5 Different Treatments for Chronic Leg Pain

5 Different Treatments for Chronic Leg Pain

You rely on your legs to stand, walk, and climb stairs. Leg pain of any kind can affect your ability to get around. And if your pain is chronic, it may change how you live and work.

Like many people, you may consider your discomfort an unfortunate side effect of the aging process. But it’s important to recognize that your ongoing leg pain is a symptom of an underlying medical problem. Though arthritis is a common cause, chronic leg pain is also a symptom of vascular conditions like peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

At Advanced Vascular Solutions in Sebastian, Florida, our wound and vascular specialist, Dr. Hadi Shalhoub, recommends ultrasounds to screen for common but often overlooked vascular problems for patients who come in with complaints of leg pain. 

Treatment for chronic leg pain varies depending on the cause. Here, we describe some of the things you can do to ease your discomfort. 

1. Start an exercise program

Leg pain and exercise may not sound like a good combination, but physical activity can minimize your chronic leg pain. Whether the pain is due to arthritis, PAD, or vein disease, regular exercise mobilizes the joints and promotes better circulation, improving the underlying cause of your aching legs.

We recommend 30 minutes of low-impact aerobic activity five days a week, such as walking, swimming, or riding a bike. Regular physical activity may also help you get to or maintain a healthy weight.

2. Eat a balanced diet

What you eat could be contributing to your leg pain. If you have circulation problems because of varicose veins or CVI, you may experience leg swelling that exacerbates your discomfort. Too much sodium may cause your body to hold on to water, worsening leg edema.

Diet is also an important part of treating peripheral arterial disease. PAD is narrowing or blockage in the arteries in your lower extremities from the buildup of plaque in the blood vessel walls. Leg pain when walking or climbing stairs is the classic symptom of PAD. Eating a heart-healthy diet may prevent your PAD from getting worse. 

If you have weight challenges, a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein may help you get closer to your weight goals. Weight loss reduces stress on your legs, easing chronic pain.

3. Elevate your feet

You may consider your varicose veins a cosmetic issue, not a health concern. But these enlarged veins occur because of damage to the walls or valves in your veins. 

The veins in your legs push blood back to heart for reoxygenation, working hard against the force of gravity. When you have vein damage, the blood may flow backward and pool, creating the enlarged visible veins. 

Though varicose veins only affect the superficial veins under your skin, they may be a symptom of chronic venous insufficiency. CVI is a more serious vein disease that affects circulation and causes other problems like venous ulcers. 

Keeping your feet elevated may improve circulation in your legs and prevent some of the related problems that occur with these vein conditions. Try keeping your feet elevated above your heart for 15 minutes a few times a day. 

4. Wear compression stockings

Compression stockings also improve circulation in your legs, which may ease leg pain from vein disorders. These stockings squeeze the legs and the veins, preventing the blood from pooling.

You need to wear compression stockings daily to gain the most benefits. These stockings may even prevent your varicose veins from getting worse.

5. Consider vascular treatments

When conservative care fails to provide significant relief from your leg pain or if you have a serious circulation problem, we may recommend a vascular procedure to treat the underlying cause of your leg pain.

We offer many treatments for vein disease, including sclerotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and the VenaSeal™ Closure System. These procedures close diseased veins, allowing your body to reroute blood flow through healthier veins, improving your circulation.

For PAD, we may recommend minimally invasive balloon angioplasty and stenting, which opens the blocked or narrowed artery improving circulation in the arteries.

Your chronic leg pain is a symptom of an underlying health condition, not a side effect of aging. Let us help you find out what’s causing your discomfort so you can get the right treatment. Call our office, or click the “Book online” button to schedule a consultation today.

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