Serving the Atlanta and Decatur communities for over twenty years.


Leg Pain: Not a Normal Part of Aging

This week, we had a great time at another health fair where we offered free vein screenings. At these kinds of events, we see patients with multiple complaints and problems. Many people are experiencing leg pain and just want to see if there’s some problem with their legs. It’s amazing how many patients test positive for venous disease at these events.

So what exactly IS a vein screening?  What to we do?  Most people find it fascinating.   With a special computer that looks like a laptop, we are able to let the patient look at their very own leg veins, and watch the blood flowing through their own leg!  A simple swipe on their leg with the ultrasound hand-piece makes the image appear on the computer screen.   Then we can watch the blood flowing to see if there is a block or a breakdown that causes a problem.   The underlying disorder is diagnosed with this simple ultrasound examination.  We do this right at the health fair, and it takes only minutes to get the  diagnosis.   We bring the doctors office right to the patient.

In addition to being fascinated with the look inside their leg, many patients are  shocked to discover that  there was an underlying problem to their leg pain.  Most of these patients believed leg pain was  just a normal part of getting older.  But I always stress to patients that leg pain is NOT a typical result of aging, and that a venous disease is usually to blame.

There are several common  disorders that can cause leg pain that need to be ruled out as we diagnose venous disease.   Lymphatic disease is one that causes swelling in the legs and feet. Arterial disease may also lead to leg pain that typically increases with exercise and decreases with rest. Neurological pain is also common. It affects certain areas of the legs and is related to back pain. Arthritic pain, which is related to joints and joint movement, is another disorder I commonly see in patients.   We can rule out these other causes from talking to the patient and evaluating their leg pain history.  Venous disease is related to aching pain, heaviness, fatigue, and is often a result of genetics and/or prolonged standing and activity.

The good news is that venous disease can be taken care of quite easily. Patients are happily surprised when I inform them that their venous problem can be cured in a matter of minutes with minimal discomfort and little to no downtime. Even better, it’s covered by insurance! I love seeing patients faces light up when I tell them this piece of good news.

We also do complimentary vein screenings in our office every week!  If you have any concerns about your vein and skin health, dial 404-508-4320 to make an appointment today.  And remember, leg pain is NOT a normal part of aging.

Be well,

Dr. Fern