Q: Can I Exercise After A Vein Procedure?
Q: I’ve just had a vein procedure. How fast after can I start my exercise routine again?
A: It depends. The short answer (or suggestion) to exercising after a vein procedure is the following:
- For radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or endovenous laser ablation (Laser), exercise is okay as soon as it feels okay to you, usually a couple of days after. Try to postpone intense physical activity such as weight lifting or cycling for a couple of days.
- For sclerotherapy (vein injections against spider veins), it is recommended to wear compression stockings after treatment, and stop exercise if you can for about 5-7 days.
- Following your doctor’s recommendations is key in the days and weeks following any procedure, because no two people are the same and only your vascular specialist knows your exact health history, treatment and possible complications to bear in mind.
If you want a more detailed explanation read on..
The time it takes to return to a full or unmodified workout routine really depends on the type of procedure
Exercise after Varicose Vein Surgery
In the weeks and months following surgery to correct varicose veins, exercise is encouraged to help speed healing and regain proper vein function.
If there is one form of physical activity that is given the green light, it’s walking. That’s because walking during recovery from varicose vein surgery is critical for most patients. We ask our patients to walk after varicose vein treatment for 30 minutes and we advise walking every day for at least an hour a day for the weeks following treatment.
Walking helps reduce the risk of developing a blood clot in the deep veins and can also help reduce leg pain after varicose vein surgery.
Also, there are no exact guidelines on exactly when you can resume heavy exercise like running, heavy lifting or cycling after a vein procedure, but most surgeons recommend avoiding heavy exercise for 2 weeks following a vein procedure.
Thus, when it comes to strenuous activity or high-intensity exercise, typically, a patient should not resume high impact exercise until they have had a post-procedure ultrasound to make sure the veins have successfully been treated and there is no blood clot. Directions may vary by the exact type of vein procedure you have.
Exercise is also recommended for preventing new varicose veins from forming. They point out that any exercise that works the muscles in your legs may help prevent new varicose veins or spider veins from forming since the muscles in the legs help your veins push blood back to the heart.
If you have any questions or concerns about resuming a regular exercise routine or designing a routine that may help prevent new varicose veins from forming, it’s always a good idea to talk with your doctor and also physical therapist or instructor.
Exercise after Spider Vein Treatment (Sclerotherapy)
Sclerotherapy does not produce as secure a closure of the spider veins as radiofrequency ablation or endovenous laser ablation does to the larger varicose veins. Surgeons depend on compression to help seal the smaller veins closed, and to achieve a nicer result. But even with compression stockings, the increased blood flow to the legs during exercise may result in veins that are not completely sealed. This has not been proven by scientific studies, but observation has led us to believe this. Generally, we suggest pausing the exercise routine for about 5 days from date of treatment (injection). We advise to wear compression stockings as long as possible (including at night) in order to get optimal results. Patients over the years have told us that stockings seem to make their results better.
Low-impact activities, such as walking or swimming, light weight lifting or stretching-based activities like yoga or tai-chi, are encouraged after this time. However, we recommend to avoid hot yoga or even using a jacuzzi because these activities involve heat. This extreme heat may dilate and open up the vein that the sclerotherapy treatment is trying to close. Try to avoid long, hot showers as well.
High-impact activities such as running, heavy lifting and squatting, should be avoided for at least an additional 2-3 days, sometimes up to a week. You can, however, resume the vast majority of your daily activities immediately after the procedure.
If you have recently undergone or are planning to undergo sclerotherapy or other spider vein treatments, rest assured that you do not have give up your regular exercise routine. In fact, exercise is known to prevent the development of vein disease, including varicose veins by improving the blood circulation in your legs and by helping you maintain a healthy weight.
We welcome phone calls from you or your other healthcare providers with questions or concerns, so we can explain the difference in the treatment options that we offer.