Running is a great form of exercise, but some wonder whether the repeated pounding of the streets could improve varicose veins or make them worse.
Firstly, it’s important to remember that the main cause of varicose veins is for them to be an inherited condition. Another prime risk factor for varicose veins is being overweight – a problem which running would generally improve.
Will Running Make Varicose Veins Worse?
Strenuous exercise will make the body’s circulation system work harder. That’s why we tend to be flushed after a workout as the veins expand to lose body heat faster. Excessive exercise can therefore put a strain on a condition such as varicose veins, but that isn’t necessarily a reason to stop altogether as being inactive is just as bad, if not worse, for circulation problems.
The usual advice for runners is that it’s generally OK to carry on running with varicose veins as long as they are not causing pain or discomfort but to take a few precautions in order to avoid putting excessive pressure on the veins:
- Where to run – the pavement can be quite unforgiving – try softer surfaces (grass, tracks etc) which absorb a bit more of the shock
- Shoes – ensure running shoes have good cushioning and are in good condition. Regular runners should expect to replace shoes every 300-500 miles. The tread may look fine, but once the cushioning is compressed, pains and injuries can start
- Compression tights/socks – these can help the flow of blood back to the heart, thereby improving circulation
- Intensity – listen to your body – if a very long or fast run causes the veins to throb or ache, then that is a clear sign they’ve been put under too much pressure
- Avoid being sedentary – when not running, try to keep active. Move around every 30 minutes or so to aid the circulation of blood
If you have any concerns at all, it is best to see a doctor for an examination and advice.
Will Running Improve Varicose Veins?
Sadly there is no exercise which can improve varicose veins.
Being active is a good precaution to guard against them developing and regular exercise can prevent them getting worse, but as above, there are precautions to consider.
Once the varicose veins have started, the only real solution is a medical treatment.
Varicose Vein Treatment
Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer private varicose vein treatment including EVLA (endovenous laser ablation) laser varicose vein removal with a vascular surgeon with prices starting at £1,650 per leg (1 vein).
For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.