Skip to main content

The Connection Between Leg Cramps and Venous Reflux Disease

The Connection Between Leg Cramps and Venous Reflux Disease

Venous reflux disease (VRD) is also known as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). A condition that’s more common in women than men, VRD usually affects the feet and legs first. 

Leg cramps have several causes, and often, there’s no known reason for them. However, impaired blood flow from VRD may be the reason behind new or increasingly severe leg cramps. 

Dr. Clement Banda and his team at MD Vein & Skin Specialists diagnose and treat problems like VRD and leg cramping. If you’ve experienced changes with leg cramps, visit us for experienced, expert care. 

Leg cramps

Nighttime cramps are common, disturbing your sleep with sudden, painful muscle contractions. This Involuntary muscle condition frequently affects the calves, feet, and thighs.

Cramping happens for a variety of reasons, including as a side effect of certain medications. You may have a genetic history of leg cramps in your family, or cramping could follow physical exertion. 

One potentially serious cause of leg cramps is when blood flow through the legs becomes compromised. 

Understanding VRD

VRD is a fairly common condition, with about one-third of American adults experiencing the condition. In many cases, the effects are mild or cosmetic. 

However, some people suffer more serious complications from VRD, such as a blood clotting condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which in turn can trigger pulmonary embolisms, a potentially life-threatening event. 

VRD starts with the failure of valves within your leg’s veins. Typically, these valves prevent blood from flowing backward, away from your heart. 

When vein walls stretch under blood pressure within the vessels, venous valves may be unable to close fully, resulting in backward flow or reflux. Pools of blood form, adding additional pressure to vein walls. 

These pools form varicose veins in the blood vessels close to the skin's surface. Your leg has other blood vessels away from the surface. These deep leg veins can suffer the same reflux issues without visible signs. 

The connection between leg cramps and VRD

Since impaired blood flow is one cause of leg cramps, your cramping could be a sign that your deep veins aren’t passing blood efficiently. 

If you’ve suffered from nocturnal cramps most of your adult life, these may not be related to blood flow. However, they may be related if your leg cramps are new, if they start to get more severe, or if other VRD symptoms, such as the following, accompany them:

Catching VRD early and starting treatment is the best way to minimize the condition’s impact on your health. Contact MD Vein & Skin Specialists by phone or online booking to schedule an exam with Dr. Banda today. 


You Might Also Enjoy...

 3 Types of Sclerotherapy: Which Is Right for Me?

3 Types of Sclerotherapy: Which Is Right for Me?

Spider veins are primarily cosmetic problems, though they can indicate more serious health concerns. One of the most common treatments is sclerotherapy, an injectable process with several variations.
Why Am I Still Getting Acne in My 30s?

Why Am I Still Getting Acne in My 30s?

While acne typically connects with puberty and adolescence in the teen years, it can develop at any time. Adult acne is less common but still a real problem. Here’s why.
Heavy, Cramping Legs at Night  — When to See a Doctor

Heavy, Cramping Legs at Night — When to See a Doctor

Nighttime leg cramps can be painful annoyances, but they’re generally harmless. However, if your legs also feel unusually heavy, there could be other reasons behind your leg cramp experience, which could suggest a doctor’s visit is necessary.

Should I Worry That My Ankles Look Swollen?

After a long day on your feet, it's not unusual to notice your ankles are puffy and swollen, a condition known as edema. It may not always be a problem, but there are times when swelling indicates a more serious health issue.
Help! My Mole Has Changed Size and Shape

Help! My Mole Has Changed Size and Shape

Moles are common and usually don’t become cancerous. In rare cases, moles start to change in size, shape, and other characteristics, and this could indicate melanoma, the most aggressive and dangerous form of skin cancer.