If you are having trouble sleeping at night because your legs have a constant sensation that makes you want to move them, you could be suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) or Leg Cramps. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, RLS affects roughly between 7-10% of the US population. RLS can start at any age and is not restricted to any gender, but it is mostly common among middle-aged men.

Although there has yet to be a proven singular cause of RLS, studies have shown that there is a correlation between having RLS as a result of varicose vein disease. Dr. Kuefner and the experts at the Vein Center of Orland Park would like to take this time to address why a consultation for varicose vein treatment might resolve your leg cramp and RLS symptoms.

Restless Leg Syndrome

What Causes Restless Leg Syndrome?

As mentioned above, there is no defined correlation of what causes RLS. Studies have shown that anything from family genetics to low levels of iron in your brain could be a triggering factor in people with RLS. Physicians who attempt to treat and diagnose RLS often overlook the correlation of RLS with venous diseases. However, phlebology case studies have shown that there is a strong case to made that varicose vein disease can be a triggering condition for RLS. If you are questioning whether you might have RLS, here is what you need to know about the disorder.

Symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome

People who deal with RLS have an irresistible urge to want to move their legs to ease the sensations they feel. However, the sensations that those affected feel are generally not the same as someone who does not deal with RLS. Some find it hard to define, but patients report perceptions of throbbing, itching, pulling, and even crawling within their legs. RLS is also known to occur in one leg or two legs at at time, although it most commonly affects both sides of the body.

To ease the sensations caused by RLS, people affected by it commonly move their legs so that it goes away, hence why the disorder is named Restless Leg Syndrome. Unfortunately, RLS impacts those who deal with it throughout all hours of the day, which commonly leaves them sleepless and exhausted. On top of that, it is common for people to have periods of remission where it will go away for days, weeks, and even months before becoming a problem again. This can ultimately cause those affected by it to believe the problem has resolved itself and avoid the needed medical attention to resolve it.

Diagnosing and Treating Restless Leg Syndrome From Venous Diseases

Before going to see a vein specialist to examine your potential venous issues related to RLS, there are a few things you can do yourself to help alleviate the sensations. Keeping a healthy diet and physical behavior patterns is a good place to start. Upgrading your diet to focus on more fruits and vegetables while reducing bad eating habits can help relieve some of the symptoms. On top of that, reducing or eliminating the use of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine can minimize the sensations.

If your RLS symptoms are still occurring or getting worse, schedule an appointment with the Vein Center of Orland Park. Our team will sit down with you during a one-on-one consultation and evaluate any venous issues you might have. From there, we will consider options such as minimally invasive vein treatment and/or the use of compression stockings.

Leg Cramps

What Causes Leg Cramps?

When valves in the veins become damaged or networks of dilated veins appear at the skin surface, blood starts to pool and stagnate within the abnormal veins in the legs. The blood no longer circulates normally through the body. There is a build up of lactic acid and other metabolites within the legs and cramping occurs. When cramping starts people generally seek relief by getting up and walking. The muscle contractions when walking allow some of the stagnating blood in the legs to circulate again thereby relieving the leg cramping.

Symptoms of Leg Cramps

One large difference between leg cramps and RLS is that leg cramp sensations are generally more painful than that of RLS. The feelings of throbbing or tightening are usually more amplified than that of someone who is dealing with RLS. Leg cramps from venous diseases can also show more symptoms than just the pain associated with it. Patients can show signs of swelling legs, discoloration of the skin, and even ulcers due to blood clots.

Diagnosing and Treating Leg Cramps

Much like with relieving the symptoms of RLS, changing your diet and exercise routines can help reduce the sensations of leg cramps. If you decide you would still like to see a vein specialist, get in contact with the Vein Center of Orland Park. We will make sure that you are properly diagnosed and treated for any venous issues you might have related to leg cramps. Treatment options can involve medication, compression stockings, and minimal invasive vein treatment.

Schedule A Consultation With The Vein Center of Orland Park

Dr. George C. Kuefner has been serving Orland Park community for over 30 years now. He is a distinguished phlebologist with credentials as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and a Registered Physician in Vascular Interpretation (RPVI). The Vein Center of Orland Park has been helping patients If you believe you might be suffering from RLS or leg cramps, schedule a consultation with us, (708) 460-8800.

We look forward to helping you!