According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than twenty million people suffer with peripheral neuropathy! Many of these people and their families are surprised to learn that varicose vein treatment can actually help relieve neuropathy symptoms and sometimes eliminate neuropathy pain altogether. Peripheral neuropathy is nerve damage that causes numbness, tingling, and sometimes pain, mostly in the feet and hands (toes and fingers included). The symptoms of varicose veins can greatly aggravate peripheral neuropathy making it much more grueling for the patient to endure.
In some cases too, people may experience peripheral neuropathy like symptoms with the swelling associated with varicose veins. Blood pooling in the legs, especially around the ankles, can press on key peripheral nerves causing sensations that feel very similar to what one experiences when they have peripheral neuropathy disease. This is why doctors are very careful not to diagnose peripheral neuropathy solely based on the symptoms reported by a patient. Further investigation into the CAUSE of the symptoms is always needed for a complete diagnosis.
Varicose veins are damaged veins, almost always due to damaged vein valves. They are not able to return blood efficiently back to the heart so the blood pools in the area making the legs, ankles, and feet swell up. In medical terms, this pooling of blood is called stasis. The pooling of blood can get much worse due to varicose vein walls getting increasingly stretched to the point that some people with varicose veins can have the diameter of their legs or ankles double or more! If you’ve filled up birthday balloons with water, you’ve no doubt experienced how powerful a force this can be and why it can exert so much pressure on your nerves. It’s also what sometimes causes that dull chronic ache in the legs associated with varicose veins.
Varicose vein treatment, like EVLT or laser guided foamed sclerotherapy, will essentially seal off any problematic varicose veins that are causing pooling of blood in your legs. These treatments effectively “kill” (ablate) the problematic portion of your veins so they can no longer receive or transport blood. After a few weeks, these ablated veins are completely re-absorbed by the body and basically recycled into new body parts! The body is actually quite efficient at recycling materials which is pretty amazing when you think about it!
People who have been dealing with swollen legs and ankles for years, plus all the chronic pain that goes along with that, often say they feel ten to twenty years younger after varicose vein treatment. Another benefit is that the swelling no longer presses on their nerves giving them peripheral neuropathy like symptoms or aggravating their peripheral neuropathy disease they may be experiencing due to other medical conditions like type 2 diabetes. In fact, this may even be part of the justification your vein doctor uses to convince your insurance company to cover your varicose vein treatment. So many medical conditions are so inter-related, especially in terms of the difficult symptoms they cause.
Some people have asked, “Can varicose veins cause peripheral neuropathy?” or “Does chronic venous insufficiency inflict peripheral neuropathy?” While varicose veins can certainly make the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy worse, it is not generally thought that varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency actually CAUSES peripheral neuropathy. However, the jury is still out on these questions and some doctors and medical researchers have suggested that they might. However, more research is needed to untangle cause and effect in this particular situation.
If you feel that your varicose veins may be exacerbating your peripheral neuropathy condition, you can get a free evaluation at Metro Vein Centers. They will take your medical history on intake and perform a duplex ultrasound test on your problematic areas. This allows them to see a three dimensional view of the veins and vein valves inside your legs, both the veins near the surface and those deep down. This allows them to catch any varicosities in the deep veins that would never show up by simply looking at the outside of your leg.
Metro Vein Centers is one of the most respected varicose vein treatment clinics in the United States. They will be able to assist you with determining whether or not you have a varicose vein problem and whether or not this varicose vein problem may be amplifying your peripheral neuropathy symptoms or perhaps creating peripheral neuropathy like symptoms that will go away with varicose vein treatment.