Nerve Pain From Varicose Veins: Causes And Treatment
Painful nerve sensations may occur as a result of veins in the legs, such as achy or heavy feelings. Other common symptoms of muscle cramps include burning, throbbing, muscle cramping, and swelling in the lower legs. After sitting or standing for an extended period of time, you may notice an itch on the tops of the veins. Untreated nerve pain can lead to more serious symptoms like numbness and leg weakness. If you are experiencing nerve pain as a result of varicose veins, consult a physician to determine the source of the pain and begin treatment.
Symptoms Of Poor Circulation
If theres a problem with the circulatory system, the body will ensure that blood is getting to the vital organs and the brain. This is why your extremities are the first place you may notice symptoms of poor circulation.
Proper blood circulation is one of the most important functions in the body and is key for maintaining optimal health. Consistent photobiomodulation treatments not only have the power to promote self-healing mechanisms of the circulatory system but also the underlying conditions associated with compromised blood circulation.
Functional Medicine Doctor of Physical TherapyDr. Alayna Newton, PT, DPT, FAFS
How To Spot And Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
When the Clot Thickens
Lots of things can cause pain and swelling in your leg. But if your symptoms stem from a blood clot deep in your leg, it can be dangerous. Blood clots can happen to anyone, anytime. But some people are at increased risk. Taking steps to reduce your chances of a blood clot forming in your veins can help you avoid potentially serious problems.
Blood clots can arise anywhere in your body. They develop when blood thickens and clumps together. When a clot forms in a vein deep in the body, its called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein blood clots typically occur in the lower leg or thigh.
Deep vein thrombosis has classic symptomsfor example swelling, pain, warmth, and redness on the leg, says Dr. Andrei Kindzelski, an NIH blood disease expert. But about 3040% of cases go unnoticed, since they dont have typical symptoms. In fact, some people dont realize they have a deep vein clot until it causes a more serious condition.
Deep vein clotsespecially those in the thighcan break off and travel through the bloodstream. If a clot lodges in an artery in the lungs, it can block blood flow and lead to a sometimes-deadly condition called pulmonary embolism. This disorder can damage the lungs and reduce blood oxygen levels, which can harm other organs as well.
If you think you may be at risk for deep vein thrombosis, talk with your doctor.
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What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis
These conditions can increase your risk of a deep vein thrombosis:
- Having an inherited condition increases your risk of blood clots.
- Having cancer and some of its treatments .
- Having a history of deep vein thrombosis in yourself or your family.
- Having limited blood flow in a deep vein because of an injury, surgery or immobilization.
- Not moving for long periods of time, like sitting for a long time on trips in a car, truck, bus, train or airplane or being immobile after surgery or a serious injury.
- Being pregnant or having recently delivered a baby.
- Being older than 40 .
- Having overweight/obesity.
How Common Is Deep Vein Thrombosis
Each year, approximately 1 to 3 in every 1,000 adults develop a DVT or pulmonary embolism in the United States, and up to 300,000 people die each year as a result of DVT/PE. Its the third most common vascular disease, behind heart attacks and strokes. Acute DVT/PE can occur at any age, but are less common in children and adolescents and more common in those over the age of 60. More than half of all DVTs happen as a result of being in the hospital from a medical illness or following surgery. The reason why DVTs are more common after a hospital stay is because youre lying in bed most of the time instead of moving around like you normally would.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Blood Clots
Some risk factors put certain people at higher risk for developing a blood clot.
Blood clots become more common as people get older, especially when they are over age 65. Long hospital stays, surgeries and trauma may significantly increase your risk of blood clots.
Other factors can increase your risk to a lesser degree. You might be more at risk if you:
- Take birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy.
- Have cancer, or have been treated for cancer.
- Have a family history of blood clots, or a specific condition, such as Factor V Leiden disease, antiphospholipid syndrome or polycythemia vera, that makes clots more likely.
- Have coronavirus disease 2019 .
Some factors are based on lifestyle choices. Risks might be higher if you:
- Have overweight/obesity.
- Live a sedentary lifestyle.
- Smoke cigarettes.
Good Blood Flow Ensures A Strong Immune Response
Good blood flow ensures that white blood cells are able to quickly mobilize to the site of an injury or infection to ward off any pathogens.
Red blood cells sent to the affected area stimulate the formation of new blood vessels which will help send even more oxygen and nutrients to the damaged cells.
The bodys acute inflammatory response also stimulates the dilation of blood vessels to send more oxygen, nutrients, and immune substances to the affected area. Poor circulation is a leading cause of slow-healing chronic wounds.
