What is phlebology ?

Phlebology is a medical discipline that includes all venous pathologies.

It is also a thermal orientation recognized by social security which consists in taking charge of these venous pathologies via a thermal cure.

Pathologies concerning phlebology are often painful and particularly troublesome (heavy legs, varicose veins, venous ulcers, venous thrombosis, sequelae of phlebitis, vascular disorders of the extremities, etc.).

Their care is essentially based on medical treatment and rigorous lifestyle rules (wearing compression stockings, limiting standing as much as possible, practicing regular physical activity, etc.) in order to stimulate venous return.

Venous return is a natural phenomenon of blood rising from the lower body to the upper part of the body to the heart. This venous return is made possible by several phenomena:

  • The compression of the veins by the muscles which compress the walls of the veins when they are contracted. To this is associated the presence of one-way anti-reflux valves, prohibiting the reflux of blood towards the organ from which it comes.
  • The role of the diaphragm during breathing, which compresses the veins passing into the abdominal cavity during inspiration and which creates a depression which facilitates the rise of blood.
  • Walking which, thanks to venous collectors of the calf associated with muscular contractions, stimulates this venous return (see diagram).

Venous return is therefore facilitated by the good tone of the muscles located around the veins, hence the importance of physical activity...

The management of phlebology in Thermal Medicine

The symptoms reflecting a venous pathology are often very diverse (heavy legs, edema, varicose veins, tingling, cramps, hemorrhoids, etc.)

Thermal medicine is a real preventive and curative treatment that is interesting for taking care of these venous and lymphatic pathologies.

Among the different possible orientations, the phlebology orientation has become one of the most popular with spa guests in recent years... more and more patients are overweight or lack physical activity, which explains these numerous requests.

A phlebology spa treatment is prescribed by a doctor or specialist and lasts 18 days. Partial coverage by health insurance is possible.

During a spa treatment, the curist will receive several daily treatments according to a medical prescription that will be specific to him.

Treatment of phlebology at the Saubusse spa resort

The Saubusse spa is one of the 20 French spas with a phlebology orientation.

It has several tools for this:

counter-current walking corridor, carbon dioxide baths, cold compresses, cryotherapy, massages and drainages provided by qualified physiotherapists.


The walking corridor is a treatment taking place in a thermal water pool equipped with a counter-current walking course.

About 75 cm deep, the floor of the pool has a floor covered with roughness and covered with pressurized air bubbles.
True venous vascular re-education, this treatment combines the effects of compression stockings with draining massage. The walking corridor is an ideal treatment for general vascular dynamic rehabilitation.


The walking corridor is a care that is found in the management of diseases related to 2 orientations, phlebology such as :

  • The heavy and painful legs,
  • swollen legs,
  • Edema and varicose veins,
  • Impatience and tingling,
  • Pruritus,
  • Cramps (day and night)


This treatment uses the many virtues of thermal water to :

  • Improve venous return,
  • Stimulate skin vasodilation and therefore skin condition
  • Stimulate blood circulation,
  • Reduce pain,
  • Improve muscle oxygenation,
  • Reduce edema,
  • Have an important draining effect,
  • have arteriolar vasodilator effect.


The patient is immersed in a bathtub filled with natural thermal water at 26/28° and charged with carbon dioxide.

CO2 crosses the skin barrier to act in depth on venous tone, which has the effect of reducing edema (less heavy legs), improving tissue trophicity (improving skin condition) and arterial microcirculation .

They therefore participate in strengthening venous return, which improves the symptoms in a lasting way (several months in general).


Compresses soaked in thermal water are applied locally to the areas to be treated (usually on the calves).

The compress owes its properties to the nature of the water and the temperature at which it is applied.


In 2021, the Saubusse establishment was equipped with a machine that reproduces the effect of manual compresses while providing a patented cryotherapy system.

Lowering the skin temperature to 5°C in less than 30 seconds guarantees a very high quality analgesic effect in complete safety.

The EasyAir Force is a pulsed air cryotherapy machine that allows intensive use for phlebological (heavy legs) and rheumatological care thanks to the management of the air flow.

This innovative patent is also used in many other indications (post-operative pain of cruciate ligaments or post knee prosthesis, tendinitis, etc.)


The Saubusse spa resort is fortunate to benefit from a team of qualified physiotherapist masseurs mobilized for the massages and drainage of the spa guests.

At the Phlebology level, the massages make it possible to relax the muscles, improve blood circulation and venous return.

Massages can also be prescribed in case of lymphatic stasis that can lead to edema (heavy legs, big arms), it is in this case the technique of lymphatic drainage that can be applied.

Manual lymphatic drainage is an extremely gentle massage technique designed to stimulate lymph circulation. It is performed with the fingers and the palms of the hands on all of the lower limbs, following the direction of the lymphatic circulation and varying the pressure.

Another advantage of the Saubusse thermal cure: the double orientation

The Saubusse resort is one of the rare spa resorts to have the dual orientation Rheumatology and Phlebology.

This means that the patient can treat in Saubusse both rheumatic problems and phlebology problems... It is enough for the attending physician to specify this on the Spa treatment prescription ("double orientation rheumatology / phlebology");

The patient will then benefit from hot rheumatological treatments at the start of the spa day, then cold phlebological treatments at the end of their daily programme.

150 avenue des Bains 

40180 Saubusse-Les-Bains

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