Legs that wake you up at night can mean one of two things:
Leg cramping or restlessness at night that improves with walking around or elevating the legs is a common symptom of venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency is an inherited disease that can be worsened by your environment. If you tend to have a job requiring you stand all day, such as a bank teller or cashier, or if you are overweight, have a sedentary lifestyle or are pregnant, you will be more likely to experience symptoms of venous insufficiency.
What’s happening in your body is that the veins in your legs, which are designed to transport blood one-way, back up to your heart, are instead allowing blood to flow backward or reflux down the leg. This causes increased vein pressure, which leads to swelling and discomfort and commonly restlessness or cramping at night.
People with this problem often get temporary relief when they elevate their legs. If this sounds like you, there are simple procedures that can give you relief. A consultation with an Interventional Radiologist or other vascular specialist is recommended.
Leg cramping or a burning pain in the legs at night that is improved by hanging your legs over the side of the bed (rather than walking or elevating the legs) is considered a classic sign of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). This type of pain is called “rest pain”, and as opposed to a pain that occurs only when walking/exercising, suggests a more severe form of PAD that can carry risks of gangrene, ulcer or even amputation.
See an Interventional Radiologist or another vascular specialist right away!