What To Know About Varicose Veins and Leg Pain
Have you been experiencing aches or pain in your legs and are wondering if the knotty bulging you see under the surface of the skin may be varicose veins?
Or, have you been experiencing aches and pain in your legs, but don’t have any visible bulging that may indicate varicose veins?
In either case, you are wise to consider varicose veins as a possible culprit of your leg discomfort. Varicose veins are a common, yet sometimes unrecognized, source of leg pain because not all varicose veins appear as bulges on the skin. Varicose veins may sometimes occur deeper within the leg, not visible to the eye, yet they still contribute to pressure within the leg veins.
According to the Society for Vascular Surgery, nearly 40 million Americans suffer from a range of varicose vein symptoms. Many describe the “pain” to be more of a deep ache or heavy, tired feeling in their legs. Some patients say their legs feel like “lead weights.”
While your arteries are responsible for delivering oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body, your veins are in charge of returning the now oxygen-poor blood back to the heart. One-way flaps, or valves, in your veins keep the blood flowing in the right direction—in the case of your legs this means upwards, against gravity. When the valves become weak, blood may flow backwards and pool, creating pressure and distending the vein. This is what causes varicose veins, which explains the heavy aching feeling. Symptoms worsen with prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
Leg pain caused by varicose veins may differ from leg pain linked to other sources. Muscle cramps, for example, are usually temporary. Your vascular specialist can determine if your leg pain is stemming from another condition, such as inflammation from arthritis or nerve damage.
These are common symptoms that may indicate varicose veins are to blame for your pain:
- Leg aching, swelling, or fatigue
- The aching or pain worsens with periods of standing or sitting
- Restless legs, while awake or asleep
- Burning, throbbing, or cramping in lower legs
Not all who suffer from varicose veins experience all the above symptoms, and remember that not all varicose veins bulge at the surface of the skin. Some patients have experienced pain or swollen legs for years, never suspecting varicose veins because their legs didn’t look like the knotty, bulging images they Googled. However, after proper diagnosis and treatment, they are relieved to be finally free of such mysterious discomfort.
If you experience even one of the symptoms you owe it to your health to get evaluated by a vascular specialist—start with our online self-assessment.
Premier Vein Clinics of Knoxville is committed to making your treatment comfortable while achieving the best possible outcomes. We are conveniently located in our new facility at 6408 Papermill Drive, off exit 383. If your procedure is already scheduled we look forward to serving you and if not, schedule your initial consultation today.