Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Physical activity, leg pain…and veins?

Many athletes, professionals and amateurs alike, experience some kind of leg pain at one time or another, whether from the mechanics of pounding movement on a hard surface, or keeping their legs in the same position for extended periods. Rarely do they attribute the discomfort to a dysfunction in their venous (veins) system.

But not all aching legs are simply due to physical activity, or even the effects of aging. It may actually be vein insufficiency that’s causing those symptoms and not that five-mile run.

The first thing to understand that leg pain in general is not normal. If your legs hurt after exercise, you should find out why.

Some of the symptoms of vein disease are obvious: visible blue- or purple-colored “spider veins,” bulging varicose veins, or even open wounds (leg ulcers) on the leg or ankle. Other symptoms are much more subtle. In addition to achiness and swelling, sensations like an itching or tingling in the legs may be an indication of vein insufficiency. Leg cramps after long periods of inactivity, or while lying in bed at night, is another possible symptom.

Some people may experience no symptoms at all—and some merely accept them as an unavoidable byproduct of physical fitness. You can be in great shape and still have a vein disease that’s developing.

In our next post, we’ll look at how exercise impacts veins (and vice versa). If you wonder whether vein issues are affecting your physical performance, feel free to call the Vein Healthcare Center with any questions.

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