Varicose Veins and Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is an uncomfortable condition that affects approximately 15% of the total population. It is characterized by unpleasant crawling sensations in the leg that can only be alleviated with frequent movement. For some, RLS can significantly interfere with a good night’s sleep, resulting in other issues that can impact quality of life.

Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome
While the actual cause of RLS is not known, there are some factors that can increase your risk for the condition. These include:

  • Chronic diseases like Parkinson’s disease
  • Pregnancy, particularly in the later months
  • Certain types of medication
  • Triggers like alcohol consumption or sleep deprivation

Another factor that may contribute to the onset of RLS is the presence of varicose veins. The good news is that if varicose veins and RLS exist simultaneously, treatment for varicose veins may eliminate or greatly reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of RLS.

Research on Varicose Veins and Restless Leg Syndrome
A number of studies have shown that elimination of diseased veins can have a positive impact on the symptoms of RLS. In 1995, researchers found that using sclerotherapy to treat varicose veins relieved uncomfortable symptoms in 98% of patients. In 2002, a physician discovered that 100% of his patients treated for varicose veins experienced relief from RLS as well.

A third study, performed by the same physician and two of his colleagues in 2007, found that 91% of patients with RLS were also diagnosed with varicose veins, indicating a likely association between the two conditions. Other research published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery found that nearly one-fourth of patients diagnosed with RLS also had venous insufficiency.

Treatment for Varicose Veins
For those who suffer from RLS and have visible varicose veins, it is likely that treatment of the veins will also relieve RLS symptoms. Treatment options for varicose veins might include:

Sclerotherapy – involves injection of a sclerosing agent into the affected vein, causing it to seal shut and fade from view
Clarivein – combines rotating action with sclerosing agent to more effectively treat larger varicose veins
Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT) – a narrow fiber delivers laser energy directly into the vein, damaging vein walls so the vein seals shut and disappears
Ambulatory Phlebectomy – a minimally-invasive procedure that uses tiny incisions and a special tool to remove the diseased vein from the leg in small sections

If you are suffering from uncomfortable symptoms of RLS and have visible varicose veins, help is available. Contact Dr. Lev and his staff at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan to learn more about your options in varicose vein treatments.

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