs, ankles and feet can be cause for alarm. Standing on your feet all day can cause a lot more than aches and pain. If your job or lifestyle requires you to stand for a majority of the day, your circulation will be affected; when this happens, you have a higher risk of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is inadequate functioning of the vein valves in the leg, causing swelling, pain, varicose veins and skin issues.

One of the most effective, natural ways to achieve healthy circulatory functioning is to exercise. Along with resistance training, any form of cardiovascular activity will improve the blood flow and dispersion of nutrients. Increasing your heart rate with cardiovascular exercise is essential, as it contracts the heartbeats at a higher rate, increasing blood and oxygen volume, which improves the circulatory system. In Addition, cardiovascular exercise improves the function of the veins and arteries, which alleviates venous insufficiency flare-ups.

Depending on your level of health, fitness, and wellness, you will need to modify how you incorporate exercise into your routine. Walking is the best place to start when you’re adding in activity for the first time, or if it’s been a while since you’ve worked out. It’s imperative to speak to your physician first to discuss safe ways for you to add exercise into your routine. If the heat is too much for you to bear, exercising in a pool is also very helpful and a safer way to get your heart rate up.

The resistance of the water against the body increases cardiovascular circulation. Not only is aquatic therapy easy on the joints and muscles, but also the buoyancy allows individuals to exercise for longer periods of time, with more intensity than that of land-based physical therapy, especially in the heat.

Compression Stockings can help to improve blood flow in your legs and prevent leg swelling. If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or have just had surgery.

Sometimes exercise and compression stockings are not enough
Various forms of venous issues affect 25 million Americans. Their legs are swollen, achy and they have a heavy sensation. When our veins are working correctly, they pump blood back to the heart.

Valves in the veins are made to open and close in one direction if these valves or the wall of the veins are damaged, the blood is unable to work against gravity, and the result is a pooling of the blood in our legs. This pooling is called stasis and can present significant risks to our health. Varicose veins are one of the indicators of major damage to your circulatory system; venous symptoms should not be taken lightly. A medical professional will be able to report whether or not your symptoms are superficial, moderate or severely dangerous and in need treatment.

Symptoms of venous insufficiency:
• Leg pain while standing or sitting, which subsides after resting for an extended period of time
• Sensations of tightness & burning may occur in the leg or foot
• Swelling of the calves, which dissipates after elevation
• Dark veins
• Varicose Veins
• Dry, itchy skin
• Ulcer near the ankle (often painless, but with a dark rim)

For more information, please visit their website at, or call (941) 907-3400 to schedule your consultation.

About Federico M. Richter, MD
Dr. Richter was born and raised in Argentina and grew up in a family of vein doctors. His Grandfather, one of the first vein specialists in Argentina, helped pioneer sclerotherapy for treatment of varicose and spider veins in the 1940s. His Father has been treating veins for over 45 years.

Dr. Richter recently re-located from the busy suburbs of Indianapolis where he completed his residency and practiced for 5 years. Since completion of his residency here in the United States, he has also focused on the newest developments in minimally invasive vein treatments. Dr. Richter received his medical degree in Argentina in 2003 from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. He then completed a year of general surgery and a 3-year Fellowship in vein and lymphatic disorders in 2007. As a venous and lymphatic medicine specialist, he is dedicated to treating varicose and spider veins and their underlying causes.

With over a decade of experience in the specialized medical field of diagnosing and treating vein disease, Dr. Richter was one of the first doctors to use lasers to treat a variety of vein diseases in Argentina. Certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and an active member of the American College Of Phlebology, Dr. Richter has also accumulated an impressive list of qualifications and educational accomplishments during the course of his career.

Dr. Richter’s 1st priority is the well-being and quality of life his patients in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Sun City, Ruskin, and surrounding areas.

To schedule a consultation, call Florida Vein Center
6050 53rd Ave. East (SR70), Suite A,
Bradenton, FL 34203