By Long Island Vein Doctors Lee And Martin Schulman M.D.
It’s not uncommon for people with enlarged bulging varicose veins to complain of night cramps in the legs that are painful and may even wake them up from sleep.These crampy pains in the legs at night are seen also in people without ropey varicose veins but the condition occurs more in people suffering from venous insufficiency.
Venous insufficiency is the condition whereby the blood in the leg veins is not adequately returning up towards the heart. This pooling of venous blood below the heart can occur for a number of reasons. There are valves in the leg veins to help return blood from below the heart, back upwards towards the heart.As you can imagine, blood from the feet can’t just ‘jump’ all the way back to the heart in one smooth leap.In order to prevent the backwards-retrograde flow, the valves help the blood to travel upwards ‘one step at a time’ and not fall back due to gravity. One very common underlying reason is that the one-way valves in the veins fail to work and thus allow blood to either be pulled into the legs by gravity or just remain there, again by the effects of gravity.
It’s a bit counter-intuitive but the blood return from the legs to the heart towards the heart is easier when a person is lying down. The heart and the legs are in the same horizontal plane and the blood has an easier trip back to the heart.There is no body weight to overcome, and no uphill against gravity distance to travel.While the total distance from the toes to the heart remains the same while standing or lying down it is still not uncommon to suffer from leg cramps at night, while in bed.
For people suffering from leg cramps at night, an evaluation of their varicose veins and circulation, in general, makes a lot of sense. It is in the best interest of such patients to see doctors who are either board certified or diplomats in vascular medicine to ensure they are seeing qualified physicians.
If you suffer from night cramps that either wake you up or are just very uncomfortable the Schulman Vein And Laser Centers Of Long Island And NYC offer a FREE evaluation and screening.We can personally review your legs, your veins, and your treatment options, and let you decide if you want to have the condition corrected.
Dr. Lee G. Schulman M.D.
Dr. Martin L. Schulman M.D.
N.Y.C., Manhasset and Commack, New York