Depending on the stage of venous disease, patients may experience a significant level of discomfort or pain. This pain happens for several different reasons. First there are pain fibers in the walls of veins that sense when a vein is stretched. As the blood pools in the legs pressure is generated and the veins become stretched causing pain. Secondly, as blood pools in the legs pressure pushes blood plasma into the soft tissues causing swelling of the lower legs. This puts undue pressure on the skin that causes pain.
Other symptoms of chronic venous disease include a feeling of heaviness in the legs, cramps, swelling, skin tightness and/or thickening, itching, and the formation of ulcers around the ankles. Sensations of pain may increase when the patient has been standing and may improve when legs are elevated.
Your doctor may advise you to do the following if you are suffering from leg pain caused by venous disease:
- Wear compression stockings to improve blood flow and discourage blood from pooling
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers
- Avoid standing for long periods
- Elevate the legs when possible
However, for long-term relief, your doctor will need to treat the underlying cause and not just the symptoms. At The Vein Institute, Dr. Gardner may recommend one of the following (or a combination of procedures) to eliminate diseased veins and restore comfort and mobility: