Vascular problems are common among athletes, particularly those who participate in endurance sports. Common issues include injuries to the extremities, deep vein thrombosis, peripheral artery disease, pulmonary embolism, and Raynaud's phenomenon. These can cause a variety of symptoms, such as swelling of the legs, pain or cramping in the lower extremities, and difficulty breathing. It's important for athletes to be aware of the signs and symptoms of vascular problems and to seek medical attention if they experience any of these symptoms.
Treatment for vascular problems in athletes usually involves lifestyle changes, such as increased physical activity and proper nutrition. Additionally, doctors may prescribe medications to reduce inflammation and help improve circulation. Your doctor may refer you to a vascular specialist to schedule a non-invasive vascular study and assess any potential problems. In more serious cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage to the blood vessels.
Surgery is often used to treat more serious vascular problems in athletes. Procedures such as angioplasty, stenting, and bypass surgery can be used to open blocked arteries and improve blood flow.
Recovery from vascular surgery typically takes a few weeks, depending on the type of procedure. During this time, it's important for athletes to follow the doctor's instructions for activity level, diet, and medications. It's also important to get plenty of rest and avoid strenuous activities. With proper care and rest, athletes can usually return to their sports activities within a few weeks.