I read somewhere that the venous foot pump can be viewed as priming the calf pump in a fashion that resembles the atria priming the ventricles .

With regard to how the foot pump functions , the idea that the vessels of the plantar venous plexus are stretched during weight bearing , and that this stretching empties them , still persists . I believe that this idea is demonstrably wrong .

An article published in 2012 ,E Lindsay et al ,(see below ) lays out the argument for a vessel stretch mechanism very well .

Here are 2 quotes from the article -

1 When weight is applied to the sole of the foot, the plantar arch is flattened. The resulting longitudinal stretching of the veins allows the blood to be pumped along the long and short saphenous veins into the deep calf veins, even when the patient is in the upright position.

2 Gardner and Fox also found that ‘weight bearing on a flaccid hemiplegic leg with the knee locked also caused flow in the femoral vein’, indicating that the foot pump may be functional in paraplegic legs. It has also been suggested that stretching the arch without weight bearing may be sufficient to empty the veins (Gardner and Fox, 1983).

The problem with the stretch to empty theory is that veins are viscoelastic and stretching them will not effectively empty them .

Here is a simple experiment that is even cheaper than my previous HP sauce efforts .
I filled a simple latex glove with cold water . Then I got someone to hold the fingers whilst I pulled up on the open end of said glove to stretch it . Far from the glove emptying ,more room was created for addition water .

I was pretty certain of what would happen before I started but thought I would check anyway .

Any thoughts ?

Short-stretch compression bandages and the foot pump - Nursing Times


by E Lindsay - ‎Cited by 2 - ‎Related articles
9 Nov 2012 - leg, focusing on calf-muscle function and the action of the foot pump. They discovered that the plantar venous plexus fills when the foot is ..