The treatment of venous leg ulcers should include:

  • Exercise as tolerated
  • Compression
  • Elevation of the limb above the waist as often as possible
  • Appropriate skin care
  • Nutritional support
  • Educational information
  • Dressings


Walking is the normal way the calf pump functions in everyday life. As effective venous return is encouraged, gait patterns are particularly important in patients with a history of venous ulceration. Studies have suggested that calf muscle pump function and dynamic calf muscle strength were improved after a 6-month program of structured exercise (Padberg & Johnston, 2004). Therefore, exercise has the potential to be both a preventative measure and an adjunct form of therapy (O’Brien et al., 2012).