What Are Heavy And Tired Legs?
Heavy legs can be a symptom of an underlying vein problem. If you experience heavy or tired legs, then this may be caused by excessive blood pooling in the veins of your legs. This symptom often occurs in combination with other sensations or symptoms: aching, sore or itching legs, pain and cramps, when disease is advanced discolouration or skin ulceration around your veins may occur. Sometimes you will notice bulging veins above the skin surface of your legs.
It is recommended to get your legs and veins assessed by your doctor, to avoid chronic vein problems.
Causes of Heavy And Tired Legs
If you have heavy legs combined with any of the other symptoms, you may be suffering from venous reflux. This is when the valves in your leg veins are not functioning properly, causing the blood to pool in your legs. Normally, the valves regulate the blood flow in the direction of the heart. This condition of the malfunctioning valves in your veins is called venous reflux or venous insufficiency, and it is often the underlying cause of varicose or bulging veins.
Attending to the underlying vein problem is important to avoid more complications. If the condition is left untreated, venous reflux may cause swelling of the legs, venous eczema, venous thrombosis (blood clots) and spontaneous bleeding.
Where Do I Start?
Submit your enquiry through our assessment form to identify the symptoms you’re experiencing and we will contact you to book an initial ultrasound assessment. This detailed scan will help diagnose if the sensation of heavy legs is linked to venous reflux. A thorough clinical assessment will help us recommend the right treatment for your particular vein problem.
At The Vein Clinic Perth we use the latest, most innovative, non-surgical treatments to treat venous insufficiency. This means that your treatment does not have to involve surgery or a stay at the hospital. You will be able to continue your everyday life and return to work soon after your procedure.
Do Your Legs Look Like This?
Our Approach to Vein Treatment
Treatment of large malfunctioning veins (trunk)
Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLA) to great, small, and/or anterior accessory saphenous veins. 60 minutes
Treatment of large varicose veins (branches)
Phlebectomy removal of larger bulging varicose veins 90-120 minutescombined with
Ultrasound-Guided Foam Sclerotherapy (UGFS) on smaller veins. 30 minutes
Treatment of small varicose veins (branches) if required
Extra sessions of UGFS to close smaller veins if identified as required at post-treatment follow-up scan 30 minutes
You may not require this stage.
Optional treatment surface veins (leaves)
Usually done by Microsclerotherapy 30 minutes
Most patients require multiple treatment sessions to remove spider veins.
Follow up and maintenance to ensure best results
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have varicose veins?
Most varicose vein issues are hereditary. If you have one parent with varicose veins your risk of having them is around 65%. If both parents are affected the risk rises to approximately 90%. Another main risk factor for women is pregnancy, with the risk increasing with each additional pregnancy. Standing occupations such as hairdressers, nurses, and chefs also have a high risk of varicose veins as gravity puts pressure on the veins and weakens them.
How do I prevent varicose veins?
Once varicose veins are present, they will not resolve of their own accord. Measures to reduce the rate of progression include maintaining a normal healthy weight and going for regular walks of 20-30 minutes per day. Reducing the length of time spent on the feet in a stationary position may help and alternating between standing and sitting positions during the day will also reduce the pressure on the veins.
What will happen if I don’t treat these veins?
Generally, without treatment, varicose veins will get progressively worse over time. Symptoms may occur such as heaviness, ache, pain, and tiredness in the legs towards the end of the day. Further progression may result in leg swelling, itch, skin discolouration, and eventual skin ulceration. Blood clots related to superficial venous thrombosis may also occur in severe cases and can lead to the more serious condition of Deep Vein Thrombosis.
What treatment options exist?
Outdated, old-fashioned options such as surgical stripping are rapidly becoming obsolete due to poor long-term success, with recurrence rates of up to 50%. Modern treatment options include endovenous laser ablation, sclerotherapy injections, and ultrasound-guided ambulatory phlebectomy. In many cases a combination of different treatments will give the best long-term results.
Will the veins come back after treatment?
Many people are concerned that the treatment will be of limited value because the veins will just come back. This was certainly the case in the days of surgical stripping with a 50% recurrence rate at 5 years; however, using the latest minimally invasive techniques, we can reduce the risk of recurrent varicose veins to the baseline risk of approximately 3% per year.
What is the downtime following treatment?
This depends on the type of procedure performed and the severity of the veins being treated. Modern treatment with laser can involve no time off work and approximately two weeks off heavy gym work and four weeks off international travel.
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