Veins In Sport
How do varicose veins affect endurance in sport?
Blood passes through arteries to deliver oxygen and glucose to muscles. Fully functioning veins will take the waste products, lactic acid and carbon dioxide, back to the body where they will be processed by the lungs and kidneys. Varicose veins, however, prevent this return flow of blood and the blood will pool.
When the venous blood pools in the varicose veins of the lower leg, fresh arterial blood cannot flow through the muscle in the way it should (because of the high venous pressure). This means:
- There is a considerable lack of oxygen and glucose in the muscle
- There is a considerable rise in waste products (especially lactic acid and carbon dioxide)
Both these factors will considerably decrease the muscle performance, especially in long distance running or cycling or football, and will also increase the risk of muscle injury.
Many professional athlete patients report an increase in endurance and strength in the lower legs after treatment of varicose veins.
If varicose veins are preventing you from partaking in sport, or reducing your activities, call us to make an appointment to see our Vein Specialist, Dr Netzer and discuss what can be done to help you.