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Are Varicose Veins Responsible for Your Leg Cramps?

stretching-814227_1280Many athletes suffer from leg cramps following intense physical activity where they are flexing and extending the long muscles of the upper and lower legs. Individuals who stand for extended periods of time, such as policemen, dentists, or cashiers, may also note a bevy of cramping during or after their work shift is complete. With these jobs, known as “standing occupations”, the prevalence of leg cramps increases.

Sometimes, leg cramps are a secondary symptom to venous disease; the treatment that remedies varicose veins, therefore, cures the leg cramps. In fact, one of the first positive results of vein therapy that patients report is relief from leg cramps. Orlando vein treatment center, Florida Vein Care, offers some insight into varicose veins and their role in leg cramps.

Leg cramps are common at night when the patient plantar flexes the foot (pointing the toe) because the muscle in the back of the leg, the gastrocnemius, contracts. This contraction compresses the veins in the lower leg and decreases blood flow. The result is lack of oxygenation to the gastrocnemius, which the body perceives as a cramp.

Your veins and arteries are significantly different in structure. While arteries are encircled with muscles that literally pump blood through the vascular system, veins rely on valves. As blood enters the veins, the valves keep it from back washing as it is pushed forward by the force of the contractions within the heart and arteries. Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the valves do not close properly and blood pools in areas well below the heart, such as the legs. Venous insufficiency is alleviated with elevation in the early stages, but time and lack of early treatment may require surgery to repair. When veins are unable to properly circulate blood, carbon dioxide is not removed from muscle cells rapidly enough, and oxygen is likewise not delivered quickly enough. Cramping is a side effect of this disorder.

Treatment often involves endovenous laser treatment (EVLT), which shrinks the compromised veins, causing the body to re-route blood as it returns to the heart. This re-routing does not negatively affect the functioning of the vascular system since so many veins route blood from the lower extremities.

If you suffer from leg cramps, either diurnal or nocturnal, contact Orlando vein treatment center, Florida Vein Care, at (407) 805-8989 for a consultation. Treatment may be as easy as a dietary change, or it may involve minimally invasive surgery under a local anesthesia. The end result is the same: disappearing leg cramps and a greater enjoyment in life.

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