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Secondary Causes of Restless Leg Syndrome

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Updated February 24, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Varicose Veins

In some instances, poor blood flow in the legs has been associated with RLS. In particular, weak veins that distend and become uncomfortable have been blamed. These varicose veins are often engorged and blue in color and may be a sign of venous insufficiency. In a study of 1,397 patients with varicose veins, 312 people complained of symptoms of RLS.

Treatment of varicose veins has proven to be effective in alleviating some of the symptoms of RLS. Sclerotherapy led to initial improvement in 98 percent of people, with relief maintained at two years in 72 percent. Medication treatment, including hyrdoxyethylrutoside, has also been shown to be modestly effective.

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