If you are a runner and need New Orleans vein treatment, you probably have questions about how running affects your varicose veins, and vice-versa. Even if you don’t have varicose veins but know that you’re at higher-than-normal risk of developing them because your close relatives had them, you probably have similar questions. In this article, we’ll try to answer some of those questions, and provide a few tips for how to exercise safely if you already have vein disease or are at risk of it.
First – and very important – exercise is good for your veins
Unlike arteries, which have internal muscles to pump blood, your veins rely on the contraction of the muscles in your legs to pump blood back to your heart. So in general, most forms of aerobic exercise – including running – are good for your veins, because they work your leg and calf muscles and thus improve healthy blood flow. This is true even if you have a high risk of developing vein disease because of genetic or age factors. Even if you already have varicose veins, regular exercise is actually recommended because it improves your circulation. However, depending on the severity of your varicose veins, there may be some limits as to what types of exercise may be best for you.
Strenuous exercise can increase pressure on already-damaged veins
Most varicose veins are caused by a disease called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which causes the tiny, one-way valves in your veins to become damaged and “leaky.” This causes blood to flow back into the veins instead of flowing to your heart, a condition known as venous reflux. Because internal pressure in veins damaged by CVI may already be high, exercises that involve straining and heavy lifting may not be advisable because they may increase the pressure even more, and put additional strain on your circulation. Thus, your New Orleans varicose vein specialists may advise against doing leg squats, sit-ups, lunges, crunches, lifting weights, and performing similar strenuous exercises. Depending on your condition and how serious it is, running may also be a bad idea. Certainly competitive running such as marathons should be avoided.
Low-impact aerobics may be better for you if you have vein disease
Walking is the best exercise, whether you have vein disease or not. It works the muscles in your legs and improves your circulation, while avoiding the constant impact that can occur when you run. Other types of recommended low-impact exercise include riding a bike or stationary bike or using an elliptical trainer. If you can wear compression stockings when you exercise, that’s even better.
If your varicose veins already cause you so much pain that even mild exercise or walking are not possible, remember that you canexercise while sitting down, flexing your calf muscles and rotating your ankles to maintain blood flow, or using under-the-desk pedal exercisers. Mild exercise like this won’t get rid of your varicose veins, but it can ease some of the uncomfortable symptoms.
If you want to get back to running and athletics, consider vein removal
Varicose veins can’t be repaired, but they can be removed. The procedures used by the best vein doctors in Covington at La Bella Vita Laser and Vein Center are all minimally-invasive, which means that they are painless and can be performed in the comfort of our offices, with no need to go to a hospital. Once the damaged veins have been removed, you very quickly regain the energy and the healthy circulation you need to return to running or other more strenuous exercises. If you’re interested in learning how fast, easy, and effective modern vein removal treatments are at our New Orleans vein treatment center, give us a call or go online and we can get started on your path to healthier and more attractive legs.
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