Leg pain is a common complaint, especially as we get older. It is any pain or discomfort which occurs between the groin and the ankle. It can be moderate or severe, acute or chronic. Symptoms may come and go, or they may be continuous. Chronic leg pain can last for months or years, and be very detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing. Many types, including varicose veins leg pain, need to be seen by your doctor as they can progress or signify a bigger problem – but they can also be effectively treated.

While there are a plethora of conditions which can cause pain in the legs, more common, transient leg pain is caused by wear and tear, overuse, standing for long periods, or minor injuries to the muscles, joints, and other tissues. Pain that is related to these causes is often minor and will usually resolve quite quickly.

Common Causes of Leg Pain

Some of the more common causes of leg pain include:

  • Overuse and fatigue (from exercise or prolonged standing)
  • Cramps and muscle stiffness
  • Growing pains (in children and adolescents)
  • Viral illness e.g. influenza
  • Poor circulation
  • Varicose veins
  • Spinal issues including herniated disc or stenosis (spinal canal narrowing)
  • Sciatica (nerve pain) in the major nerve from the lower spine down the leg
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Joint conditions such as bursitis or tendinitis
  • Muscle strain
  • Stress fracture or shin splints
  • An injury such as a bump, bruise, sprain or fracture, or a ligament or meniscus tear
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis

One common condition for which people should see their doctor is varicose veins causing leg pain.

Varicose Veins and Leg Pain

Varicose veins are veins which weaken and become twisted and enlarged. A common condition, it occurs due to failure of the valves within the vein which stop blood from flowing backwards and pooling due to gravity.

Any superficial vein in the body may become varicose, but the condition is most common in the legs, as standing and walking increase blood pressure in the veins of the lower body. Pregnancy can also trigger the development of varicose veins, though, for some women, the issues resolves after they have given birth.

Varicose veins appear purple or blue in colour and may bulge, resembling knotty cords under the skin of your legs. They can cause a range of symptoms:

  • Heaviness
  • Aching, throbbing, burning, or a cramping pain
  • Swelling
  • Pain worsens after standing or sitting for extended periods
  • Redness or discolouration of the skin over the vein
  • Itching around the vein
  • Skin ulceration in severe cases

Some people may develop spider veins; these are tiny vessels which resemble a spider web on the surface of the skin of the legs or face and they may be red or purple. They don’t cause physical symptoms but can be cosmetically distressing.

If varicose veins cause throbbing pain in the legs, this is an indication that they need to be seen by a doctor for assessment and treatment.

Why Must Varicose Veins be Treated?

For many people, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic annoyance, but if they cause aching, pain, or other symptoms, they do need to be medically assessed and likely treated. This is because varicose veins can worsen and lead to more serious health conditions such as blood clots, ulceration, bleeding, and severe chronic pain.

There are some signs which indicate infection or possible blood clot, and these are an indication that urgent care is required when it comes to leg pain. These include:

  • Redness, warmth, and tenderness
  • Fever over 37.8 C
  • One leg is swollen, pale in colour, or unusually cool to the touch
  • Pain in the calf or behind the knee, especially after prolonged sitting (e.g. during a flight or a long trip in a car)

Choose Crows Nest Vein Clinic  

Self-care can help with pain from varicose veins, as can making lifestyle changes to improve circulation and muscle tone in the legs, but thanks to hereditary factors, there is no way to completely prevent varicose veins.

The best treatment option is to have your varicose veins treated early with an expert vein doctor who provides pain-free vein removal.

Crows Nest Vein Clinic is run by Dr Nicole James, a top Sydney vein doctor.  When you choose to undergo minimally-invasive vein treatment at Crows Nest Vein Clinic, you don’t need a GP referral, and you do not go to a hospital. The treatments we offer are proven to be both safe and effective, with fewer complications, faster recovery time, and better health and cosmetic outcomes.

Contact Crows Nest Vein Clinic now to learn more or to book a consultation.

We are open for business as usual. Call (02) 9906 1555 or email [email protected].