Varicose veins can be caused by a number of factors. Genetics, being female, old age and being overweight can all increase your risk of developing the condition. In some cases, excessive exercise has also been linked as a risk factor.
For those who enjoy weightlifting, there is some concern over whether it too can trigger varicose veins. So, can you get the condition through weightlifting? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know.
Can varicose veins be caused by weightlifting?
While it’s a common belief that weightlifting causes varicose veins, this isn’t actually true. Instead, what happens is the veins often bulge out after a weightlifting session due to the strain placed upon them throughout the exercise.
The bulging you see in the veins after a workout is temporary. It occurs due to the fact that extra blood is pumped to the muscles during exercise. The veins in the body need gravity to pump the blood back to the heart. During exercise, it may take longer for the blood to be pumped back to the heart, causing a temporary build-up of blood in the veins. This is what causes them to bulge outwards.
So, weightlifting doesn’t tend to cause varicose veins, but this could change if you’re lifting weights that are too heavy.
The danger of lifting heavier weights
The only time weightlifting could link to the development of varicose veins is if you are lifting really heavy weights. This puts severe demand on the muscles, in turn putting extra demand onto the veins. The pressure within the venous system can also be increased due to heavier weights, which over time can weaken the vein walls.
However, varicose veins will still only typically develop in those predisposed to the condition. Provided you only lift weights you can handle, it shouldn’t lead to the development of varicose veins.
So, those bulging veins you notice after a workout aren’t varicose veins. They are temporary and will usually subside once the body is fully rested. Varicose veins, on the other hand, are permanent. They won’t go away, and they’ll worsen over time.
If you do suspect you have varicose veins, it’s important to get them treated. Book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the cause and severity of the condition. This will help to determine the type of treatment required to clear them up.