Aching Legs? This Vein Problem Could Be Why
When we experience mild leg pain, we often associate it with muscle strain or overuse. Oftentimes, that’s exactly what it is, and the pain goes away within a few days or a week with rest and proper care. However, recurring or persistent pain, especially in the legs, can be a sign of varicose veins. Most people associate varicose veins only with unsightly bulging and knotted veins under the skin. While this is the primary and most obvious symptom, pain does occur in some cases.
Are Varicose Veins Causing Your Leg Pain?
In the absence of physical trauma or very specific symptoms, it may be hard for a patient to determine if varicose veins cause their leg pain without further diagnostic testing. However, typical symptoms will include:
- Deep aching that usually worsens in warm weather or prolonged standing
- Itchiness over the varicose veins
- Cramps in the leg
- Swollen ankles, feet and toes
Your doctor will perform a physical examination as well as diagnostic testing to ensure that it is indeed varicose veins and not another condition.
Other Potential Diagnoses:
Painful varicose veins may also represent a follow-on or underlying disorder. These may include:
Phlebitis: Representing the inflammation of a vein due to one or more blood clots. When blood backs up in the vein, causing varicose veins, there is a greater risk of blood clotting as well. The result is inflammation.
Ulcer: If left untreated, varicose veins can lead to open sores. Known as venous ulcers, these occur because of the pressure placed on the blood vessel due to the backup of blood in the vein. Venous ulcers can be hard to treat, slow to resolve and require specialized wound care.
Other Possible Causes of Leg Pain
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Peripheral Artery Disease
- Chronic Venous insufficiency
- Muscle Overuse
- Strain or Tear of Ligaments or Muscles
Note that the symptoms of each of the above conditions may vary and can represent one or more problems that should be addressed by your medical team. If you have persistent leg pain, please contact your medical team to get an accurate diagnosis.