Many people that have superficial venous disease suffer from leg heaviness/fatigue. This heaviness in the legs is one of the most frequent signs of “leaking” valves in varicose veins of the legs. Some experience a sense of fatigue, others note the legs are heavy or tired after being on their feet for a long time, some feel the need to elevate their legs to or above heart level. This occurs in the veins when the vein walls become dilated and the valves stop working effectively, giving rise to the diagnosis of leaking valves, or the medical term “venous reflux”. This venous reflux occurs with varicose veins and is diagnosed by ultrasound testing which is painless and non-invasive.
The heaviness may be accompanied by other sensations such as tingling, throbbing, burning sensations in the legs. Others have itching in the region of the dilated varicose veins. All of these sensations are the early symptoms of venous reflux in the superficial leg veins and can be effectively eliminated by office treatment of the affected veins that could be as simple as properly prescribed support stockings or more complex and in need of actual treatment to make the veins go away.
In most cases, the veins that cause these symptoms are not important in overall venous flow and can be eliminated without interfering with normal venous function. In fact, the venous circulation is overall improved by the elimination of these veins since they are not performing their function effectively.
When these symptoms amount to interference with one’s quality of life and comfort with daily activities it is appropriate to discuss the condition with your primary care physician who will probably recommend a consultation with a vascular surgeon.