Does Weightlifting or Running Cause Varicose Veins?

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can lifting or running cause varicose veins blog

Bulging veins or varicose veins?

If you life weights or run regularly, you may have noticed that your veins bulge after you finish a set. You may even have noticed that your veins bulge whenever you finish resistance training exercises or after a long run; but, does weightlifting, intense workouts, or running actually contribute to the development of unsightly varicose veins?

Before we answer this question, let’s understand what varicose veins are and what causes them to form. Afterward, we’ll explore the connection between intense workouts and varicose veins in detail.

Understanding varicose veins

Twisted and swollen in appearance, varicose veins are seen under your skin and may appear blue or green. They may be tender to the touch or accompanied with smaller red or purple superficial veins called spider veins. These veins are visible signs of vein disease; however, they are not the only sign that you may have this condition.

A vein becomes enlarged or varicose if its valves fail to work properly. The role of a valve is to maintain the flow of oxygen-depleted blood from your legs and other body parts back to your heart. So when a vein’s valves don’t work the way they’re supposed to work, they’ll make the blood pool in your veins.

That pooling will be caused by faulty valves that’ll make the blood flow in the wrong direction. Once the blood starts pooling, it’ll mean just one thing: Your veins will become insufficient to carry deoxygenated blood back to your heart. This condition is referred to as venous insufficiency or poor circulation.

Over 40 million adults suffer from varicose veins in the United States.

Now that you know what varicose veins are and how much common this medical condition is, let’s understand their connection with intense exercises.

Varicose veins and weight lifting

Almost everyone presumes that the rise in blood flow, while you’re exercising, leads to bulged veins. But the fact is that your increased blood pressure inside your veins won’t make your veins rise or bulge to your skin’s surface.

When you lift weights, your veins bulge to your skin’s surface because of heightened plasma. That sharp spike in the plasma may cause your muscle mass to harden or swell.

The short answer to the question of whether weightlifting, running, or other intense workouts cause varicose veins is: no, they do not. In fact, running and weightlifting can improve your body’s blood circulation. In addition, when your body’s blood circulation is improved, the risk of blood pooling in your legs will actually decrease. The more oxygen you can circulate throughout your body, the less likely you will suffer from muscle fatigue after you stop your workout.

But you have to keep one thing in mind: If you’re susceptible to forming varicose veins, you must avoid doing regular workouts that involve heavy weights. If you’re likely to have varicose vein orhave a family history of varicose veins, then heavy lifting could potentially increase your risk overtime. Putting an increased demand on your muscles and veins by lifting heavy weights, can stress the venous system and weaken vein valves.

This is why it is important to consult a vein specialist if you’re at risk of developing varicose veins, but also want to sweat it out in the gym. These specialists will let you know the reasonable amount of weights that you can lift if you don’t want to aggravate your venous insufficiency.

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Prevent Pain During Exercise

  • Run on shock-absorbing surfaces– This means picking places like grass, dirt tracks, or athletic tracks to limit the impact on your calves and thighs. This can help reduce pain while running or working out.
  • Get cushioned workout shoes – If your shoes do not have enough cushioning, it will increase the shock you will get from running or walking. Make sure they have good arch support and cushion, even for lifting.
  • Wear compression stockings or socks – while you’re running, t may be helpful to wear compression stockings in order to help the flow of blood back to the heart. Ask a doctor if you should wear them for lifting as well. The main idea is that they will help squeeze the veins just the right amount so that the blood flow can be encouraged back to the heart.
  • Consider your running style – if you’re an avid runner, it may be smart to determine your running style. A personal trainer, running or lifting coach, or physical therapist can help you identify where you are putting the most pressure on your foot while running or walking and what strategies you can implement to correct this issue.
  • Walk or ride a bike after lifting – This promotes healthy blood flow following a lifting session. Because lifting can put a lot of strain on circulation, you’ll want to make sure you do a proper cool down work out and not just stop immediately after lifting.

In Conclusion

Weightlifting and running do not cause varicose veins to develop; however, if you are predisposed, you may want to lift lighter weights at higher intervals or choose to jog or walk instead.

If you’re suffering from varicose veins, you shouldn’t ignore this medical condition. Because once it’s ignored, a severe case of varicose vein might lead to other conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, venous ulcers, or skin discoloration. [6]

Which is why, if you have varicose veins, you should go for a minimally invasive, FDA–approved vein removal treatment without wasting time.

When it comes to finding the right vein removal treatment, it comes down to USA Veins Clinics. Our vein treatment center offers nonsurgical outpatient procedures that are safe and effective. Whether you’re looking for venous ulcer treatment or a varicose vein removal, our vascular specialists will provide you with lasting results in no time.

Get in touch with us today by calling 888.768.3467 or schedule your appointment online today.

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