Why Do Nurses Get Varicose Veins?

Nurses and Varicose Veins

While there are many reasons someone can develop varicose veins, one of the main causes is sitting or standing for long periods of time. This places a lot of excess stress on the leg veins, and as time goes on, the valves in the vein walls can fail. Damaged veins result in poor blood flow and circulation, as the veins no longer function as they should and cannot pump blood from the feet to the heart. The blood then stands still in the veins, causing them to enlarge and bulge out of the skin. That’s why varicose veins look like discolored, twisted ropes. Those visible symptoms are coupled with physical ones like aches and pains, swelling, feelings of heaviness or numbness, and general discomfort.

People with careers that require them to sit at a desk or be on their feet all day are more high-risk for developing varicose veins and other venous diseases. Some of these at-risk occupations include nurses, teachers, hairdressers, retail and hotel workers, police, and industrial workers. Nurses are at the top of the list — but why do nurses and varicose veins go hand-in-hand?

Cause of Varicose Veins in Nurses

Cause of Varicose Veins in Nurses

Nurses are typically on their feet for extended amounts of time, day after day, without much time to take a break and sit or lie down and rest their legs. The cause of varicose veins in nurses is because of this added layer of stress on their veins, which makes them much more susceptible to varicose and spider veins, blood clotting, feet and/or leg swelling, and other venous conditions. As a nurse, your job is to take care of others; but it’s important to remember to take care of yourself too.

Nursing and Venous Insufficiency

Remember, even if you don’t see visible symptoms, there is still a possibility that you have varicose veins. Nursing and venous insufficiency is all too commonly found. If you frequently feel any kind of pain, heaviness or fatigue in your legs and/or feet, this could be a sign of hidden varicose veins.

Don’t ignore that discomfort and assume it is just normal wear-and-tear. Leaving varicose veins untreated for too long can lead to serious health conditions in the future, so it is best to be proactive and schedule a consultation with a vein expert such as Dr. Susan B Fox, D.O., RPVI, FSVM, who is an expert in vein and vascular diagnosis and treatment, as well as board certified in Internal Medicine, Vascular Medicine and Phlebology, the treatment of veins.

A vein doctor Miami can provide venous insufficiency treatment for nurses, and make all the difference in their comfort level while working, which can have a hugely positive effect on productivity level while on the job, and overall quality of life too.

While minimally invasive treatments and procedures are available as varicose veins care for nurses, there are also lifestyle changes that can lead to improved symptoms and reduce the risk for developing more varicose veins in the future.

Varicose Veins Care for Nurses

One of the most helpful things a nurse can do is wear loose-fitting, comfortable scrubs with compression socks and sleeves underneath. If your scrubs are too tight, they could affect your circulation. This applies to the clothing you wear off the clock as well, i.e., jeans, dresses, belts, etc. Compression apparel promotes healthy blood flow and circulation all day, whether you are sitting down doing deskwork, or walking around helping your patients.

Footwear makes a difference too. When you are not working, you might feel like you want to dress up since you spend most of your time in scrubs, and that’s okay — but avoid wearing high heels as much as possible. You’re already putting enough pressure on your feet all day at work, why add to that?

Varicose Veins Care for Nurses

While you are at your desk, there is a small, but mighty, exercise you can do. Flex your feet up and down to pump your calf muscles. This helps to improve circulation and fights against any possibility of leg cramping. At the end of your shift, or if there are moments during your shift that you have a chance to rest, elevate your legs so that your feet are above your heart. This reduces swelling and increases blood flow.

Maintaining a frequent exercise routine and a low-salt, well-balanced diet is key for good circulation. Obesity is another cause for varicose veins and venous disease because the added weight puts a strain on your veins. Make sure to stay hydrated. It’s a good idea to get a large water bottle that is labeled with its amounts, so you know how much water you are drinking per day. According to the  U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the recommended amount of water intake is about 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters for women, and 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters for men.

Contact us at Fox Vein & Laser Experts

If you are looking for varicose veins treatment for nurses, Fox Vein & Laser Experts is here to help. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with our experienced vein experts.