Have you ever felt like you had pulled a muscle in your lower calf about 5-10 minutes into a run? Maybe you have experienced pain, heaviness, aching, or swelling during or shortly after your runs. If you also have dark blue and purple veins that become curvy and bulge at the skin’s surface, your mysterious pain may be connected to varicose veins or chronic venous insufficiency.What does it mean to have varicose veins?
To state it simply, the human circulatory system consists of a heart, arteries, and veins. The arteries deliver oxygenated blood from the heart throughout the body and the veins return the blood back to the heart. Because the veins are fighting gravity to get the blood back to the heart, the valves inside these veins can become damaged and fail. When this happens, the blood continues to flow through the veins, but they become inflamed, stretched out, curvy, and can bulge at the surface at the skin. When this occurs it a diagnosis of varicose veins is often forthcoming. If left untreated, varicose veins may lead to bleeding, ulceration, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
How do you get varicose veins?
The vast majority of varicose vein cases can be attributed to family history. Other contributing factors include obesity, long periods of standing or sitting, advanced age, hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, and when using birth control pills, and the increased blood volume that women experience naturally during pregnancy (especially after two or more pregnancies).
What can you do to prevent them?
While running does force blood through your veins and arteries, it will not cause or exacerbate varicose veins. Some of the things you can do to lessen your leg pain include:
- Wear compression stockings to support your leg muscles and blood flow
- Run on shock-absorbing surfaces such as grass, dirt tracks, athletic tracks instead of asphalt
- Ensure that your running shoes provide support and cushion
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Put your feet up when you relax
- Cool yourself down with ice or a cool shower to reduce inflammation
- Replace tight-fitting clothing with loose, comfortable garments
Can runners who suffer from varicose veins find relief?
Thankfully yes. If your close relatives have had varicose veins, it would be prudent to see a vein specialist have your veins evaluated periodically. Unlike past circumstances, today board-certified vein specialists use ultrasound technology to observe the blood flow and pinpoint circulatory problems. If it is determined that treatment is necessary, it can be done in the office quickly and without pain. Best of all, there is no downtime and vein treatment is typically covered by health insurance.
If you are in Chicago, schedule a consultation at Illinois Vein Specialists. More than 10,000 patients have been helped by their physicians who are board-certified in venous and lymphatic medicine.
Illinois Vein Specialists serve patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois. Contact Illinois Vein Specialists today.
OUR PHILOSOPHY. FIND A BOARD CERTIFIED VENOUS AND LYMPHATIC DOCTOR.
At Illinois Vein Specialists, we understand that seeking proper care is just as important to you as it is for us. That is why we focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and provide the most advanced and effective treatments available today. We treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Glenview, Northbrook, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois.
We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins -- find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic Doctor.