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If I exercise more will my varicose veins go away?

This question was asked in Stafford, Kansas and has 5 answer(s) as of 10/12/2012.
Is it true that exercising can make your veins go away?


Doctors Answers (5)

The short answer is no. I am a proponent of exercise. People who have venous insufficiency will benefit from walking while wearing the appropriate compression socks or stockings. It will improve leg swelling by strengthening calf muscles which pump the blood out of the legs. Exercise will improve your overall health, but procedures to eliminate veins is the only way to rid yourself of unwanted veins.

No, once you have them, exercise will not make varicose and spider veins go away but improving your circulation and muscle tone can reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or getting additional ones.

No. Exercise is helpful if you have arterial insufficiency that is if an artery is occluded exercise will promote the formation of new collateral vessels. These new collateral vessels that are formed in response to exercise carry more blood around the blocked artery. With varicose veins the problem is not that there is a blockage of the vein but rather that there is a problem with the valves inside the vein. The venous valves do not close but remain open leading to reflux and venous insufficiency and venous hypertension. Prolonged standing or too much exercise increases venous blood flow and can make the varicose vein worse. Varicose veins are improved by reducing the amount of venous reflux. Venous reflux can be reduced by closing the segment of vein with the reflux (usually the greater saphenous or the short saphenous vein). External compression (elastic stockings and leg elevation) help reduce venous hypertension and reduce venous reflux but they do not solve the underlying problem which is that the valves inside the vein remain open allowing blood to go down the leg instead of up toward the heart.

No, it actually can make them worse.

No, exercise will not make existing varicose veins disappear. Once the venous valves within the veins are damaged and the veins become enlarged and weak, the veins cannot be repaired nor the damage reversed.

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