What Hawaii residents should know about leg pain and weakness
One of the most likely causes of chronic leg pain and weakness – especially if you also have varicose veins or spider veins – is a vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency, or CVI. If your veins are healthy, tiny one-way valves open in response to the movements of your leg muscles to allow deoxygenated blood to be pumped “upwards” (against the flow of gravity) to your heart. But if CVI has damaged these valves, they become “leaky” and fail to close properly. This allows blood to flow “downwards” back into the veins. This is what causes the veins to swell and take on the dark color of deoxygenated blood.
But CVI can cause other symptoms as well, even if you don’t have any visible varicose veins. One of the most common of these symptoms is leg pain and weakness, caused because CVI cripples your circulation and prevents your legs from getting the nutrients and oxygen they need. If this condition is ignored for too long, the pain and weakness can become so severe that you may find it hard to walk or stand for more than a few minutes.
Sadly, CVI isn’t even the worst possible cause of leg pain and weakness
As bad as CVI is, another vein disease can cause symptoms of leg pain and weakness, too, and it’s FAR more dangerous. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a much more serious condition, because if you have it, blood clots begin to form in the large veins of your legs. Even if these blood clots stay where they formed, they block the proper flow of blood, and can cause pain and weakness. But a worse scenario occurs if the clots travel through the veins to your brain (where they can cause a stroke) or to your lungs (where they can cause a pulmonary embolism). Both of these conditions are potentially fatal.
So how do you know whether you have CVI or DVT?
Unfortunately, in over half of cases neither CVI nor DVT produce any symptoms of either disease that you are likely to notice on your own. Varicose veins are a big tip-off, but it is possible to have either CVI or DVT and no swollen veins on the surface of your skin. So if you have been experiencing pain and weakness in your legs – especially if these symptoms have persisted for some time – our advice as New Orleans vein specialists is to contact a vein clinic in New Orleans and make an appointment for a venous health screening. These screenings are fast, painless, and non-invasive, but they allow your Louisiana vein doctors to diagnose all forms of vein disease in about an hour.
If we don’t find indications of vein disease but find that you have risk factors that make you more likely to get it, we can give you tips on how to prevent it from developing. If we do find indication of vein disease, we can present to you the best possible treatment options to eliminate it. These treatments are minimally invasive, require no hospitalization, and can often be completed in about an hour. So give our vein clinic in New Orleans.