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What exercises can I safely do if I have leg varicose veins?

I really want to tone up my legs and the rest of my body, but I have varicose veins all over my legs. They get really painful if I sit for too long or in the wrong position, and lifting heavy objects also makes them really ache. I was thinking of starting out with leg lifts, and other leg exercises with ankle weights. Will these exercises hurt the varicose veins and make them even worse? They are already so painful now, and I don't want more, but I also want to get in shape. What exercises can I safely do if I have leg varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (3)

Aerobic exercises and walking are best to tone up your leg muscles and are beneficial for the leg veins. Exercise will not make the leg varicose veins worse. You can consider getting the leg veins treated at a vein clinic both for the aching symptoms and for the improved appearance. Vein treatments are done in the office with no change in normal activities and exercise.

There are really no restrictions for exercise except your symptoms. You should consider a full evaluation by a Board Certified Vascular trained surgeon who specializes in vein treatment. This will include an ultrasound examination to assess the cause of the varicose veins. Typically, an inherited underlying back flow in the saphenous system is easily treated in an office procedure. If you have this problem and with the symptoms you are experiencing, you should be eligible for insurance coverage.

We do not restrict exercise because of varicose veins. My suggestion is for you to see a qualified vein specialist to evaluate your problem since it will only get worse over time.

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