Are your legs keeping you up at night? You lie down and try to sleep, but your legs seem to have a life of their own. Sometimes it’s a pins-and-needles feeling, and sometimes your legs itch. In addition, your brain seems to signal your legs that it’s always time to move; they just won’t stay still.
You may have symptoms throughout the day, but they can become worse at night. If you get up and move around, it helps, but you can’t — and shouldn’t — keep that up indefinitely. You need your sleep. If these are your symptoms, you likely have restless leg syndrome (RLS).
Part of the problem with restless leg syndrome is that your symptoms can come and go. You may think it won’t bother you anymore, only to suffer a resurgence. What was once a mild disturbance becomes a condition you can’t endure if it gets to the point where you can’t sleep. The disorder affects everyone differently.
Chronic inability to get enough sleep increases your risk for many types of heart disease, kills your sex drive, and not surprisingly, contributes to depression. If restless leg syndrome is causing you to miss out on sleep, you need a solution. Well, look no farther than the board-certified physicians at the Vein Institute, with locations all across Connecticut. We can help.
Who suffers from restless leg syndrome?
Twice as many women suffer from RLS as do men. Part of the reason may be that it can develop during pregnancy. And having two or more children also places you at greater risk of the disorder.
Increasing age is another factor linked to RLS, as well as genetics. If your close family relatives have RLS, you’re more likely to have it too.
Restless leg syndrome is linked to chronic venous disease
A link between restless leg syndrome and superficial venous insufficiency has been the key to more targeted treatment of RLS. Superficial venous insufficiency means you have limited blood flow from your legs to your heart. Instead of traveling back to your heart where it’s supposed to go, the blood pools in your legs, often causing varicose veins and other vein conditions.
The association between superficial venous insufficiency and RLS was first noted in a 1995 study and confirmed in a 2019 study published in the National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine. The latter study concludes that treating chronic venous insufficiency improves restless leg disorder and recommends venous ultrasound to help target treatment for restless leg syndrome patients.
What experts still don’t understand is whether RLS is present simultaneously with chronic venous insufficiency or whether chronic venous insufficiency is the specific cause of RLS. But the important point is that your physician at the Vein Institute has the expertise to help relieve your RLS symptoms.
Treatment of venous disease helps relieve restless leg syndrome symptoms
Today’s treatments for vein problems, including varicose veins caused by chronic venous insufficiency, don’t involve painful surgery. Your physician at the Vein Institute performs tests to determine your vein issues and recommends one of several effective therapies.
Foam sclerotherapy can eliminate spider veins or smaller varicose veins. A special foam is injected into your blood vessels that closes the vein; the excess blood is rerouted to healthy veins.
If tests reveal that you have another underlying issue, your doctor may recommend radiofrequency ablation, a minimally invasive treatment to close varicose veins, or other, similar treatment.
To learn more about RLS and how we can help treat it, call the Vein Institute at any of our locations or book an appointment online today.