3 Vascular Causes of Leg Pain

3 Vascular Causes of Leg Pain

Of course you may notice leg pain following an intense leg workout. But if you have leg pain and it’s been months or years since you’ve engaged in strenuous exercise, there may be something else going on.

Leg pain is a common symptom of vascular conditions that affect circulation in your lower extremities. Our team at Advanced Vascular Solutions in Sebastian, Florida, led by Dr. Hadi Shalhoub, specializes in diagnosing and treating vascular diseases.

If you have leg pain from an unknown cause, it could be due to one of these three vascular conditions. 

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

You may be familiar with coronary artery disease (CAD), a condition characterized by narrowing or blockages in the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. This narrowing develops from a buildup of plaque — cholesterol and other substances — along blood vessel walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

But your coronary arteries aren’t the only blood vessels at risk of atherosclerosis. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is the narrowing or blockage of your peripheral arteries — those that supply oxygen-rich blood to your extremities, including your arms and legs. Although PAD may affect any peripheral artery, it most often affects the arteries in your legs.

Leg pain when walking or climbing stairs that goes away when you stop moving — a symptom known as claudication — is a tell-tale sign of PAD. If you have this type of leg pain, you may have PAD.

Having PAD puts you at greater risk of CAD and having a heart attack or stroke. 

Varicose veins

Varicose veins have a reputation for being more of a cosmetic issue than a medical concern. But those bumpy, ropey blue lines on your legs may be signs of a deeper vascular problem, especially if your varicose veins cause leg pain.

Your veins have a series of valves that open and close, helping push blood in one direction — back to your heart. Damage to these valves or the walls of your veins affects circulation, allowing blood to flow backward and pool. The additional pressure from the blood enlarges the veins, creating the visible blue and purple road map on your legs. 

Varicose veins don’t always cause physical symptoms, but your veins may itch and your legs may feel achy at the end of a long day. Varicose veins may also cause phlebitis, which is inflammation of the vein, and increase your risk of developing blood clots. 

Chronic venous insufficiency

Varicose veins are a visible symptom of chronic venous insufficiency. Like varicose veins and spider veins, chronic venous insufficiency occurs because of damage to the valves or walls in your veins, disrupting the flow of blood. 

However, in addition to affecting the superficial veins you see, chronic venous insufficiency also affects the veins you can’t see. With this vascular problem, you may have swelling and skin discoloration in your ankles. Poor circulation from chronic venous insufficiency may also increase your risk of developing nonhealing leg ulcers. 

Achy, tired legs are a common symptom of chronic venous insufficiency.

Getting answers for leg pain

There’s no reason to suffer with your leg pain or dismiss the discomfort as part of your body’s aging process. We offer many solutions to treat these vascular conditions. 

We can complete a series of vascular ultrasounds to determine the cause of your leg pain, and we can design a plan to ease your discomfort. 

For PAD, we recommend lifestyle changes to prevent worsening of your atherosclerosis. Minimally invasive endovascular surgery may also be an option to improve circulation to your legs and ease your leg pain.

For varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, we offer many treatments, including radiofrequency ablation and the VenaSeal™ Closure System to eliminate the problem veins.  

Muscle cramps aren’t the only cause of leg pain. If you have ongoing discomfort in your legs, you may have a vascular condition. We can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment. Call our office in Sebastian, Florida, or click the “Book online” button to schedule a consultation today.

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