Leg pain from venous issues is a common challenge. Understanding what causes leg vein pain will help you communicate with your doctor and choose the best path forward for dealing with vein-related leg cramps, heaviness, and swelling.
At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our team of experienced pain medicine doctors routinely evaluate patients with leg cramps caused by varicose veins, and provide solutions like radiofrequency ablation and/or sclerotherapy to provide relief.
Why varicose veins hurt
Your veins are designed to be one-way streets. They have tiny valves inside that allow blood to flow in one direction back toward the heart. However, when a valve is damaged, the blood gets a chance to flow backward and pool up in the vein between valves.
The earliest signs of vein valve issues are spider veins. These are capillaries, the smallest and most easily damaged veins in your body. When they are damaged, they show through the skin as thin spidery lines that are red, blue, or purple. Typically, spider veins don’t hurt.
However, if larger veins are damaged, the amount of blood that starts pooling up is enough to cause intense pressure to build up. The veins may begin to bulge and twist as they snake across your lower legs.
You may suffer from severe leg cramps, swelling of your legs, a feeling of heaviness, and even heat and tenderness when you touch the area around the affected veins. This is when it is time to take action.
3 ways to ease leg vein pain
There are several ways to relieve your leg vein pain before turning to surgical removal of affected veins.
1. Make lifestyle changes
There are several ways your lifestyle could be contributing to leg vein pain. Try these lifestyle changes to see if they makes a difference
- If you smoke, stop immediately.
- If you drink, cut back as much as possible.
- Wear compression socks, particularly if you work sitting or standing all day.
- When you lie down, put something under your legs to elevate them.
- Get regular physical activity.
- Drink water daily, replacing other beverages when possible.
- Eat foods high in fiber, potassium, and flavonoids.
If you’re still suffering from severe leg pain, you might benefit from minimally invasive vein treatment.
2. Radiofrequency ablation
We apply radiofrequency ablation by using ultrasound to map affected veins. Then we numb your leg, insert a tiny catheter to target the vein, and send a low-level electrical current through the catheter tube. This heats the vein, causing it to collapse. Blood flow automatically shifts to nearby healthier veins.
Sclerotherapy works in the same way as ablation, only instead of a catheter and electrical current, we use a small needle and a sclerosing agent injected into the affected vein(s) to collapse the vein. In both cases, the vein disintegrates slowly and is flushed away by your body's natural lymphatic system.
You don’t have to live with leg vein pain. Contact our office today to learn more about how to reduce or eliminate leg pain caused by varicose veins.Call our office at 201-201-0443, fill out our web-based contact form, or book an appointment using our online scheduling system today.