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Complete Decongestive Physiotherapy for Older People With Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Bakar, Yesim PhD, PT; Öztürk, Asuman MSc, PT; Calisal, Mehmet Alper MD; Ertürk, Kivilcim MD; Daglar, Bahadir MD

Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: April-June 2010 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 164–170
doi: 10.1097/TGR.0b013e3181e85588
Press Release

Introduction Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a major health problem that may adversely affect quality of life and may cause significant morbidity unless early diagnosis of the problem and the development and testing of new treatments are considered. In recent years, complete decongestive physiotherapy (CDP) has been preferred in the treatment of venous and lymphatic problems. This study presents the results of CDP on edema, pain, and daily activities of older people with CVI.

Methods A total of 62 patients aged 59 to 68 years (mean 64.95 ± 2.54 years) were treated for CVI with CDP (manual lymph drainage, skin care, compression, exercise). The following parameters were investigated: leg circumference, pain intensity, impact of the problem on daily activities, and distance of pain-free walking. The volume and circumference were measured at 9 levels (metatarsus, ankle, above ankle, mid calf, below knee, knee, above knee, mid thigh, top of thigh) on the lower limbs, before and after CDP, using a Leg-O-Meter.

Results Limb volume, pain intensity, pain-free walking distance, and effects on activities of daily living improved significantly following the treatment (P < .01).

Conclusions CDP can reduce the volume of CVI-related edema and reduce the pain caused by this condition in older people.

School of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation (Dr Bakar and Mr Öztürk) and Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Faculty of Medicine (Drs Calisal, Ertürk, and Daglar), Abant Izzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey.

Corresponding Author: Yesim Bakar, PhD, PT, School of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Abant Izzet Baysal University, 14280 Bolu, TURKEY (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.