Occasional leg heaviness is not a cause for concern. However, if leg heaviness (especially if coupled with pain and swelling) becomes a regular occurrence, a visit to a vein doctor is recommended. Here’s why.
Are you struggling with legs that feel heavy, making it difficult to walk or even lift your legs as usual? Does running a simple errand feel like you’re dragging your feet through quicksand? This frustrating, uncomfortable sensation may be caused by a vein condition called chronic venous insufficiency, otherwise known as vein disease.
According to Center for Vascular Medicine, vein disease is a chronic disease process that hinders the circulatory system. However, you’re not alone! Chronic venous insufficiency is common, affecting about 1 in 20 adults.
But how can you know if vein disease is the cause of your leg heaviness?
Symptoms of vein disease
Vein disease occurs when the veins in the legs become damaged and cannot adequately circulate blood back to the heart. Incompetent veins can cause blood to pool in the legs, which increases the pressure legs and results in symptoms such as:
- Swelling in the legs or ankles
- Aching or cramping in the legs
- Varicose veins (enlarged, twisted veins that can be seen under the skin)
- Itching or burning in the legs
- Skin changes, such as redness, discoloration, or a leathery look
- Restless leg syndrome
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
What should I do if I experience regular leg heaviness?
If you suffer from any of the above symptoms, you must see a board-certified vein specialist for consultation and thorough evaluation. Your vein doctor will take your medical history and conduct tests to determine the severity of your vein problems. You will leave this appointment with a customized treatment plan.
Treatment options for leg heaviness caused by vein disease
Today’s cutting-edge vein procedures are performed as an outpatient by a board-certified vascular surgeon using only local anesthetic. These procedures are designed to improve circulation during an office visit and include the following:
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
A medicine called a sclerosant is injected using ultrasound guidance. The sclerosant irritates the diseased vein, causing it to collapse and be absorbed into the body. Blood then flows through healthier nearby veins. Per the NIH National Library of Medicine, "ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy is a safe treatment... with an excellent immediate result."
Endovenous laser therapy
A thin fiber is gently inserted through the skin and heats the competent vein. The vein closes and is absorbed into the body. The blood supply in that area is rerouted naturally through other healthier veins.
The heat emitted through a thin catheter closes the diseased vein, rerouting blood through healthy nearby veins. Per the NIH National Library of Medicine, the radiofrequency ablation technique “is an effective and safe treatment that provides lower complication rates and increased patient satisfaction...”
During this minor surgical procedure, the diseased vein is removed through tiny incisions that require only a band-aid to heal. Like the other vein procedures, blood is rerouted. Patients return to their normal activities immediately with few restrictions.
Don't let heavy legs hold you back any longer!
If you are experiencing heavy legs or other vein problems, it's essential to seek treatment from a qualified vein specialist. If left untreated, venous insufficiency can lead to more serious complications, such as blood clots and skin infections.
Center for Vein Restoration is the nation’s leader in vein care
Since 2007, Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) has provided safe, personalized, and positive treatment options for vein disease in a comfortable outpatient office setting. Since our inception, we have become the nation’s leading physician-led vein center, with 100+ clinic locations across the United States. Our vein doctors are board-certified expert leaders in the vein care industry.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 800-FIX-LEGS (800-349-5347). You can also easily book an appointment online.