Does running make varicose veins worse?

by | Apr 5, 2022 | Varicose Veins | 0 comments

Are you afraid of running because of the varicose veins in your legs? Even though running provides enormous health benefits, you may be tempted to stop running because you have varicose veins.

Does running make varicose veins worse?

With the proper techniques and adjustments, you can still run without adversely impacting the varicose veins in your legs.

Effect of running on the leg veins

Running increases the pressure in the legs and the force of contraction of the calf muscles. The elevated tension in the calf muscles acts as a peripheral pump that improves the venous return to the heart and prevents the stagnation or pooling of blood in the leg veins.

Increased venous return reduces the venous pressure which decreases the risk of developing varicose veins. Although the calf muscle pump indicates that running could prevent varicose veins, there are a few factors to consider.

Factors that determine the impacts of running on varicose veins

Here are the factors that influence the effect of running on varicose veins:

  • Duration: If you engage in prolonged running, the venous pressure rises, which slows venous return and worsens the dilation of your leg veins. To prevent this, run in multiple short intervals.
  • Running intensity: Running intensity is a function of frequency and speed. Running multiple times in a day at a high pace could increase your legs’ venous pressure, which worsens the state of your varicose veins.

How to manage varicose veins while running

If you have varicose veins, you can adopt these safety measures while running.

Compression stockings

Compression stockings are primarily elastic stockings that compress the leg veins to improve venous return to the heart. Wearing a compression stocking when running improves the venous circulation in your legs, and decreases the discomfort of varicose veins.

The selection of compression stockings depends on the therapeutic purpose and the degree of compression needed. For example, graduated compression stockings possess a higher degree of compression than non-graduated ones.

Hence, these graduated compression stockings prevent venous thrombosis in high-risk patients. You can seek help from a vein specialist to guide you in selecting the most appropriate compression stockings for you.

Use cushioned shoes

As you forcefully hit your legs on the ground while running, this increases the pressure in your legs. However, when you wear a cushioned shoe, it provides support that reduces the pressure on your legs when you run.

Change your running surface

Running on a hard surface like a concrete floor causes higher pressure in the leg veins than on a soft surface like grass. Therefore, be selective of the type of surface you run on.

When to get varicose veins checked out?

Regularly examine the state of your varicose veins for features that indicate you need a vein specialist evaluation.

Here are the warning signs of varicose veins:

  • Localized swelling
  • Warm and red-colored skin around the veins
  • Pain or burning sensations in your leg
  • Unprovoked bleeding

Also, abstain from intense physical activities like running when you notice any of the signs above.

Professional Care for Varicose veins

Competent assessment of your varicose veins helps to reduce your risks of developing complications. At Virginia Vein Care, our team of vein specialists has a track record of successfully managing varicose veins using a variety of minimally invasive treatment procedures.

We will conduct a personalized assessment and counsel you on how to manage varicose veins while running.

To treat your varicose veins, schedule an appointment with a Virginia Vein Care location close to you today.