Varicose veins are a genetic condition that is usually associated with inactive and overweight people, as well as pregnant women due to weak calf muscles and/or impeded blood flow in the veins in the legs and pelvic area. However, it is also known to affect perfectly healthy and physically active individuals.
Athletes are constantly running on hard surfaces or engaging in heavy resistance training and other strenuous activities. This puts their veins under a lot of strain, causing them to bulge and appear on the surface of the skin as ropy blood vessels on the lower thighs and calves. Varicose veins can also form on the arms, chest, and other parts of the body where blood flow is restricted.
Varicose veins usually don’t cause any pain or unfavorable symptoms, except for aesthetic concerns. But in some cases, they can cause uncomfortable symptoms that hinder the performance of an athlete.
Varicose Veins Prevention
For most people, light leg exercises like walking and jogging are enough to strengthen the calf muscles and reduce the risk of vein problems. But considering that this may not be an option for athletes, your vein specialist may recommend a personalized plan that includes:
- Keeping your legs elevated when resting to make it easier for blood in the lower extremities to flow back to the heart
- Avoid exposing your veins to extremely high temperatures in hot baths, hot tubs, and saunas
- Increase your dietary intake of fiber and reduce sodium consumptions to reduce the risk for constipation, water retention, and other problems that may contribute to varicose veins
Varicose Veins Treatment
If your varicose veins are causing symptoms such as localized pain, itchy, swollen legs, or tired, heavy legs, your Ventura or Los Angeles-based vein specialist may recommend various minimally invasive treatments that involve little or no downtime and won’t cause major interruption to your training schedule. The sooner you get problematic veins treated, the faster you can achieve optimal training and performance.