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What can cause a restless feeling in the legs?

I always feel like I need to move my legs, especially when I'm sitting or trying to sleep, and I feel better as soon as I move them. I also have smallish varicose veins on my legs. I'm wondering if the restlessness is Restless Leg Syndrome, or is it because of the varicose veins? Are they connected? If I get the veins removed, will it help with the restless feeling?


Doctors Answers (4)

Restlessness can be associated with venous reflux (back flow in veins). I would first try compression hose thigh-length and see if it improves. If so, see a board certified surgeon vascular trained who specializes in treating veins. This will include an ultrasound to see if you have reflux. He/she can then offer options for treatment. Restlessness can also be idiopathic, which means no known cause.

There can be a connection between Restless Leg Syndrome and varicose veins.

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition associated with a strong urge to move one's legs that generally happens when at rest and especially at bedtime, affecting sleep. The risk factors include low iron anemia, kidney failure, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and pregnancy. Correcting anemia, correcting venous insufficiency and varicose veins as well as several medications have been helpful in improving the conditions or its symptoms. If you are anemic or have varicose veins, then treating them prior to starting treatment with medication is recommended.

Very good possibility. Restless legs are often misdiagnosed. See your local phlebologist for appropriate diagnosis and treatment. Insurance usually covers treatment.

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