Are Restless Legs Caused by Venous Insufficiency? Here’s What You Should Know

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Blog | 0 comments

Restless legs syndrome is a common sleep and movement disorder in the United States that affects nearly 10% of adults and 4% of children yearly.

Most commonly tied to the relentless urge to continuously move your legs due to feelings of discomfort in one or both legs, this condition can be both painful and cumbersome for those living with it.

At Virginia Vein Care, we recognize how much of a toll restless legs can have on your physical and emotional wellbeing, especially if it’s interrupting your sleep cycle, everyday life, or tied to a more serious health issue such as venous insufficiency.

The good news is that we are here to provide you with a proper diagnosis and long-term support to mitigate symptoms and get your veins back to a healthier state.

Let’s discuss restless legs and their tie to venous insufficiency in more detail.

What Is Restless Legs Syndrome?

More formally referred to as “restless legs syndrome (RLS),” restless legs are caused by a neurological disorder that manifests as an uncontrollable urge to move one or both of your legs.


Although the exact cause of RLS is still widely unknown, many experts believe that a combination of environmental factors and genetics play a major role in whether or not you are diagnosed with the condition.

Studies suggest that RLS is directly related to iron deficiency in certain parts of the brain, causing a dopamine malfunction. This imbalance could lead to the urge to constantly move your limbs, specifically your legs.

RLS can also be triggered by certain medications, lifestyle changes, caffeine, alcohol or nicotine.

RLS Symptoms

The most prominent symptom of RLS is the constant urge to move your legs. Other leg-related sensations of RLS include

  • Crawling
  • Pulling
  • Throbbing
  • Aching
  • Itching
  • Electric zaps

For most, symptoms come and go.

Furthermore, there is a direct link between restless legs and venous insufficiency.

What Is Venous Insufficiency?

In simplest terms, venous insufficiency is an irregularity in your circulatory system caused by malfunctioning valves in your veins.


The most common and prominent symptoms of venous insufficiency include the following leg-related issues:

  • Heaviness
  • Aching
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Chronic pain in the legs, ankles and feet
  • Cramps
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Throbbing

Are Restless Legs Caused by Venous Insufficiency?

The short answer is: possibly.

While not all restless legs are caused by vein-related problems, they are a common symptom of venous insufficiency.

In fact, 98% of those diagnosed and treated for venous insufficiency experienced a reduction in RLS symptoms, leading many to hypothesize that the tie between these two conditions is more closely linked than formally detected at this point.

If you are experiencing symptoms of RLS or venous insufficiency, we highly recommend seeking a further evaluation by a vascular specialist.

Your treatment option will depend on your symptoms’ root cause and unique health and wellness goals.

Restless Leg and Venous Insufficiency Treatment You Can Count On

Virginia Vein Care offers effective treatment options for venous insufficiency. Our minimally invasive outpatient procedures do not typically require extensive surgeries or downtime and provide lasting results for symptom reduction and overall better quality of life.

If you’re hoping to eliminate the symptoms of restless legs or venous insufficiency, we can help. Please visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you.