Restless, sore or aching legs and underlying vein problems
Restless legs and your veins
Restless legs, as well as sore or aching legs and itchy legs, can all be symptoms of underlying vein problems. Our veins transport the blood back to the heart (while arteries bring our blood from the heart to other parts of our body). If this transport is disrupted, it may cause a variety of symptoms and it may trigger other conditions if left untreated. That’s why it is important to receive a detailed diagnosis including ultrasound images, to determine the exact cause of any vein condition you may have.
What is restless leg syndrome ?
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes an uncontrollable urge to move your legs, in an attempt to reduce an uncomfortable sensation. It most commonly occurs at night and may be particularly annoying if you are in bed struggling to get to sleep. Moving the leg temporarily eases the unpleasant feeling.
A new study presented at the Australasian College of Phlebology Scientific Meeting (7 May 2019) confirms that restless leg syndrome can be successfully in > 80% of patients with abnormal superficial veins.
The study found that 40% of patients presenting for management of venous disease suffered from restless leg symptoms and that > 80% of these patients had symptoms resolve following either endovenous laser or ultrasound guided sclerotherapy for their vein disease.
The study highlighted that research into restless legs has previously focused on neurological conditions and that many doctors are unaware of the connection between vein disease and restless legs and a detailed venous ultrasound is now recommended as the first investigation prior to deciding on treatment.
Venous reflux occurs, when the valves in your leg veins are no longer doing their work as they should. The valves regulate the blood flow, so the blood is sent back upwards, to the heart. When some of these valves are leaky, a pool of blood is formed in your legs, and this may result in bulging veins.
The malfunctioning of those valves, and the unwanted pool of blood in your veins, is what causes a restless, aching or itchy feeling in your legs. It can also be perceived as heavy legs.
Venous reflux as such requires an assessment by your doctor. If left untreated, venous reflux can cause more obvious symptoms such as skin discolouration, swelling of the leg, or skin ulceration. In other cases it may cause Deep Vein Thrombosis (caused by blood clots) or spontaneous bleeding.
What can be done?
If you experience restless legs we recommend to book an appointment for an ultrasound and clinical assessment. If venous reflux is found, it may well be worth treating this as 80% of patients will experience a significant improvement in restless leg symptoms following treatment of venous reflux.
Based on your assessment, Dr Matar will make recommendations about the most suitable treatment options. At The Vein Clinic, we also offer minimally invasive, non-surgical treatment options for varicose veins. They do not require a stay at the hospital, and are performed right at our state-of-the-art clinic in Subiaco. And because they are minimally invasive, you can return to your everyday life soon after your procedure.
About The Vein Clinic Perth
Dr Matar has a personal passion for vein treatments. He regularly attends national and international medical conferences, and keeps a close eye on recent literature and developments in the field (ahead of published data). He regularly liaises with leading international “thought leaders” in the world of vein treatment, minimally invasive procedures and endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), as well as ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy. Book your appointment now, to discuss your restless legs or vein problem.