We tend to associate varicose veins with a person of a certain age, possibly carrying a bit more than they should and probably more comfortable on a couch than in the gym. But this is not the case at all. Our patient Claire Moor knocks these stereotypes right out of the water: She is young, slim, fit and a keen runner. But unfortunately, running seems to make her symptoms worse.
Claire, 34, lives in St Leonards and works in healthcare. She started running last Christmas, and regularly takes part in the Saturday morning five kilometre ParkRun on Hastings seafront. This led her to join a local club, Heart and Sole Running, with whom she trains at least once a week.
However, it was when Claire increased the amount of running that the varicose vein became a real problem. Each time she ran her leg would ache and she could see that one of the veins in her leg was raised and bumpy.
She said: “It’s got worse and worse over the last few months. Initially the pain would wear off after a while but now my leg aches all the time. I wear compression stockings most of the time and always when I run. It’s frustrating because I’ve signed up to do the Hastings Half Marathon next year and want to train properly but at the moment it’s very difficult. I’ve not stopped running but I can’t do as much as I would like to.”
Claire has chosen to have her varicose veins treated at the Cooden Medical Group in Bexhill. After a consultation with Dr Mo Faris, who specialises in minimally invasive treatments for problem veins, she was booked in for an EVLA procedure, which uses a guided laser to destroy the vein from the inside.
Dr Faris said: “Although running exacerbates Claire’s symptoms, I’ve reassured her that it wasn’t running that caused the problem – her vein already had faulty valves, so it was only a matter of time before it became varicose. The EVLA procedure is quick, effective and virtually painless so she will be back in her running shoes in no time.”
“I can’t wait to have the treatment,” said Claire. “Dr Faris has assured me that I will be able to walk immediately afterwards and that I will be able to start running again in two weeks. This will give me enough time to build up to the half marathon in March. And I’m really looking forward to not having to wear compression stockings ever again!”
Claire will be running the Hastings Half to fundraise for the Royal Marsden, along with her friend who is a patient at the hospital. We will catch up with Claire in a few weeks’ time when she’s had her treatment and will let you know how she gets on with her running and fundraising.
You can donate to Claire’s JUST GIVING CAMPAIGN to support her.