Leg Cramps and Varicose Veins

Q: I am an active 60+ year old practicing dentist with legs that cramp up often and keep me from restful sleep at night.  Would any of the procedures you perform help eliminate this problem ?

A:  Working in a ‘standing occupation’ certainly places you at risk for venous insufficiency, but the greatest risk factor for varicose veins is family history.

Do you have varicose veins that are readily apparent, or other signs of venous reflux (pain, swelling, leg fatigue and heaviness, or symptoms that improve with leg elevation)?  In patients we treat for venous insufficiency, muscular cramping is often the first symptom to resolve.  Of the patients who are able to recognize a trigger for night-time leg cramps, most commonly it occurs subsequent to a patient stretching their leg by plantar flexing their foot (with the great toe being pointed away).  Sleep disruption secondary to nocturnal leg cramps is a very frequent complaint.


If you do have varicose veins and are symptomatic, treatment is usually covered by insurance.  In regard to treatment options, we perform endovenous laser thermal ablation (vs. radiofrequency ablation) to treat saphenous vein reflux.

For more information regarding endovenous laser thermal ablation (EVLT or EVLA) vs. radiofrequency ablation (RFA) see the link below.


Journal of Vascular Surgery

Volume 49, Issue 1, Pages 230–239, January 2009