Most athletes take great care of their bodies so it may come as quite a shock that varicose veins although not commonly but can still affect athletes. When you think of varicose veins they are mostly considered with individuals who might be older and unfit, however anyone including athletes can develop them. You may think varicose veins may not be a hindrance to you or your training but they can cause uncomfortable symptoms and harm athletic performances, so it is always wise especially for physically active people to take the risk of varicose veins seriously.
Varicose veins are primarily caused by the damage or weakening of the one-way valves or walls of the superficial veins in your legs, resulting in the blood not being pumped efficiently and instead accumulating in the vein. There is no set reason as to why people might develop varicose veins and it has little to do with their level of physical activity. Unfortunately one reason athletes or anyone can develop varicose veins is genetics. If one parent has a vein disease you are 33 per cent more likely to have one as well, if both of your parents has one your risk factor actually increases to 90 per cent. Varicose veins are also more likely to appear in women, with more than one third of all women suffering with varicose veins, and less than one-quarter of men developing them. Other risk factors include pregnancy and hormonal fluctuations, although there is little you can do to impact these risk factors there are steps you can take to help prevent varicose veins.
Athletes and those who are incredibly active rarely have to worry about excessive weight playing a role in varicose vein development. Other steps you can take to reduce the risk is trying to elevate your feet as much as possible as elevation makes it easier for veins in the lower legs to pump blood back to the heart, thus reducing the development of varicose veins. Also another way is simply maintaining a daily diet that consists of being high in fibre and low in sodium this will prevent conditions that might increase the risk of varicose veins.
Unfortunately when it comes to varicose veins they aren’t normally associated with any symptoms and when they do begin to occur they won’t have an immediate effect on your training. If you are an athlete or a physically fit individual it is important to remember that during exercise the muscles require more oxygen which is accomplished by increased blood flow through the arteries. This extra blood needs to be carried to the heart through the leg veins, and this might aggravate symptoms which could development into harsh pains, aching, cramping and swelling of the legs. In harsher cases the skin surrounding the skin can become irritated and even inflamed. Varicose veins tend to worsen over time, and if they are left untreated they may end up hindering your ability to train and even your performance as an athlete.
If you begin to experience the symptoms and notice a difference in your performance it is wise to seek out treatment. Treatment for varicose veins through clinics like the Vein Centre has become increasingly advanced, especially with clinics that solely focus on treating veins. Most places will tailor treatment to your specific needs, and can offer non-surgical and invasive treatment. Treatment previously included the veins being surgically tied and stripped but now clinics mostly use non-surgical treatments that can guarantee both success and patient satisfaction rates, but your clinic will advise the best treatment method for you and your performance as an athlete.