Leg cramps are no fun. If you’ve experienced one (or several) before, you know the accuracy of that statement. With a leg cramp, you will experience sudden pain in your muscles caused by involuntary muscle contractions, especially the calf muscles. Your leg is tight and painful, and most likely feels stiff. The cramps can be brief (only a few seconds) to long and drawn out for around 10 minutes. Even after the cramp dissipates, you may feel sore and tender for a few hours.
Leg cramps can occur for several reasons, including dehydration, overuse, strain, or being in a certain position for a long time. However, if you experience leg cramps frequently and/or if they’re disrupting your daily life or sleep, it could be a sign of something more serious. It’s best to have a doctor examine you.
One serious cause behind your leg cramps could be varicose veins. But, how can you tell the difference between a harmless leg cramp versus one that is a symptom of varicose veins? Look to your body for the answers. If you see blue/purple bulging veins in your legs and calves, those are most likely varicose veins. If your legs ache, feel heavy, swell and/or if you’re experiencing restless legs, this is a sign that your cramps and pains are varicose veins. You can even experience these symptoms without physically seeing the varicose veins. Many times, varicose veins will bulge inward, so they are less visible, but are still painful. Swelling in your legs will also reduce the visibility of the varicose veins.
If you are experiencing painful leg cramps that last for a long time and occur often, it’s time to get your legs checked by a vein specialist. A vein specialist, like Dr. Peter Mikhail, can determine the cause of your pain, and decide what treatment will be best for you based on your condition and symptoms. The only way to rid yourself of varicose veins is through proper treatment and/or a minimally-invasive procedure.
Dr. Mikhail is a vein specialist who treats patients for venous insufficiencies in the Tampa, Clearwater and New Port Richey areas in Florida. To book a consult, click here or call 727-312-4844.