May 27, 2021

Do You Have Painful Leg Cramps That Just Won't Go Away?

Leg cramping and how it can be a symptom of bigger health issues. Learn how to treat this condition and reduce risk.

Do you have persistent leg cramps that won’t go away?

Many people suffer from leg cramping for several reasons. Some people suffer from leg cramping regularly, leading to the belief that cramps are just a normal part of life.

However, your leg cramps can be a sign of a more significant underlying issue with your veins.

Over 30 Million Americans are Affected by Venous Disease

Venous diseases are common throughout the world. Over 30 million people in the United States are affected by venous disorders. Shockingly, less than a percent of these people opt to address this problem with proper treatment.

If you suspect you have venous disease, it is time to stop ignoring your symptoms and seek medical assistance.

What Causes Leg Pain

Leg pain caused by cramping can strike you at any time. You may be walking and suddenly feel a terrible pain throughout your leg. Or you may be fast asleep and be jolted awake by a sudden surge of leg pain.

There are several causes related to cramping, and some triggers are manageable. Once you know the potential triggers, you can address them right away and avoid circumstances that lead to leg cramping.

Lifestyle Reasons

Your lifestyle may contribute to the occurrence of leg cramps. Certain activities such as recreational running or sports that involve running and weight training may be the cause.

Typically, the leading cause of leg cramping is muscle fatigue. Additionally, dehydration or exhaustion will also increase the likelihood of developing cramps.

Medical Reasons

Several medical factors increase your risk for leg cramping, including pregnancy.

  • Outside of pregnancy, several medical conditions may cause leg cramps:
  • Addison’s disease
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Kidney failure
  • Thyroid issues
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Cirrhosis
  • Venous diseases

Addressing any underlying medical condition can help you find the appropriate treatment for your leg cramping.

What Do Leg Cramps Feel Like?

Pain from leg cramps differs from regular muscle pain. When your muscles begin to cramp, they contract involuntarily, which feels like a painful knot in your leg. This pain can be felt in your calves but is not uncommon in your feet and thigh muscles.

Typically, leg cramping will go away as the muscles loosen up. If you experience cramping after exercise, the pain should dissipate quickly.

If you are not pregnant or have any of the medical conditions listed above, venous disease may be the cause of your persistent leg cramping.

Leg Cramps Due to Vein Disease

Do you experience leg cramps regularly? In particular, do you notice leg cramping when you are not engaged in physical activity, such as at night when you are asleep?

These symptoms may be your alert to an underlying venous condition.

Understanding Healthy Veins

Healthy veins draw blood, flowing from your body parts to your heart. Once blood reaches your heart, it is oxygenated again and travels back throughout the rest of your body through arteries.

Movement Increases Circulation

Movement of your body helps maintain healthy blood flow, as the veins naturally work against gravity to send blood back to your heart. Body movement pushes blood up the veins, passing through one-way valves, allowing the blood to move towards the heart and preventing it from going back.

Damaged Veins May Cause Leg Cramping

If these one-way valves are damaged, venous blood may flow in reverse, skipping the oxygenation process. The blood may pool in your leg muscles where this lack of oxygen can lead to the source of your leg pain.

Symptoms

Varicose veins may be a symptom of venous valves working improperly. At times, however, symptoms may be present without visible signs such as varicose veins, making it difficult to recognize or understand the magnitude of the issues. Mild cramping and itching may be your only symptoms.

Some of the most obvious signs of venous diseases:

  • Bulging veins
  • Swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding veins

Risk Factors

A number of risk factors can lead to leg cramps:

  • Type II diabetes
  • Blood vessel disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Nerve diseases
  • Muscle diseases
  • Certain medications
  • Dehydration
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Disorders that affect your overall mobility

Resolving the Issue

If you experience persistent leg cramps, you can no longer ignore the signs. Act promptly to help you relieve symptoms and experience a potential reversal of issues.

Lifestyle Reasons

If you experience leg cramps after excessive activity or exercise, first check that your water intake is adequate. Allow your body to rest before you begin training again.

Medical Reasons

If symptoms arise during pregnancy or when you are experiencing any other medical condition, be sure to contact a doctor. A medical professional can point you in the right direction for treatment.

Seeking Treatment for Venous Disease

Before your condition worsens, consult a qualified medical professional. A medical evaluation is your safest route to getting the best treatment plan in place.

Dr. Ryan Jones is a board-certified vascular surgeon. If your leg cramps are a symptom of venous disease, he can diagnose the problem and offer the best treatment for you.

Scheduling an appointment for a free consultation is easy and a fast way to get you living without the pain of leg cramping!

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