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Diagnosing And Treating Venous Ulcers
While diagnosing the venous ulcers is not difficult, finding the proper cause of these painful sores can be challenging. Some Western Pennsylvania providers use a duplex ultrasound. This is a noninvasive imaging test that we use to diagnose which veins are causing the venous ulcers. The difference in this approach is that it pinpoints the abnormal vein or veins. By finding the cause of the ulceration, we can treat the venous pathology and thereby prevent the return of the ulcers once healed.
After your veins have been evaluated, your healthcare provider will recommend a personalized treatment plan based on your specific needs:
Can The Blood Clot Be Dissolved
Naturally, your body has its own process to dissolve blood clots, which it does by using a protein called plasmin. When your body senses that your wound has healed and the blood clot is no longer needed, it activates the plasmin, which dissolves the clot.
Anticoagulants, or blood thinners, only work to increase blood flow and prevent the existing clot from growing this gives your body additional time to activate the plasmin. On the other hand, thrombolytics do dissolve an existing blood clot, but this also increases the chance of bleeding.
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Can Dvt Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are several things you can do to help prevent DVT. These are more important if you are at increased risk.
- Get frequent exercise. If you are inactive for a long period of time, move your legs around. Get up every hour or so and walk around, if you can. If you must stay seated, do lower leg exercises. With your feet flat on the ground, alternate lifting your heels and toes. This stretches your calves and keeps up your blood flow.
- Stretch your legs and lightly massage your muscles.
- Get out of bed and move around as soon as you can after being ill or having surgery.
- Control your blood pressure.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
Urgent Advice: Ask For An Urgent Gp Appointment Or Get Help From Nhs 111 If:
You think you have DVT.
Symptoms of DVT in the leg are:
- throbbing or cramping pain in 1 leg , usually in the calf or thigh
- swelling in 1 leg
- warm skin around the painful area
- red or darkened skin around the painful area
- swollen veins that are hard or sore when you touch them
These symptoms can also happen in your arm or tummy if that’s where the blood clot is.
You can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
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What Are Blood Clot In Legs
Blood clot in legs, can occur due to accidents or bumping into an object but having one out of nowhere with no occurrence to back it up is a serious issue that one needs to look into. This condition, is often termed as Deep Vein Thrombosis and is explained as an embedded blood clot found in one of the primary deep veins located in the legs or arms.
This kind of formation of blood clot in the leg often results in restriction of the blood circulation from the lower part of the body back to the heart which can be very fatal in the long haul. These blood clots often result in the formation of inflammation in the area which is known as thrombophlebitis. The signs of a blood clot in leg should be immediately recognised and not neglected for this can often restrict the smooth blood circulation.
What If You Have Symptoms
If you have new symptoms indicating the possibility of a DVT or a PE, and if you cant speak immediately to your doctor or nurse, go to the emergency room. “Its an emergency, not something to check out on Monday if its Friday,” Dr. Scovell says.
Treatment typically involves taking a blood thinner for several months or longer. “We also have to figure out why you got the blood clot. If we cant find a reason, you may need to take a blood thinner for a longer time,” Dr. Scovell says. “And we dont want you to ever get a blood clot again, so youll need to be proactive about avoiding future risks.”
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Sore Muscle Or Charlie Horse
Many people ignore the early warning signs of a blood clot because they often feel just like a pulled muscle. For individuals who work out on a daily basis, it might feel like you overexerted yourself a little bit on your last leg day. Those who may be getting older are often dealing with random aches and pains they haven’t had to address before. So they may think the soreness is just another part of the aging process.
The thing is, pulled muscles will usually go away – or at least start to go away – after a couple days or so. Blood clots typically will not go away on their own. Clots often require a blood thinner like Pradaxa, Xarelto or even aspirin. Serious blood clots may need other medical interventions, such as an IVC filter. If a blood clot detaches, the leg pain or soreness can also move. Migration of soreness is another sign that it is likely not a pulled muscle.
If you have persistent soreness in your muscles, be sure to contact your doctor. It is especially important to seek medical help if that soreness starts to travel up your leg. And of course, there are other signs that you might have a blood clot.
Causes Of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation is not a specific medical condition. It is rather a side effect of various medical conditions. Treating these underlying conditions can help restore healthy blood flow.
There are a surprising number of causes of poor circulation including:
- Antiphospholipid syndrome, an uncommon and currently incurable autoimmune condition.
- Any clotting, whether it is near the surface or deep in the veins of the leg, abdomen, or elsewhere in the body.
- Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
- Atherosclerosis, a specific type of arteriosclerosis that can occur in any area of the body. It results from a buildup of fats and other substances in the arteries which causes arteries to narrow and hinder blood flow. Plaque can also burst and cause clotting.
