Aching Leg Pain Can Be a Symptom of Lower Extremity Venous Disease
A common symptom of lower extremity venous disease is a dull, heavy ache in the legs. Frequently, the pain is worse in the evenings particularly after a day of sitting or standing.
There are many causes and types of leg pain. Leg pain can result from arthritis, overuse, or injuries in joints or bones or in muscles, ligaments, tendons or other soft tissues. Some types of leg pain can be traced to problems in your lower spine, such as a pinched nerve. However, for most of the patients we see at Precision VIR in Dallas, leg pain is caused by blood clots, blocked arteries, varicose veins, or more serious vascular disease conditions.
People experience leg pain in many forms; however, venous disease patients often describe the leg pain as aching, or legs that feel heavy or tired. This is because a common symptom of lower extremity venous disease is a dull, heavy ache in the legs. Some leg pain is simply annoying, but more severe leg pain can affect your ability to walk or to bear weight on your leg. For venous disease, frequently the pain is worse in the evenings particularly after a day of sitting or standing.
Patients with arterial disease of the legs often describe burning pain in the muscles, that worsens the longer the patient walks. The burning pain in the muscle is typically relieved by stopping walking and resting the legs. Patients with more serious arterial disease of the legs may have pain all the time, especially at night when the legs are elevated. Often times, patients will find themselves letting their feet dangle off the edge of the bed to allow gravity to “pull” the oxygenated blood into their feet through the tiny openings in the clogged arteries. In the most serious cases, there may be an open wound, ulcer or sore in the legs, feet or toes that does not heal due to the lack of blood flow. When this happens, the patient is at risk of undergoing amputation to save their life.
Types of Leg Pain We Often See
- Vascular pain: Causes include deep vein thrombosis (DVT), peripheral arterial disease (PAD), varicose veins, and varicose eczema in which skin discoloration accompanies the pain.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease: Pain in the leg due to poor circulation sometimes indicates Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Without treatment, it can be fatal. Read more about PAD on our website.
- Critical Limb Ischemia: Advanced peripheral arterial disease (PAD) where there is tissue damage and tissue loss due to the lack of oxygen getting to the limb. This usually results in open wounds or ulcers on the feet or toes and urgent / emergent treatment is recommended.
- Blocked Stents and Bypass Grafts: Sometimes stents or grafts placed previously for PAD become blocked. This is known as an occlusion. The doctors at Precision VIR are experts at endovascular techniques for restoring flow through these occluded implants.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Leg pain DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis refers to a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs, and can cause pain, swelling and redness of the affected leg DVT may progress to a blood clot in the lungs, known as a Pulmonary Embolus (PEDVT can happen after sitting down for a long time, prolonged immobilization, blood clotting disorder, cancer, or injury. Symptoms include swelling and a hot, painful sensation on one side of the leg. This may only occur, or worsen when walking or standing up. Emergency attention is needed for people who feel dizzy and have and sudden shortness of breath, or cough up blood. These could be signs that DVT has developed into a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lung. Read more about DVT on our website.
Some leg pain can be treated at home with conservative medical management, but severe or persistent pain can mean a more serious condition. The first step to getting relief from leg pain is to properly diagnose the cause.
Leg pain can sometimes indicate serious vascular problems. These require medical attention as some can occasionally be fatal. People who show symptoms of vascular disease need medical attention due to the risk of heart attack or stroke. If your lifestyle or medical history makes you prone to vascular problems in the leg, you should be aware of possible symptoms.
See a Doctor for Leg Pain in Dallas
Leg pain has many different causes, and the symptoms often overlap. If they persist, worsen, or make life difficult, it is important to see your physician. A doctor’s diagnosis and strategy can narrow down the possibilities, rule out inappropriate causes, and provide timely treatment.
If you feel you may be struggling with leg pain that makes it difficult to sleep, walk, or engage in simple everyday activities, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation. Our doctors will perform a detailed clinical evaluation that may include lab testing and vascular testing such as duplex ultrasound in order to determine the cause of your venous disease and recommend the best and most appropriate treatment.
Call us today at 214-382-3200 to schedule your consultation.