Staying On Your Feet at Work Raises the Risk of Varicose Veins
Many jobs keep employees on their feet throughout the day, and it is important to know that prolonged standing may contribute to varicose veins, the twisted and bulging dark purple or blue veins commonly found on the backs of the calves or on the inside of the leg. Besides being unsightly, varicose veins are often painful, especially when standing or walking. They often itch, and scratching them can cause ulcers.
Proper Blood Flow Is Imperative
Varicose veins develop when valves that allow blood to flow toward the heart stop working properly, causing blood to pool in the veins and make them swell. There are myriad reasons for varicose veins to develop, including family history, obesity, leg trauma, pregnancy and aging. Varicose veins reportedly affect half the people over age 50, and are more common in women.
Some Tips on Prevention
Let's face it, many jobs—teaching, hospitality, retail, etc.—require workers to be on their feet all day long and can lead to vein disease. So, it is important to understand ways to prevent the condition or at least reduce the severity. One great way is to move your legs during each shift, such as taking a little walk or doing some simple leg stretches. This will circulate your blood and help prevent it from settling in varicose veins or veins that lack sufficient flow. Give yourself a reason to move—take the stairs instead of an elevator, fit a quick walk into your lunch or break time. Little changes to your routine can make a world of difference.
Shedding some extra pounds and initiating an exercise regime that you sustain can also prove beneficial as they help to improve blood circulation. In addition, quitting smoking and reducing drinking alcoholic beverages will help the heart to circulate blood. And, elevating your legs after a long day can prove helpful by improving blood flow, thus reducing the pressure on your heart and veins.
When It Comes to Work-Related Permanent Damage
Varicose veins are an underreported industrial injury. In many cases, the Permanent Disability rating schedule allows for a permanent impairment and disability rating for impairment of the lower extremities due to varicose veins and other peripheral vascular diseases. Most importantly, a finding that varicose veins are work-related can result in a lifetime medical award to care for this condition.
Consult a physician if you are concerned about a link between varicose veins and your job. You should also consider contacting an attorney about a possible Workers' Compensation case.