Varicose Veins & Restless Leg Syndrome: Is There a Correlation?

Varicose Veins & Restless Leg Syndrome: Is There a Correlation?

If you have varicose veins, you may already be familiar with some of the physical symptoms: itching, swelling, and aching in the legs, to name a few. There’s another symptom that can also occur alongside varicose veins: restless leg syndrome. Could these two things be related? According to a study from the Dermatologic Surgery Journal, it’s a possibility. The vascular physicians in Orlando at Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center are here to share some information about these two conditions that are often seen together.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

Have you ever had that throbbing, pulling sensation in your leg that left you with an overwhelming urge to move them, especially at night? If this happens often, you may be dealing with restless leg syndrome. Although this condition may appear to stem with a problem in the legs, it’s actually a neurological disorder that affects as many as 10% of the US population. RLS is characterized by the intense need to move your legs, which offers relief from pain in the legs.

The most frustrating aspect of restless leg syndrome? It is the most present when you’re trying to relax. Those who suffer from restless leg syndrome often find it difficult to get proper sleep. This sleep deprivation can be disastrous for regular, day-to-day activities, as sleep deprivation makes it difficult to focus and accomplish tasks.

Varicose Veins

While restless leg syndrome is neurological, varicose veins are a physical condition caused by weakened or damaged vein valves. Your vein valves are responsible for circulating blood throughout your body. These valves don’t perform well when they’re weakened. As a result, blood pools in the lower legs where the valves struggle the most to push blood upward against the flow of gravity. This causes the vein to swell and a varicose vein is formed.

Varicose veins are a nuisance. They can be painful and itchy, and they can also lead to some feeling self-conscious about their legs since varicose veins are often highly visible under the skin. If you keep scratching your legs for relief, an ulcer can form. Blood clots can also form as a result of varicose veins. If left untreated, these clots can travel upwards to a lung. This causes a pulmonary embolism, a fatal condition.

What can be done?

While a definite link between restless leg syndrome and varicose veins hasn’t been established, the two are still often seen together. Luckily, treatment of varicose veins also relieves the symptoms of restless legs for many. A study by AH Kanter found that patients with both varicose veins and RLS who received sclerotherapy treatment experienced relief through treatment. Ninety-eight percent of patients reported initial relief from their RLS following sclerotherapy treatment! That’s a significant number of patients who could finally get some rest after going through a procedure meant to improve their venous health.

If you’re wondering whether a sclerotherapy procedure may be beneficial for you, then it’s time to get in contact with the vascular physicians in Orlando. We’re dedicated to putting together treatment plans for our patients that fit their individual health needs. Call Central Florida Vein & Vascular Center today at 407-545-3385 or 352-658-5547 to schedule a consultation.