Say What? An NFL Player Being Treated for Varicose Veins?

When most people think about varicose veins, it’s likely they think about a condition that only affects the elderly—that varicose veins is just a fact of aging.

Well, that’s not necessarily true. While aging is certainly a common factor in the formation of varicose veins, lifestyle can be another contributing factor. According to a recent article on the The Baltimore Sun website, dealing with varicose veins has become a reality for professional NFL football player, Matt Birk. Here’s a bit from the article:

The Ravens opened up their mandatory minicamp Tuesday afternoon without two starters from their offensive line. Offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie and center Matt Birk were not on the rain-soaked practice field, though head coach John Harbaugh said their absences were excused.

McKinnie was held out of practice due to concerns about his conditioning, but he was inside the practice facility. Meanwhile, Birk had surgery to have varicose veins fixed in his legs, something that has been on his plans since the end of last season but wasn’t taken care of until last week.

» Read the full article

The take away message is that varicose veins can affect just about anybody who puts a lot of stress on their lower extremities over a duration of time. Often, varicose veins are merely a cosmetic inconvenience. But sometimes, varicose veins can be a sign of a much deeper, unseen problem of the peripheral vascular system and it’s worth seeing a vein specialist if problems persist or you suspect there may be problems.

Imtiaz Ahmad, MD

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