11 doctors weighed in:
Does running worsen varicose veins on legs?
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. James Isobe
Phlebology
7 doctors agree
In brief: Not really
Running/walking activates the calf muscle pump which propels the blood return from the legs.
The exercise activity dilates the vv and makes them more prominent and may result in increased sensitivity and the use of compression hose will lessen the discomfort. Running will not worsen the vv, but standing, sitting long periods will do so.

In brief: Not really
Running/walking activates the calf muscle pump which propels the blood return from the legs.
The exercise activity dilates the vv and makes them more prominent and may result in increased sensitivity and the use of compression hose will lessen the discomfort. Running will not worsen the vv, but standing, sitting long periods will do so.
Dr. James Isobe
Dr. James Isobe
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2 comments
Dr. Nick (Donald) Morrison
He is right. Runners can have vein disease too with their genetics, so get a vein work up with an ultrasound by a phlebologist as he suggests, get the minimally invasive treatment procedures and then continue running. Our staff, even after being treated, wear compression stockings or medical compression leggings to work for prolonged sitting and standing.
Dr. Sonja Stiller-martin
Agreed. Running does not worsen varicose veins. Excercise will likely decrease symptoms as the 'calf muscle pump' becomes more efficient - much like the heart becomes 'stronger' with exercise allowing the heart rate to drop but still providing enough blood flow to the body. More efficient pumping by the calf muscle may decrease symptoms but the veins are still there. Wear compression -everyone!
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
Surgery - Plastics
3 doctors agree
In brief: Difficult to say
I do see a lot of hard core athletes get reflux in their ssv this may be due to muscle hypertrophy blocking the ssv from emptying.
But as the other doc stated muscle helps propel blood flow back to heart. I think this needs to be further studied.

In brief: Difficult to say
I do see a lot of hard core athletes get reflux in their ssv this may be due to muscle hypertrophy blocking the ssv from emptying.
But as the other doc stated muscle helps propel blood flow back to heart. I think this needs to be further studied.
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
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Dr. Ted King
Phlebology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Sort of
Generally, exercise is good for veins.
Many times runners who have slender legs will develop very prominent veins that are normal. Veins enlarge because of their need to return more blood from your legs to your heart when you exercise. When you already have bad veins, exercise can sometimes make your legs feel worse. The real issue, though, in developing varicose veins is heredity, not exercise.

In brief: Sort of
Generally, exercise is good for veins.
Many times runners who have slender legs will develop very prominent veins that are normal. Veins enlarge because of their need to return more blood from your legs to your heart when you exercise. When you already have bad veins, exercise can sometimes make your legs feel worse. The real issue, though, in developing varicose veins is heredity, not exercise.
Dr. Ted King
Dr. Ted King
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Dr. Norman Chideckel
Surgery - Vascular
In brief: Running
aerobic activity is helpful however with ing=creased muscle mass veins may become more prominent without vein varicose support hose during running may be of benefit also at times hard core running may cause blood flow to reflux fro the deep veinss to the superficial system causing a varicose vein

In brief: Running
aerobic activity is helpful however with ing=creased muscle mass veins may become more prominent without vein varicose support hose during running may be of benefit also at times hard core running may cause blood flow to reflux fro the deep veinss to the superficial system causing a varicose vein
Dr. Norman Chideckel
Dr. Norman Chideckel
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In brief: Running ; veins
If you are predisposed to vein disease and run, the impact at foot strike generates significant torque transmitted to venous valves in the legs.
Since these valves are genetically likely to fail, you may be accelerating the process. It is unknown what if any protective effect compression provides. Walking at incline can generate similar mets of exercise with less risk.

In brief: Running ; veins
If you are predisposed to vein disease and run, the impact at foot strike generates significant torque transmitted to venous valves in the legs.
Since these valves are genetically likely to fail, you may be accelerating the process. It is unknown what if any protective effect compression provides. Walking at incline can generate similar mets of exercise with less risk.
Dr. Lawrence Presant
Dr. Lawrence Presant
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Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
Surgery - Plastics
In brief: Yes
Over time yes.

In brief: Yes
Over time yes.
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
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