A common misconception of leg cramps and charley horses we don’t know that they can be related to varicose veins and sometimes can be solved with a simple treatment. People use medication to try to solve these problems. What we do not know is they usually can be solved with a varicose vein treatment. Dr. Mountcastle, founder of Mountcastle Vein Centers explains the causes of varicose veins and other leg problems people face. He also tells how easy a varicose vein treatment is when you come to our St. Petersburg office. You don’t have to live with aching, tired and unsightly legs anymore.
Tag-Archive for » Leg Cramps «
Many people suffer terribly from leg cramps at night.
If failed valves in the ‘venous tree’ above are no longer holding up the weight of the column of blood above, gravity cause increased venous pressure in the vessels below. This pressure, venous hypertension, causes the capillaries, the twigs of the upside down venous tree, to leak fluid, blood cells and protein into the tissues. This occurs all day while a person 1s sitting or standing.
When recumbent, veins with failed valves no longer have this venous hypertension and fluid is no longer forced to leak from the capillaries. While recumbent, fluid begins to return to the vessels from the intracellular space. The cell membranes now have an osmolar imbalance and are destabilized, calcium channels are activated and the muscle cell contracts. On a macro level it is the muscles of the legs that pump accumulated blood and fluid congestion from the legs. At night the unconscious brain tells the leg muscles to move….it sends messages to both flexor and extensor muscles to move at the same time…..the result is a cramp as muscles try to move in opposing directions at the same time…….this results in severe cramping pain, often with curled toes…..
Nocturnal Cramping (leg cramps, night cramps, Charley Horses) symptoms have traditionally been treated with palliative medication: calcium, magnesium, and potassium supplements or low doses of quinine in over the counter medications and in tonic water. These are only palliative treatments……they are not definitive; they are directed at the symptoms, not directed to the cause of the symptoms. Now, with the best ultrasound techniques and new vein endovenous laser techniques, veins with failed valves can be identified and the majority of these patients finally have relief when the damaged vein causing the fluid buildup is closed.
Investigation: Upright Duplex, Doppler, Venous Insufficiency Ultrasound performed in office. The results are most accurate when this exam is performed using an automatic insulflation, rapid deflation pneumatic device to standardize the exam and assist the ultrasonographer.
Treatment: Now ‘Definitive’ (as opposed to medications): Endovenous Laser Ablation of the failed truncal vein (small or greater saphenous veins, anterior or posterior accessory veins, or vein of Giacomini). This is a very safe and very effective, 30 minute, painless office procedure.