Restless Leg Syndrome and Underlying Vein Disease

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: January 12, 2022

Restless leg syndrome tampa cardio

Willis-Ekbom Disease otherwise known as restless leg syndrome affects as much as 10% of the US population. It is a neurological condition with similar but varied symptoms from person to person.

Those with RLS experience annoying sensations in their legs that prevent them from sleeping. They may present as a tickling sensation, itching, crawling, or your legs physically twitching and kicking. Getting up and walking around helps, but that certainly doesn’t get you the sleep that you need.

Symptoms common in restless leg syndrome can include sensations of aching, gnawing, burning, or cramping from the knee below and in most cases, it can also be painful.

Those who suffer severely from it have such a hard time sleeping that blanket and the tactile response they elicit can be problematic. Symptoms tend to start after a period of rest such as settling into bed at night.

The severity and length of pain becomes stronger and longer as a person ages. It is also important to make it clear that restless leg syndrome is not leg cramps. Leg cramps include a knotting of the muscles and they do not have the same causes.

The causes and care for RLS

Causes can stem from an iron deficiency, neurological disorders as stated above, as well as chronic conditions including kidney disease and diabetes can all contribute to the development of RLS. Even medications used to treat high blood pressure, heart disease, allergies, and even depression have been linked to the onset of symptoms.

Mounting medical evidence shines the light on varicose veins and vein disease as an underlying cause of RLS in some. Varicose veins form when valves in the leg veins fail and sustain damage. They become unable to pump blood back to the heart. The resulting build-up of blood puts pressure on and stretches the vein walls. This is what leads to varicose veins appearing on the legs and feet. Varicose veins can be asymptomatic, or they can cause pain, swelling, and a heavy feeling in the legs — symptoms varicose veins have in common with RLS.

It is very interesting to note that in patients who had RLS who were treated via sclerotherapy for varicose veins almost all report an immediate reduction in RLS symptoms.


If you have restless legs with the possible underlying cause being vein issues and are in the Tampa, Florida area give the office of Tampa Cardiovascular Associates a call today at 813-975-2800 or visit  to learn more. We would be happy to screen you and see just how our Vein Center can help.


Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 12/01/2022

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