- Complications from COVID-19 and other viruses
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Diabetes: Diabetes can cause a narrowing and hardening of veins and arteries in the feet and legs.
- Factor V Leiden, a mutation that increases the chance of abnormal clotting
- Genetics, heart arrhythmia, heart disease
- Lupus and other autoimmune diseases
- Medications, including hormone replacement therapy and oral contraceptives
- Peripheral Artery Disease , or narrowed arteries that restrict blood flow to the arms or legs
- Polycythemia vera, a type of blood cancer this disease causes the bone marrow to produce an excess of red blood cells which thicken the blood and slow circulation
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How Can I Reduce My Risk
After you have a DVT, youll need to reduce your risk of future DVT/PE clots by:
- Taking your medications exactly as your healthcare provider tells you to.
- Keeping your follow-up appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. These tell your provider how well your treatment is working.
- Making lifestyle changes, such as eating healthier foods, being more active and avoiding tobacco products.
If youve never had a DVT, but have an increased risk of developing one, be sure to:
- Exercise your calf muscles if you need to sit still for a long time. Stand up and walk at least every half hour if youre on a long flight. Or get out of the car every hour if youre on a long road trip.
- Get out of bed and move around as soon as you can after youre sick or have surgery. The sooner you move around, the less chance you have of developing a DVT.
- Take medications or use compression stockings after surgery to reduce your risk of a clot.
- Follow up with your provider as directed and follow their recommendations to reduce your risk of a clot.
What Happens When Theres A Blockage
Vein blockages are common if you have varicose veins and/or clotting.
The good news is that your body is very good at utilizing other blood vessels when one is blocked, so the presence of clotting is not as worrisome as a mass that breaks loose and travels to another part of the body.
Often, your body will accommodate blockages in small vessels by diverting blood flow.
However, its seldom a good idea to take chances.
Don’t assume that your body will divert blood flow to another vessel. It may not be possible, especially in the case of large veins or arteries.
If you show symptoms of abnormal clotting, seek medical treatment immediately. A medical professional will perform tests including:
- D-dimer blood tests, which highlight a specific protein produced by the clotting process.
- Magnetic resonance imaging scan, which is used to detect clotting in the abdomen.
- Ultrasounds, which uses sound waves to generate images of how the blood is moving through the veins.
- Venography, which involves injecting a dye into the vein or artery and then using an X-ray to detect clotting deep in the veins. This test is usually done only if blood tests or ultrasounds dont show clotting but the symptoms persist.
Treatment may include:
- Anticoagulants or blood thinners prevent an increase in clotting and reduce the risk of more clotting. There are often very serious side effects associated with anticoagulants, which limits their uses.
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Restoring Healthy Blood Flow
To open up a blocked vein in the leg, the interventional radiologist makes a tiny incision in the groin or behind the knee to access the clot. Using specialized X-ray equipment, the physician passes a catheter into the affected vein, and guides it near the location of the block. The catheter tip is placed into the clot and a clot-busting drug is released. The fresher the clot, the faster it dissolves one to two days.
In some patients, an alternative approach to treatment may be medically advised. SLUCare minimally invasive specialists may treat blood clots by inserting a vena cava filter, a small device that functions like a catcher’s mitt to capture blood clots but allow normal liquid blood to pass.
Which Blood Clots Pose The Most Health Risk
Any blood clots that form in arteries or veins can be serious. You should call your healthcare provider immediately if you suspect a blood clot.
A clot that forms in one of your bodys larger veins is called a deep vein thrombosis . A stationary blood clot, or one that stays in place, may not hurt you. A blood clot that dislodges and begins moving through the bloodstream can be harmful.
One of the most pressing blood clot concerns is when a DVT makes its way to your lungs and gets stuck. This condition, called pulmonary embolism , can stop blood from flowing and the results can be very serious, even fatal. In fact, as many as 100,000 people in the United States die from DVTs and PEs every year.
Arterial clots in the brain are called strokes. Clots can form in the heart arteries, causing heart attacks. Blood clots can also form in the abdominal blood vessels, causing pain and/or nausea and vomiting.
You dont need to be worried about blood clots that you might see during your period causing these kinds of symptoms or effects.
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How Is Dvt Treated
If you have DVT, you will be treated with medicine that reduces blood clotting . This can be given either as tablets or via injections and you will probably need to take it for several months.
In very severe cases, a medicine is used to break down the clot. The person normally needs to stay in hospital when this is given as it can cause bleeding.
You may also be asked to wear compression stockings to bring down the swelling.