Venous disease can be painful for many patients, but for patients living with Fibromyalgia, the symptom can be much worse. Fibromyalgia, also called FM or fibrositis, causes significant pain and discomfort without any other cause. If you have FM you most likely feel the pain and discomfort of lymphedema and varicose veins more than other patients. The pain of FM is very real, and when you’re living with uncomfortable and painful venous disease, the symptoms can be that much worse.
Aside from the symptoms of venous disease, is there a link between fibromyalgia and varicose veins? Does one condition cause the other? Are patient who have FM more likely to develop varicose veins and other types of venous disease? Can a patient with FM miss the signs and symptoms of venous disease and blood clots due to the pain they live with on a daily basis?
Let’s dive in to these and other questions related to fibromyalgia and varicose veins.
A Connection Between Fibromyalgia And Varicose Veins?
No scientific studies have yet proven that FM and varicose veins are related. Neither one seems to cause the other or occur when symptoms of the other increase. However, if you have fibromyalgia and varicose veins, the pain associated with both conditions can significantly increase, leaving you with tender, aching, and restless legs.
With fibromyalgia, you have an increased number of cells that carry pain signals from the body to the brain. Restless leg syndrome, which can cause a burning, itching feeling, especially at night, is tied to both conditions. Additionally, while women are more likely than men to develop FM, they are also more likely to develop varicose veins. It is not uncommon to see these conditions occurring together, particularly when we explore the connection between the sedentary lifestyle that often occurs due to fibromyalgia pain and how sitting for long periods of time can increase your chances of developing varicose veins and blood clots.
Pain Management For Varicose Veins In Patients With Fibromyalgia
Living with varicose veins can cause pain and discomfort for many patients. For a patient also living with fibromyalgia, sitting, walking, or just standing can be even more difficult. Some basic pain management techniques, with the assistance of a vein specialist, may not make the discomfort go away entirely but could make it more manageable.
Some home treatments and lifestyle adjustments could decrease pain and discomfort and stop or slow the progression of varicose veins. You may find relief by:
- wearing compression stockings throughout the day
- elevating your legs daily
- moving and stretching
- weight loss
Sometimes, making these adjustments can help keep the pain caused by varicose veins at bay and decrease lymphedema, or swelling of the legs. Pain management and other therapies as recommended by your doctor may also help. Other times, you may need a more permanent solution from an experienced vein specialist.
Varicose Vein Treatments For Fibromyalgia Patients & The Importance Of Seeing A Vein Specialist
You can choose from several minimally invasive venous disease treatments with the help of a vein specialist. These treatments are office based, walk in walk out procedures under a gentle local anesthesia. Our treatments use tiny incision that requires no more than a simple adhesive bandage, compression, and over-the-counter pain relief. These include:
New non-thermal and non-tumescent (requiring no local anesthesia) have been approved by the FDA for the treatment of varicose veins and venous reflux. These techniques are great for patients who are ‘needle phobic’ and those who want the newest in treatment modalities.
Varithena is a unique form of sclerotherapy, injecting a FDA ‘foam’ sclerosing solution into your problematic veins under ultrasound guidance. This solution will destroy the vein, causing it to fade away over the coming weeks.
VenaSeal is a non-thermal and non-tumescent treatment injecting a medical-grade adhesive into the refluxing saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance sealing them closed, preventing further reflux.
Endovenous Thermal Ablation
Endovenous thermal ablation, which replaced vein stripping in 2000, uses radiofrequency energy or heat to close the unhealthy saphenous vein and eliminating the reflux. A tiny catheter is inserted in the refluxing saphenous vein under ultrasound guidance. After a gentle local anesthesia is injected, the vein is treated and sealed shut. Over time, the vein goes away. This treatment is ideal for patients who want the tried and true treatment with almost 20 years of data.
Rather than making you wait like some vein centers, we find that our patients want their symptomatic varicose veins treated at the same time or shortly after treating the refluxing saphenous veins. Microphlebectomy, performed under a gentle local anesthesia, removes the bulging veins through micro-needle punctures using a delicate instrument to tease the veins away. The bulging veins are ‘gone.’
Sclerotherapy for spider veins is like the ‘icing on the cake’ for our patients with varicose and spider veins. This cosmetic treatment injects a sclerosing solution into the spider veins. You may require several treatments to see full results. The average patient sees fading of 70-80% of the visible spider veins.
Which treatment is right for me?
See your Vein Specialist for the best treatment recommendation for your needs. Our team at Vein Specialists of the South will provide the best treatments, follow up with you after the procedure, and ensure that your goals have been met while keeping your fibromyalgia symptoms in mind. We have experience treating patients like you who have fibromyalgia and may recommend additional aftercare instructions to minimize your pain and discomfort. Let’s talk about how we can reduce the pain related to varicose veins and other venous diseases, while minimizing your daily discomfort and improving your quality of life.
Schedule A Consultation At Vein Specialists Of The South In Central Georgia
At Vein Specialists of the South, we offer a variety of venous treatments at our state-of-the-art office. Our emphasis is on providing ‘comprehensive vein care.’ We will diagnosis and treat the underlying causes as well as visible varicose and spider veins. If you want personal care and cutting-edge technology, high-quality and effective treatments, you will love the care of Dr. Kenneth Harper. He is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine. Contact us today at Vein Specialists of the South in Middle Georgia for a consultation.