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How can I have my spider veins removed without interrupting my exercise routine?

I am a long distance runner, so I get a lot of exercise, but I am still starting to develop spider veins on my legs. Why am I getting spider veins even though I frequently exercise? Is too much exercise causing the veins? If I had the spider veins removed, would I be able to run the same day?


Doctors Answers (5)

Spider veins are typically an inherited issue. Running will not contribute to it, but female hormonal changes, birth control and pregnancy all can increase the veins. In our practice we would check below the spider veins and treat the feeding reticular veins if they are present. At the same setting we would treat the surface veins either with laser or sclerotherapy injections (or a combination of both). We do use a compression stocking (either thigh or knee length depending upon location of veins) for seven days. We usually recommend lots of walking and hydration on the day of the procedure. You can run the next day, but in your stockings and maybe a reduced workout. Normal exercise is fine, maybe reducing heavy abdominal crunches for a few days and working back into the full routine over a week.

Exercise is BENEFICIAL for the entire circulatory system, including the veins. Exercise using the leg muscles helps to compress and lift venous blood in the deep veins that travel through the muscle. People who walk and exercise regularly have better veins and fewer vein problems than people who are sedentary or stand frequently in their jobs (retail, nursing, teachers, etc). Spider veins can be caused by repeated mild traumas as seen in some sports and usually are due to increased venous pressure and congestion in the small blue reticular veins. Although walking and running are both beneficial to circulation, it is still possible to develop some spider veins in an athlete. Treatment of spider veins DOES NOT RESTRICT AEROBIC EXERCISE even on the day of your treatment. After your spider veins are treated you will usually wear compression hose on your legs for several weeks (while out of bed), including wearing the hose while exercising/running.

You do not need to stop exercising unless you do heavy squats and lunges. Running is fine. We recommend wearing compression hose after the procedure.

Spider veins are not related to your exercise. The treatment of choice for spider veins is sclerotherapy which will require a week of compression hosiery, which makes running problematic. I would suggest treating them in the fall when the weather is cooler.

"Spider veins" - telangiectasia - are abnormal veins less than 1 mm in diameter within the skin. They develop as we age, and the tendency to have them is mostly genetic. The exercise is not causing the spider veins. Instructions after treatment vary considerably from one physician to another and may be varied depending on the severity of the clinical problem. I ask my patients to avoid vigorous physical activity only on the day of the procedure. We encourage them to be active and to walk frequently, especially on the day of the treatment.

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