Jobs that are more likely to cause varicose veins.
There are several reasons some people are more prone to getting varicose veins than others. In addition to gender, age and genetics, there are also certain jobs more likely to cause varicose veins. But don’t worry. Not only are there non-surgical treatments for varicose veins, there are also ways to help prevent them. First, let’s find out how veins work.
Blood circulation and our veins.
Blood circulates throughout our body; arteries carry blood away from our heart and veins carry it back. Knowing this, consider how hard the veins in our legs work every day to move blood up our legs and back to our hearts.
Veins are fighting gravity every day.
When standing, our veins are fighting against gravity to move blood upwards, and when sitting, the extra pressure from our weight makes it difficult as well. To accomplish their mission, veins rely on valves to keep blood from flowing backward, but if the valves malfunction the blood can’t return to the heart and it starts to pool, filling up the vein and causing it to stretch and bulge.
A body in motion has better circulation.
As we move, our calf muscles help the veins transport blood via muscle contractions, but when we stop moving for long periods of time the veins must rely more on their valves. If you have a job that requires prolonged periods of standing or sitting, pay attention to the veins in your legs to make sure they are healthy and functioning.
Now that we have an idea of how our veins work, let’s discuss how certain occupations can affect vein health.
Jobs with a higher risk of getting varicose veins.
When you have an occupation that requires prolonged standing or sitting, it’s more difficult for your veins to properly circulate blood from the legs back to the heart. Examples of these jobs include:
- Office / Computer Work
- Truck Drivers
- Factory Workers
- Medical Professionals
- Restaurant Servers
- Retail Sales
- Hair Stylists
4 ways you can fight varicose veins:
1. Regular exercise
Exercise helps stimulate blood flow throughout your body, so it makes sense that staying active can help prevent varicose veins.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Those extra pounds you’re carrying around are putting added pressure on your veins, making it even more difficult for blood to flow in an upward direction.
3. Shorten your heels
Wearing high heels shifts our weight to the front of the foot, which causes the calf muscle to contract (looks good, right?). The problem is now your calf muscle can’t help the veins move the blood upward any longer.
4. Wear compression stockings
You may be thinking, “Ugh. This sound horrible. Like wearing Grandma’s pantyhose all day.” Well, think again. Compression stockings come in many different styles: from knee high to thigh high to open toe; you can even get fun prints. Guys can wear them too (male athletes wear compression clothing all the time).
Frequent flying and varicose veins.
Not only is the prolonged sitting bad enough, if you already have vein-related issues the low air pressure in planes can make it worse. That’s why pilots, flight attendants, and people who travel for work need to be proactive by getting up and walking the aisle, flexing legs while seated, wearing compression stockings, and drinking lots of fluids (no caffeine or alcohol).
How do I know if I have varicose veins?
Usually, you’ll be able to see signs of vein malfunction such as enlarged or bulging veins or leg swelling. There are other symptoms, however, that aren’t visual like pain or aching, restlessness, or a feeling of heaviness in your legs.
ALDI lets their cashiers take a seat.
In a November 2014 blog, The Who, What and Why of ALDI, the author included a “fun fact” that ALDI is one of the only retailers to allow cashiers to sit while on the job. Why? Because standing in place all day is hard on your body.
While genes and aging contribute significantly to varicose veins, our day-to-day lifestyles, including our occupations, can affect vein health as well. It’s unlikely that you would quit your job just to avoid getting varicose veins, but if you sit or stand a lot at work, do what you can to take the necessary precautions.
For varicose and spider vein treatments in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Columbus Vein Center at (614) 515-2240. There are many non-surgical treatments that can help. Need more info? Here are some frequently asked questions about varicose and spider veins.