Leg pain can be caused by many causes, of which most can be classified as neurological, musculoskeletal, or vascular. Although you should work with your healthcare provider to identify the cause of any consistent pain you may feel, be aware that vascular issues can become serious or life-threatening if left untreated. Let’s take a closer look at one vascular condition that can cause leg pain:Varicose Veins
Description – Instead of directing blood flow from the extremities to the heart and lungs, damaged valves inthe veins cause blood to pool in the feet and legs, stretching the veins out of shape. The condition is recognizable by the appearance of twisted dark blue or purple veins bulging at the surface of the skin in the legs.
Risk factors – Individuals over 50 years of age are most often affected, as well as those who stand for long periods of time, are overweight, or who have family history. Women are most often affected, especially after multiple pregnancies and during menopause.
- Visible on the skin surface
- Painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
- Burning, throbbing, muscle cramps
- Legs feel achy and heavy
- Burst of pain in the groin or thigh area
- Pain worsens after sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Swelling in the lower legs
- Itching, irritation, or inflammation of the skin around veins
- Irritation of connective tissues
- Hardening of the vein
- Veins may bleed
- Ulcers can form
Treatment – Elevating legs to redirect blood flow and compression stockings may be helpful in mild cases. Most varicose veins can be completely eliminated with a quick, non-invasive outpatient procedure in which each affected vein is permanently closed. An ultrasound may be used to check blood flow.
Is your leg pain caused by varicose veins?
While you might see many common symptoms in this list, be sure to discuss your observations with your healthcare provider. In most cases, varicose veins can be easily treated but more than half of these symptoms are shared with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a much more serious condition that could be life-threatening if left untreated.
Get your legs checked out today. The vein experts at Illinois Vein Specialists are completely focused on vascular issues and provide state-of-the-art non-invasive treatments on-site. Set up an appointment today and say goodbye to leg pain.