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18402 Views 18 Replies Latest reply: Nov 21, 2011 6:42 PM by SriramPhysio RSS 1 2 Previous Next
mushyro Amateur 8 posts since
Jun 4, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 4, 2010 11:37 AM

Varicose veins and running?

Just curious if anyone has noticed their varicose veins getting worse after running - I'm in the middle of week four and while I've never noticed varicose veins before (I'm only 28) I've started to notice some appearing on my left calf (looks like bruising - not bulging or anything yet). I'm not surprised because this is the first time I've been able to run in 10 years, and after 3 knee surgeries I suppose that leg is much weaker than my right (there are none on the right side - yet).

 

I did go to the doctor this morning and he says they are independent of running, and that I shouldn't worry about it unless it's painful, and he gave me an rX to go to a 'vein clinic' if I wanted. (He said to put heat on it, elevate, and take advil, essentially.)

 

But, I wonder, maybe the running is causing them or making them worse? Which is strange because all the research I've done on them says that exercise is supposed to help with the circulation. Plus, it's not from being overweight, or at least in my case.

 

I don't know. Sucks that I am finally able to run again and now I have to worry about this Thanks in advance for any advice or experiences with this.

  • NurseMommy31 Amateur 16 posts since
    May 7, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jun 4, 2010 11:50 AM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    Running does help increase circulation, and will not cause or worsen varicose veins.  Usually there's a strong genetic factor to these little "spider veins" and they usually start to appear around the late 20's to early 30's, so you're right in that timeframe.  My guess is you would have developed them whether you were running or not, but running may help keep them from becoming problematic.





    I am so Blessed!

    Lee's Friends 5K-- June 5, 2010  31:57.55 (First ever 5K)

    Rock N Roll Half Marathon- Sept 5, 2010

  • gawd Pro 174 posts since
    Mar 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jun 4, 2010 11:57 AM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    I'm about the same age and since I started running I have gotten those little spider veins, started off red and now they are going blue, I have noticed bigger ones like they are becoming varicose veins but like yourself they are not bulging.  Seem a bit coincidental?

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,276 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jun 4, 2010 11:57 AM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    That's an interesting question.  I can't help answer it because I really only started to notice mine in the last year or two (I've been running for 26 years).  They haven't gotten any worse in that time.  I'm almost certain they were about the same for many years because I have recollections of them, but I just didn't pay much attention.  I have started to wonder if they're related to shin pain I sometimes get while running.

     

    Len





    Len

  • gawd Pro 174 posts since
    Mar 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Jun 4, 2010 12:14 PM (in response to gawd)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/690

    Try that pose (even without a support) for a few mins each day to help.

  • gawd Pro 174 posts since
    Mar 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jun 4, 2010 12:17 PM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    you probably know this already but if they start to apear swollen in that area quickly, then see a doctor asap.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,276 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Jun 4, 2010 12:23 PM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    Mine definitely look like slightly bluish blobs, a couple inches below the knee.  I can imagine on a woman's leg they would be really unsightly.  Not so much on a man's leg.

     

    I should elaborate on the pain.  I always considered it "shin splints", now I'm not so sure.  It would happen when I was pushing the pace (i.e. racing), would start after about 1 mile, and end at about 3 miles.  And it wouldn't bother me for the rest of the race - up to half-marathon distance.  I never went fast enough in a marathon to trigger it.

     

    Len





    Len

  • gawd Pro 174 posts since
    Mar 9, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jun 4, 2010 12:40 PM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    could that be that you are lifting your toes higher than your usual running style causing pain in the muscle etc at the front of the leg?

    Iv had that problem before through hiking/walking etc

    Varicose veins can cause some pain but they are usually very noticable by then.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,276 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Jun 4, 2010 1:19 PM (in response to gawd)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    That's a possibility too.  But it only happens to one leg - the one with the veins.  They are very visible.  The thought came from something I read that said they can result in problems with circulation in the underlying muscles, wherein the veins dilate but the valves don't function properly, so blood doesn't get returned to the heart as it should.

     

    On the other hand . . .

     

    Dear Dr. Mirkin: Is exercise harmful for a person with varicose veins?

     

    No; in fact, a regular exercise program may be the most effective treatment for varicose veins. Veins are supposed to contain valves that keep blood from backing up. When the valves cannot close properly, veins become varicose, blood backs up and causes the veins to widen and look like blue snakes underneath the skin. Since varicose veins swell because blood pools in them, the best treatment is to empty blood from the veins. When you exercise, your leg muscles alternately contract and relax, squeezing blood toward the heart. Running, walking, cycling, skiing, skating and dancing are ideal treatments, while standing or sitting increase blood pooling and widen the veins. People with varicose veins should not stand around for a long time. You should wear support hose when you stand or walk slowly, but you don't need them when you exercise.

     

    Varicose veins are caused by a genetic weakness in the valves or an obstruction of blood flow, which may be caused by obesity, pregnancy, tumors, clots or heart disease. Superficial varicose veins that you can see can cause a feeling of heaviness or aching, but they are rarely painful. If you hate the way large veins look, a surgeon can remove them, but most varicose veins are best left alone. Special injections and laser burning remove only small veins.

    Len





    Len

  • grid-rider Legend 235 posts since
    Sep 5, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Jun 4, 2010 1:32 PM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    I'll add to cooldown after a long run, even if it's just walking. Omega 3 pills help too (fish,flax or algae)

  • sueinNC Pro 80 posts since
    Jan 31, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Jun 5, 2010 3:25 AM (in response to mushyro)
    Re: Varicose veins and running?

    I'll throw in my 2 cents. Could it be that you are converting fat to muscle (yea!) and they are becoming more visible?  I havn't lost a pound since I started running in February but I have lost 3% body fat. (Clothes are looser). Also red flags are hot sore veins with redness around them or if the vein feels like a firm cord, can be lumpy stright to  the Doc do not pass go do not collect $200.00





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    July 1, 2010 28 % body fat

    Total pounds lost: 4.5

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