Can Varicose Veins Cause Leg Cramps? Yes (and Here’s What to Do)

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, you’re not alone. About 40% of people in the U.S. struggle with this condition. Varicose veins — those dark,…

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, you’re not alone. About 40% of people in the U.S. struggle with this condition.

Varicose veins — those dark, twisted, enlarged veins that bulge out from the skin in the legs and feet — can be more than a cosmetic concern. They can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including itching, skin discoloration, swelling, and more.1

But can varicose veins cause leg cramps? Yes, they can. Read on to find out how they do so and learn about a few treatment options for alleviating the discomfort.

How Varicose Veins Cause Leg Cramps

One of the most distressing symptoms of varicose veins is leg cramps. But how do these veins cause so much discomfort?

Varicose veins result from weakened valves. When these valves fail, blood can pool in the veins. The pooled blood causes them to enlarge and leads to increased pressure in the veins. This can irritate the surrounding muscles and nerves, leading to leg cramps.2

5 Ways to Treat Leg Cramps From Varicose Veins

Varicose veins and leg cramps can affect your quality of life. Thankfully, several effective treatment methods are available to help alleviate this discomfort.

1. Leg Elevation

Elevating your legs can help reduce the pooling of blood in the veins, which alleviates pressure and reduces cramps. Aim to elevate your legs above heart level for around 15 minutes several times a day.

2. Gradient Compression Stockings

One of the most common non-invasive treatments for varicose veins is compression therapy. Wearing specially designed gradient compression stockings applies constant pressure to your legs, which helps your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently.

This can help reduce the symptoms of varicose veins, including leg cramps, swelling, and pain.3 It’s essential to get the right fit, so it’s best to consult with a vein specialist.

3. Lifestyle Changes

Some simple lifestyle changes can help you manage your symptoms, including:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting and standing

4. Minimally Invasive Varicose Vein Treatments

Several minimally invasive medical treatments are available to address the root cause of varicose veins and the associated cramps. They include:

  • Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA): uses laser energy to close off the affected vein
  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA): uses radiofrequency energy to heat and seal off the affected vein
  • Microfoam injection: a foam solution injected into the vein, which causes it to collapse and eventually fade away
  • Cyanoacrylate: a medical adhesive used to close the varicose vein
  • Phlebectomy: a procedure in which small incisions are made to remove the varicose vein

5. Vein Specialists

If you’re experiencing persistent leg cramps or other symptoms associated with varicose veins, it’s essential to consult with a vein specialist. They can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend the best treatment options for your needs.

Getting Treatment for Varicose Veins

Varicose treatments are now more effective, less invasive, and more comfortable than ever before. If you’re considering treatment, now is a great time to take that step. Addressing the root cause of varicose veins can significantly improve your quality of life.

Are you ready to find the right specialist for your situation? Use My Vein Treatment’s vein specialist locator to find a trusted vein specialist near you and begin your journey to healthier, pain-free legs.


  1. National Institute of Health: “Varicose Veins.” 
  2. Medline Plus: “Varicose Veins.”
  3. NICE Clinical Guidelines: “Varicose Veins in the Legs: The Diagnosis and Management of Varicose Veins.”