When people have restless legs, they are often suffering from uncomfortable and overwhelming sensations. It’s common for someone with restless legs to have an irresistible urge to move their legs in order to relieve unwanted sensations, such as “pins and needles” or feelings of burning or itching in the legs. As with many conditions affecting the legs, restless legs may get progressively worse throughout the day and is known to disrupt sleep in many sufferers.
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a common condition in the US. In fact, it’s estimated that there are more than 3 million cases in the US every year. But not everyone with restless legs has RLS. So, when it’s not medically identified as RLS, what causes restless legs?
Restless legs and venous insufficiency – Is there a connection?
Those who suffer from venous insufficiency, such as varicose veins, will often describe symptoms of throbbing, tingling, or even burning sensations in the leg(s) that may trigger the urge to move for relief. These same symptoms can be present in people with RLS. But besides sharing common symptoms, RLS and chronic vein disorders actually represent two separate conditions, typically with different causes.
It’s not uncommon for those suffering from vein disease to also be diagnosed with RLS. In fact, for years, RLS has been accepted by medical professionals as a symptom of chronic venous insufficiency.
While there is a known association between RLS and chronic vein disorders, the two conditions have different recommended treatments. However, for those who suffer from both RLS and venous insufficiency, there may be common ground when it comes to finding relief. In patients with RLS and a vein disorder, it has been found that treating the venous insufficiency with minimally-invasive procedures such thermal ablation or sclerotherapy can provide substantial improvement in a person’s related RLS symptoms. In fact, according to our very own Dr. Miller, in more than 70% of cases, patients who have both RLS and chronic venous insufficiency that treat their veins usually get relief from symptoms of both disorders.
If you have been diagnosed with RLS or suspect your restless leg sensations may be due to abnormal vein function, even if you have not been diagnosed with RLS, take the first step toward relief by being evaluated by a trained vein specialist.
Need to schedule a complimentary vein evaluation? Contact Miller Vein today.