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Leg Pain and Your Veins

Leg Pain and Your Veins

If you experience ongoing leg pain, vein disease could be the cause.

“Veins have a very important job – circulating blood throughout the body and returning it to the heart,” said Fred D. Johnson Jr., MD, interventional radiologist at VITA Surgery/Vascular. “However, blood clots, blocked arteries or damaged valves can hinder that process.”

If you’re dealing with leg pain, one of the following vein diseases could be the culprit.

  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms inside a vein deep within the leg and blocks proper blood flow. Many people with this disease may experience no symptoms, while others may have pain when walking and inflammation and/or pressure in the leg. Having a condition that raises the chance of blood clots, being bedridden or being inactive can all raise your risk for DVT.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when the peripheral arteries narrow and constrict blood flow due to plaque build-up in artery walls. PAD in the lower body can cause pain and tiredness in the legs during daily activities. Age, high blood pressure and diabetes can put you at a higher risk for developing PAD.
  • Venous insufficiency occurs when the valves that carry blood become damaged and prevent proper blood flow. Swelling in the legs, darkened skin and varicose veins are often signs of improper venous drainage. Age, genetics, pregnancy and inactivity are risk factors for venous insufficiency.

Five Solutions for Vein Disease

Treatments for vein disease range from conservative to surgical. Here’s a look at some of the options:

  1. Compression stockings encourage blood flow in the legs and help prevent swelling and blood clots.
  2. Elevating your feet above the heart three to four times a day can promote circulation and blood flow.
  3. Medications to lower cholesterol or keep blood from clotting in the arteries may be appropriate for you.
  4. Regular physical activity, such as gentle stretching, walking and swimming, helps maintain healthy blood flow.
  5. Surgery may be necessary for patients who don’t see improvement after the above treatments. Options include angioplasty, peripheral artery bypass or varicose vein stripping.

Dr. Johnson and the other providers at VITA Vascular/Surgery can help you address vein-related leg pain. Call 229.279.6898 today to schedule an appointment.