Did you know that Americans spend about a third of their lives at work? Spending that much time repeating the same physical actions over and over again can take a toll on your body. But is your job affecting your veins?
Yes, possibly – it can affect them quite a lot over time! More than 30 million Americans suffer from vein problems that may stem from a sedentary lifestyle or job that makes them more prone to developing these issues.
If you think your job may be affecting your vein health, read on! We’ll cover
- which jobs increase the risk of developing venous disease,
- the signs that your job may be affecting your veins, and
- what you can do to prevent, minimize, and treat spider and varicose veins.
It’s all here, so let’s start with a quick list of jobs that have an increased risk of varicose veins:
- Flight attendants
- Hairdressers and beauty therapists
- Journalists and writers
- Waiters and chefs
- Doctors and nurses
- Retail workers
- Office-bound workers
- Internet Marketers
- Computer programmers
- Full-time parents
- Nurses, physicians, and pharmacists
- Customer services workers
Besides putting you at risk for varicose veins, what do all of these jobs have in common? They require long periods of sitting or standing.
When you stand, your veins have to work harder to pump your blood back to your heart because your blood is moving against gravity. Your vein valves keep your blood moving upwards from your feet to your heart, but if they get damaged or weaken, then your blood can flow backwards and pool up in your legs. Over time, these damaged veins will begin to bulge, causing swollen, twisted varicose veins.
Okay. That makes sense, right? But how does sitting cause varicose veins?
Sitting for long periods leads to poor circulation in your legs. When you sit, your veins have to work harder to move blood back to your heart. When you sit with your legs crossed, you put pressure on the veins making it even harder for the blood to flow through them. Sitting for long periods, sitting with your legs bent, and crossing your legs can all lead to varicose veins, swelling in your ankles, and even blood clots.
How Do I Know If My Job’s Affecting My Veins?
The best way to know if your job is affecting your veins is to pay attention to your body. So take a moment right now and answer these questions.
- Do you feel burning, throbbing, tingling, or cramping in your legs at the end of a long day?
- Do your legs feel tired, swollen, achy, or heavy?
- If you already have spider or varicose veins showing up, are they itchy?
- Have you noticed skin surface ulcers on your lower legs or any skin discoloration?
- Do you have restless legs at night when you try to go to sleep?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then your job – or something else in your lifestyle – may be affecting your veins. If varicose or spider veins haven’t shown up yet, then the good news is you still have time to prevent or minimize them.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins When Standing All Day – or Sitting All Day
There are some simple actions you can take to lessen the chance of developing varicose veins when your job requires you to stand or sit for long periods of time.
Keep your body moving!
Don’t sit or stand in one place for too long. Instead, do your best to move around every 30 minutes. Even if you can’t take a break or a quick walk around the office, then shift your weight continuously.
Give those valves a break!
At the end of the day, or even during breaks, elevate your legs above the level of your heart. If you hang out with your feet up, you’re using gravity to help move blood back to your heart, giving your valves a nice respite.
Get excited about exercise!
You probably don’t feel like exercising after a long day of being on your feet or sitting slumped over a computer. But exercising regularly improves your circulation and helps you maintain a healthy weight. In addition, it’s a great way to take some of the pressure off your veins. Exercise can also strengthen your calf muscles which are like “the heart in your legs” that help pump blood back up your legs.
Tight clothing can affect your circulation and exert pressure, making varicose veins worse. Loose clothing allows your blood to flow easily through your veins. High heels can weaken your calf muscles, while low or no-heeled shoes can tone your calf muscles and support vein health.
It’s all about support!
Support stockings and high-quality compression socks are designed to push blood up your legs. They provide support and improve your blood flow. This eases varicose veins and prevents them getting any larger.
We offer a wide range of modern support socks and hose in the office – you need to use ones of a good medical grade (20-30 mmHg).
When to Consult a Vein Specialist and Why
Many people who have varicose veins don’t experience any other problems aside from being concerned with how they look. But varicose veins can cause other symptoms like sore, achy, throbbing, tired, burning, or itching legs. If they’re deep enough, they can even cause deep vein thrombosis, which can be deadly.
That’s a good enough reason to consult with a vein specialist.
However, varicose veins won’t get better or disappear on their own. If left untreated, they may become more prominent or you may develop symptoms that become worse over time.
Vein specialists are trained to diagnose and treat venous disorders. They can also recognize other problems with the circulatory system, which means you’re in good hands for several reasons.
Personalized Solutions for Vein Health at Denver Vein Center
With 16 years of experience in vein health alone, Dr. Norton knows veins. Even though vein treatment has evolved over the years, she constantly stays up to date on best practices and new technology. She has the skills and experience necessary to help you stay strong and healthy regardless of how your job affects your veins.
Dr. Norton and the rest of our team are available to evaluate your risk of developing venous disease, especially when you think your job might be affecting your veins.
They can treat existing varicose and spider veins using minimally invasive techniques, and give you the tools you need to prevent future problems. Contact us for a consultation today!