Leg cramps that are persistent and chronic are often a sign of a problem with the vein in your legs not providing proper circulation. In most cases, constant cramps in your legs are a red flag that you’re dealing with venous insufficiency.
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our vein specialist can diagnose venous insufficiency and provide radiofrequency ablation to correct vein problems and restore comfort.
Symptoms of venous insufficiency
Around 40% of Americans suffer from venous insufficiency. In addition to leg cramps and pain, symptoms include:
- Leg restlessness (especially at night)
- Scaly or dark patches on your legs and ankles
- Varicose veins
Some symptoms can be explained by other health issues (for example, swelling could be caused by edema), but if you have several of these symptoms and leg cramps, it’s time to see a vein specialist.
Problems that venous insufficiency causes
Oxygen-rich blood flows from your heart throughout your body, moving from larger blood vessels to smaller ones until all extremities are reached. The deoxygenated blood returns to the heart through a network of veins that have one-way valves to prevent blood from traveling backward.
If those tiny valves are compromised, they stop working properly. This slows the flow of blood back to the heart, letting it pool up behind the valve inside the vein. When this happens in little veins, like capillaries, you can get spider veins. When it happens in larger veins, you end up with varicose veins.
If you have varicose veins, you’re at increased risk for a blood clot, which can break free and travel to your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. Fortunately, treating venous insufficiency and varicose veins usually helps with symptoms like heat, pain, cramps, and swelling in your legs.
Radiofrequency ablation basics
If we determine that varicose veins are causing your leg cramps, the best option is usually radiofrequency ablation (RFA). This process quickly and easily closes off the vein and reroutes the blood flow to a nearby, undamaged vein.
We perform RFA treatment in our office. First, we insert a small catheter into your damaged vein, then send targeted radio waves at the damaged section, collapsing the vein and redirecting the blood flow.
Before we recommend RFA, one of our vein specialists will talk with you about your leg cramps, as well as review your medical and family health history. If you are in good shape otherwise and we see healthy veins in your legs, we can move forward with RFA treatment.
Are your legs cramping painfully and nothing seems to help? Contact our office at 201-962-9199, or request a consultation online today.