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What helps with varicose vein discomfort at night?

I have varicose veins in my legs. They bother me most in the calf area and somewhat right about my knee. DVT has already been ruled out by a sonogram, but the veins are definitely still uncomfortable. This discomfort is worse at night when I am lying in bed. Why would the vein discomfort be worse at night? Is there anything to help with this pain?

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Doctors Answers (2)

Varicose veins have slow and turbulent blood flow which is prone to developing superficial blood clots called phlebitis. This can be a cause of aching pain, which is due to the inflammation and not due to blockage of blood flow. They often hurt most at the end of the day due to gravity and blood pooling in the legs, especially if you have to stand for long periods of time. Many DVTs are actually not painful and may produce swelling in one leg. The danger from a DVT is not from compromised circulation in the leg (due to the rich collateral circulation). The danger from a DVT is in the event that the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs where it blocks circulation (called a pulmonary embolism). Phlebitis is not dangerous, but can be painful and can keep reoccurring due to the varicose veins. The best approach would be to have the varicose veins evaluated and treated in a vein clinic. Wearing compression hose during the day is also helpful in limiting venous congestion and phlebitis, and you do not need to sleep in the hose.

Symptomatic relief often comes with routine daily use of medical grade compression hose when sitting or standing, exercise of the legs, avoidance of prolonged sitting or standing during the day, periodic elevation of the legs higher than the heart AND getting the venous insufficiency treated by a vein specialist.

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