cycling and varicose veins

Cycling and Varicose Veins

In a bid to fight obesity, the UK government is encouraging more people to cycle to work. The recent coronavirus pandemic has also led to an increase in cyclists, as people look for safer, alternative transport.

While cycling can do wonders for the body, it has been linked to the development of varicose veins for many years. Here, we’ll look at how cycling can impact varicose veins and why treatment should be sought as early as possible.

How does cycling impact varicose veins?

What many vein experts have seen over the years, is that cyclists often have worse veins than other patients. The exact reasons for this are unknown. However, it could be down to the veins becoming more prominent due to cyclists experiencing increased venous return; causing the veins to dilate.

There has also been an observation that cyclists suffer with a different type of varicose vein known as perforator veins. These are the veins that pump blood through the muscles, rather than just under the skin. This type of varicose vein in cyclists is thought to be caused by the added pressure placed onto the calf muscles.

A lower body fat and the wearing of specially designed cycle apparel can mean that cyclists feel their veins are more prominent and noticeable, causing them to seek treatment.

Currently, there is no scientific evidence to link varicose veins to cyclists. However, there does appear to be an association between them.

Can you prevent the risks?

Unfortunately, preventing varicose veins isn’t always possible. Varicose veins aren’t necessarily caused by cycling itself. The main risk factor of developing the condition is genetics. So, if your mother or father had them for example, you’ll have an increased risk of developing them yourself.

Cycling is actually great for the body. It’s benefits far outweigh its potential risks and it can actually improve the condition by ensuring plenty of blood is pumped back up to the heart. It is generally only after you are resting you will experience the symptoms of varicose veins, not while you are cycling.

Why seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential

Whatever the cause of your varicose veins, it is important to get them treated quickly. When left, varicose veins tend to worsen. In severe cases, they can cause blood clots to form, causing potentially deadly consequences.

Varicose vein treatment is quick and practically painless. There are a lot of different treatments available, including minimally invasive procedures. Book a consultation today to see which treatment would work best for your varicose veins.