You’re feeling sleep-deprived because uncomfortable legs are keeping you up at night. Itchiness, cramping, creeping and crawling sensations — these are just some of the descriptions we hear often.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), which affects an estimated 7% to 10% of the population in the United States, may be related to your vascular health, in which case vein treatments provide the best solution for getting better sleep.
To help you figure out whether your restless legs might stem from a vascular issue, Dr. Satjit Bhusri and the team here at Upper East Side Cardiology present the following information.
Restless legs syndrome can either be primary or secondary. With primary RLS, the issue is neurological, while secondary RLS is related to an underlying condition, such as anemia, neuropathy, kidney disease, and venous issues.
The main culprit when it comes to secondary RLS is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which affects more than 25 million adults in the US.
Under normal circumstances, the veins in your legs rely on one-way valves that keep your blood flowing in the right direction — up toward your heart. With CVI, these valves weaken and fail to close properly, which allows blood to back up in your legs.
As a result of CVI, people experience:
Often, these symptoms flare at night because your legs are inactive, which makes you more aware of the sensations.
If you have varicose veins and you’re struggling with restless legs syndrome, the odds are quite good that the two are related. Many of our patients come to us complaining of restless legs, and we solve the problem through our vein treatments, which include:
To give you an idea about how successful vein treatments are in resolving restless legs, one study of 134 patients with CVI who underwent vein treatments reported that nearly two-thirds of participants experienced a reduction in RLS symptoms.
As an added bonus, our vein treatments make quick work of varicose veins, giving you back smooth legs without bulging veins along the surface.
To prevent RLS from returning and varicose veins from reforming, we provide you with some recommendations, such as wearing compression stockings, elevating your legs more often, and getting more exercise.
To learn more about how vein treatments might improve your sleep, please call our New York City office on the Upper East Side at (212) 752-3464 to schedule a consultation.