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Can Running Cause Varicose Veins?

Compared to many states, Minnesotans are a pretty active bunch.  After all, Minnesota is ranked #6 and #7 out of 50 for the best U.S. cities for biking and running,  respectively, in these sports activities.  We love the opportunity to exercise,  especially when it means enjoying the natural beauty of sites near the Mississippi River Road or the Minnehaha Parkway.  Running in particular is the exercise of choice for thousands of Minnesotans.  But, do those runners with varicose veins have to shy away from running?

What is the Cause of Varicose Veins?  Watch this info video.

There is a misconception about running and varicose veins.  Some athletes are worried that running may actually cause varicose veins to develop, but this is not true.  Actually, running can help prevent varicose veins by building the calf pump muscle which improves circulation and blood return..

If bulging veins are beginning to form, though, varicose veins might keep you from running.  The common symptoms of varicose veins include swelling heaviness and leg fatigue.  These can make running less than enjoyable or even cause pain.  If you wish to continue running at the onset of varicose veins, you should consider the following:

  • Running is a high-impact sport that may aggravate swelling, so reduce the impact by avoiding hard pavement. You might instead, choose softer, more shock-absorbent surfaces to run on like dirt, grass or a thick surfaced athletic track.
  • Wearing compression stockings while you run.  This may not be your most favored option, but the pressure helps increase blood flow, blood return and prevents fatigue.
  • Monitor your vein health, and stop running if bulging veins become acute  or significantly worsen, becoming more painful.  If your varicose veins are now at this stage, it is best not to run.  Until treatment, in this case, continue exercise through walking, swimming, or engaging in any other low-impact physical activity.

To return to your regular running or other high impact activity and lifestyle, it’s important to seek treatment for your varicose veins.  At Minnesota Vein Center, Dr. Pal offers five non-invasive or non-surgical varicose vein treatments.

If you would like to learn more about the procedures and treatments by Minnesota Vein Center Specialist, Dr. Pal, contact us at 651-765-8346.

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