As much as 15 percent of the population is affected by Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) - the irresistible urge to move, accompanied by uncomfortable sensations in their lower limbs. Sufferers describe the sensations as aching, throbbing, pulling, itching, tingling, burning, numbness, crawling or creeping.

RLS is worse at night or when lying down during the day, and symptoms tend to improve with activity.

It could be caused by venous insufficiency.

If you are having these types of symptoms, and haven’t noticed improvement after a trial of medications from your primary care provider, consider seeing a vein specialist.

Venous insufficiency - defined as the failure of the veins to adequately circulate the blood - is an often-overlooked cause of Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Several studies indicate that as many as 22% of those with RLS also have venous insufficiency. When restless legs occur with venous insufficiency, the RLS can be improved significantly by treating the varicose veins.

During an office evaluation by a vein specialist, a noninvasive ultrasound of your legs will be done. The ultrasound tells the physician if venous insufficiency is present.

If so, a course of treatment for the varicose veins will be prescribed. This usually includes a combination of endovenous ablations and sclerotherapy (using chemicals to obliterate the malfunctioning vein) - treatments that can improve the symptoms of RLS and eliminate the lifelong need to take a neurologic medication.

For consultation with a vein specialist, contact Coates Vein Clinic at 520-849-8346.