Are Varicose Veins and Restless Leg Syndrome Related?

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is a neurologic condition that usually results from abnormal central nervous system functioning. However, secondary causes such as varicose veins can contribute to the symptoms. In these instances, addressing underlying venous disease can help patients find relief from restless legs. Unlike RLS, venous reflux disease (or varicose veins) is easily treatable with a high success rate.

RLS is often misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed; however, a recent study found that if you have restless legs and also varicose veins, fixing the vein problem will often help. The 2007 study found that 91% of patients with restless legs also had a vein disorder, and sclerotherapy (injection of the veins alone) helped 98% of those studied. Venous congestion or high pressures is often associated with restless leg syndrome and relieving this congestion with vein treatments is often helpful.

But veins alone are not the only cause of restless leg syndrome in every case. Genetics, iron deficiency anemia, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, thyroid disease and pregnancy are also known to be associated with restless legs even though no problems with leg veins can be proven.

RLS produces unpleasant sensations, such as burning or crawling feelings in the leg, leg pain, leg swelling, and are made worse by rest or inactivity. It is usually relieved with movement and sometimes associated with twisting or jerking of the legs during sleep.

Warm baths, stretching, and massage can help relieve some of the symptoms. Minimizing caffeine and alcohol, as well as mild exercise, maintaining regular sleeping pattern, and cessation of smoking may help as well.

If you have leg pain, RLS, or varicose veins, seek help from a qualified vascular surgeon with experience in varicose vein removal and restless leg syndrome in Milwaukee. Relief may be as simple as treating your abnormal veins and aching legs. Our venous experts at Lakeshore Veins  offer a number of minimally invasive, in-office procedures, such as varicose vein removal, to rid you of your leg pain and leg swelling before it leads to more serious complications. Call (262) 241-3999 or Contact Us Online to set up a consultation today.

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