Leg Pain and Muscle Cramps Are Varicose Veins Hidden…
Varicose veins themselves are not painful but the pain is actually due to chronic venous insufficiency where the venous wall and/or valves in the leg veins are not working effectively, making it difficult for blood to return to the heart from the legs. This causes blood to “pool” or collect in these veins, and this pooling is called stasis which is the reason behind the pain. That’s why some people who don’t have varicose veins and their legs appear normal may report pain and discomfort so they have to be examined by vein specialists because this may be a sign of underlying venous reflux. Some patients only notice the visible varicose veins on their legs and don’t pay enough attention to the non visible symptoms which may affect their daily routine later and they may contribute their symptoms to other reasons !
Varicose veins actually cause a lot of symptoms and complications , patients always complain of different types of pain and discomfort that the patients sometimes fail to describe accurately and we are going to describe all types of pain that the patients may complain of.
Leg pain or soreness
The patients experience general pain or soreness in the lower half of the leg especially after walking or running a short distance which is sometimes referred to as “claudication” . The cause beyond the pain is due to local inflammation resulting from local hypoxia related to venous stasis .Hypoxia stimulates the cells to produce inflammatory mediators which activate the pain receptors producing the aches that irritates varicose veins patients. Moreover, it was found that the pain may precede the appearance of varicose veins by many years so it is considered as an alarm for the future varicose veins patients!
Leg fatigue or heaviness
When the case progresses, the leg starts to swell as the fluid leaks from the non functioning veins. The swollen leg feels heavy during walking and this limits the physical activity of the patient.
Tingling or numbness
Some patients report “needles and pins” sensation which is also described as tingling or numbness and it is due to nerve changes caused by the vein reflux.
Throbbing or aching
Sometimes patients experience a throbbing or aching in their legs which necessitates doppler examination.
Itching or burning
Skin changes that occurs later on due to varicose veins and venous reflux can cause itchiness or burning sensation.
Patients complain of painful muscle cramps especially at night and it becomes very irritating to the patients which is due to leakage of blood rich in toxins and poor in oxygen that build up in the muscle making it more prone to cramping.
Restless leg symptoms
Patients describe an uncontrollable urge to move the affected leg because of the described symptoms as throbbing, tingling or any other uncomfortable sensation. This happens mostly at night and may interrupt the sleep in severe cases so it becomes very irritating for the patients.