Why Are Varicose Veins Common in Athletes?

Why Are Varicose Veins Common in Athletes

Isn’t it a little surprising that athletes who are amongst the fittest people are highly likely to develop varicose veins? Athletes not only train hard but also eat well and remain hydrated. They also maintain a healthy weight but are still vulnerable to varicose veins.

Varicose veins are the ropy and bulging veins that can hamper the stamina and performance of an athlete. Most athletes focus on sports that rely majorly on the legs. Their legs often have to support additional weight for long durations at a stretch. 

This is especially true for athletes who train for weightlifting, backpacking, and skiing. Other activities such as running, cycling, and sports with repetitive actions are also known to increase the risk of varicose veins. Athletes who play football or tennis are also known to be largely affected by varicose veins. 

There is a simple reason behind the high probability of athletes complaining of varicose veins. Even though athletes have a healthy lifestyle characterized by balanced meals and rigorous physical activity, their legs are often strained due to extended training sessions.

Regardless of the sport, an athlete has to train for hours at a stretch and this is what causes stress in their legs and veins. The prolonged periods of strain in the legs often lead to excessive damage to the leg vein valves. This hinders the movement of blood back to the heart causing excessive blood pooling.

The accumulated blood causes swelling and leads to enlarged veins. This is accompanied by extreme pain and discomfort in the affected area. There may also be a throbbing sensation accompanied by itching in the affected area.

Failure to recognize these early signs of varicose veins can cause this condition to worsen. Patients develop skin discoloration and the damaged area also becomes hard to touch. In extreme cases, athletes may even find it difficult to stand or move around.

It is extremely essential for athletes to keep a check on their vein health and watch out for any visible signs as early diagnosis is the key to a successful treatment. The easiest way to recognize symptoms of varicose veins include:

  1. Painful legs
  2. Heaviness in the affected area
  3. Swelling in ankles and feet
  4. Throbbing sensation
  5. Cramping in the damaged area
  6. Itching in the lower legs

If you notice one or more of these symptoms detailed below, you must immediately schedule your appointment with a vascular expert. He will evaluate your vein health by physical examination and might also need you to undergo a colour doppler scan to check for the severity of the medical condition.

After a confirmed diagnosis, your varicose veins can be treated through a painless and minimally invasive laser treatment. In this procedure of endovenous laser ablation, the interventional radiologist makes a small incision to insert a thin catheter and a laser fibre in the damaged area. 

The heat from the damaged area is used to burn off the varicose veins. These dead veins get reabsorbed in the body while the body continues to get the blood flowing from other neighbouring veins. It is a safe procedure with a high success rate.

Dr. Rajah V Koppala specialises in the laser treatment of varicose veins. He is an internationally qualified vascular surgeon with decades of experience as an interventional radiologist. He has completed 13000+ procedures and continues to cure patients of all age groups at Avis Vascular Centre

Avis Vascular Centre has state-of-the-art medical amenities and the best support staff that ensure you have a convenient and comfortable medical experience. We also have tie-ups with insurance providers and work closely with them to provide timely Mediclaim assistance.

Do not ignore varicose veins. Lack of treatment can lead to chronic venous insufficiency, active venous ulcers, and blood clots in the deep veins (DVT). Schedule your appointment with Dr. Rajah V Koppala at Avis Vascular Centre. We also offer free colour doppler scan for all deserving patients, book your appointment today!