These Jobs May Place You at Increased Varicose Vein Risk
Could your job be contributing to your varicose veins? If you work at one of these professions, that may be the case.
Heredity, weight, and even pregnancy heighten the risk of developing varicose veins. But did you also know certain professions can create the conditions that give rise to varicose veins?
To understand why, you have to look at our circulatory system. That system is made up of a complex network of veins and arteries that pump blood from the heart to the extremities. When this system functions properly, valves in the leg veins return blood to the heart. Keeping our muscles strong through exercise promotes circulation, as well.
However, if those valves weaken and cannot push blood against gravity, the blood pools within the veins, eventually causing varicose veins to emerge. Working at a job that requires long hours standing or seated at a desk slows blood flow and increases the likelihood of varicose veins. Here’s a look at the jobs that could put you at higher risk for varicose veins.
Jobs That Increase Varicose Vein Risk
The professions that increase your chances of developing varicose veins have one common characteristic — all demand you sit or stand for most of the workday. When we sit or stand for prolonged periods, blood tends to stagnate within the veins, which eventually stretches the vein walls beyond their capacity to contain the blood. Varicose veins — bulging ropes of blue and purple veins — then appear along the surface of the legs or feet. If you work at one of these jobs, you stand a greater chance of varicose veins.
- Healthcare Workers. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers spend most of their day on their feet. What’s more, they work long shifts with few breaks. Though nurses and other healthcare workers move around as they do their jobs, it may not be enough to counteract the negative effects of standing for long hours.
- Food Service Workers. Chefs prepare meals standing at a hot stove, while waiters also must work while on their feet all day. This puts continuous pressure on leg veins, leading to the appearance of varicose veins or spider veins.
- Teachers. Teaching requires instructors to stand before a classroom for the school day. Even when not teaching, teachers sit at their desks for many hours grading papers, which impedes blood flow.
- Office Workers. Office workers may not stand all day, but sitting for eight hours blocks blood from flowing unimpeded from the legs to the heart. This allows the blood to collect within the veins, resulting in varicose veins.
- Flight Attendants. Air travel of more than four hours can be especially harmful to veins because passengers are confined to a small space with little chance of movement. Flight attendants are at risk, as well. To do their job, flight attendants walk about the cabin to serve passengers, increasing the risk of varicose veins.
While workers in these professions may potentially develop varicose veins, it’s not inevitable they — or you — will suffer from the condition. Working with a vein specialist can help you prevent varicose veins, as can exercising regularly, elevating your feet when possible, and taking frequent breaks from your desk for a brief stroll. If you stand all day, try to wear comfortable, flat shoes, not high heels. You should also invest in a pair of compression stockings that tightly squeeze the legs veins so blood flows upward and doesn’t pool in the leg.
Treating Varicose Veins
At the Center for Vein Restoration, we offer the latest minimally invasive techniques to permanently rid you of varicose veins. We know you love your job, and you shouldn’t let the risk of varicose veins deter you from doing what you enjoy. Our specialists can discuss preventative tips and treatment options right for you individual situation. Contact us today from an appointment.