In our Atlanta vein clinics, we see a lot of patients who believe they have a condition called restless leg syndrome. RLS is a complicated condition, and can be difficult and frustrating to describe to those not familiar with it. However, if you suffer from it, you know how much it can interfere with your quality of life.

What Is Restless Leg Syndrome?

Former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart has described RLS as having the “jimmy legs.” For many RLS sufferers, this seems like an apt description. People with RLS (some 10 percent of the population) often experience uncontrollable twitching and jerking of their legs, particularly when they lie down. Some people experience cramping, throbbing, itching, achiness, or even pain as well. For many people, this interferes with their ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

symptoms of rlsThere are medications that help relieve the symptoms of RLS. However, if the cause of the RLS is not nerve related, but is instead being caused by symptoms of venous insufficiency, these treatments won’t help. Further, they can have serious side effects.

How Are Varicose Veins and RLS Related?

RLS can be caused or exacerbated by a variety of medical issues, including anemia, diabetes, kidney or thyroid disease, and Parkinson’s disease. For many people, however, it’s a symptom of venous insufficiency, which is a failure of the blood to travel back to the heart and lungs to be reoxygenated. Blood must be carried through veins for this return trip, and if one-way valves in veins – there to keep blood from flowing backward – have failed, blood pools and causes discomfort. That’s why we see so many varicose vein sufferers who also experience RLS. For these sufferers, varicose vein removal can relieve their RLS.

How VeinInnovations Can Relieve the Symptoms of RLS

Varicose vein treatments such as endovenous laser ablation (EVLA) and sclerotherapy have been shown to relieve RLS-type symptoms in a significant number of patients with venous insufficiency. These are just two of the minimally-invasive, practically painless vein treatments that we offer at VeinInnovations. They can be done in the comfort of one of our three Atlanta-area vein treatment centers and require little or no downtime. Our patients quickly return to their normal activities and many experience complete or significant reduction of their RLS-type symptoms.

If you’re suffering from RLS and varicose veins, venous insufficiency may likely be the underlying cause of the RLS. Even if you don’t have varicose veins, our vein specialists have the diagnostic tools to determine whether you have venous insufficiency that could be causing the RLS-type symptoms. Call or contact us online to schedule an appointment with one of our Atlanta vein specialists.