Barbara never thought in a million years that a job could be causing varicose vein symptoms. She has been an upscale restaurant server for over three years now and loves it so much that she rarely turns down an extra shift. But the problem is that all those extra shifts require being on her feet for several hours a day. The veins on her legs have begun to bulge and become more visible. Lately, she’s experienced swelling and a constant achy feeling. Barbara doesn’t want to scale back on hours, but as her doctor explained, professions like food service can lead to more problems if not managed properly.
When people think of common risks for varicose veins, they think about genetics, weight, sedentary lifestyles, and pregnancy. Rarely, however, do they consider the role their jobs play. Being a waitress is a big one, but there are so many more that may contribute to varicose vein symptoms that are both unsightly and painful.
Are You Experiencing Varicose Vein Symptoms at Work?
- Achy or heavy feeling in your legs
- Sudden or excessive swelling
- Throbbing and burning sensations in the legs and feet
- Pain that worsens after standing for long periods
- Muscle cramps
- Itchy skin
- Bruising and skin discoloration around a varicose vein
Wondering if your job is contributing to varicose vein symptoms? We can help. Call 469-839-3162 to schedule a consultation with Precision Vascular’s expert physicians.
Don’t Ignore Leg Vein Pain from Varicose Vein Symptoms
Varicose veins are a very common condition that affects roughly 25 million men and women in the United States. They may start off as small and seemingly harmless spider veins. But vein problems can progress depending on the person and the factors involved—such as having a job that requires you to sit or stand for long periods. Varicose veins, in particular, are typically caused by malfunction and damage of the valves in veins of the lower half of the body. Blood flows forward and backward in the wrong direction (reflux). This flow reversal leads to pooling backed-up blood, which causes the veins to bulge, stretch, and enlarge.
And believe it or not, your job can exacerbate these symptoms. If you have a job that requires you to spend most of your time sitting or standing, gravity sets in and increases the odds that blood will pool in your lower extremities. On top of that, your inactive muscles aren’t helping to move blood from your legs back up to your heart.
If you don’t seek help from a specialist who can provide treatment for varicose veins, the appearance of your legs and symptoms you’re experiencing may worsen over time and lead to vein diseases such as:
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency — CVI is characterized by broken valves in the legs that don’t hold a seal. As a result, blood pressure builds up and leads to pooling of blood, swelling, and skin changes.
- Leg and Foot Ulcers — Ulcers come in all shapes, sizes, and severity and are a consequence of severe vein damage. They appear on the legs, feet, toes, heels, and ankles and take a considerable amount of time to heal.
- Phlebitis and Thrombophlebitis — Phlebitis is inflammation of a vein. Thrombophlebitis is inflammation causing a blood clot to form and block one or more veins, usually in your legs.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) — These life-threatening blood clots form in the deep, large veins of the pelvis, legs, thighs, or arms and reduce or block the flow of blood in a vein.
6 Common Jobs That May Be Doing a Number on Your Veins
While not an exhaustive list, below are professions that can increase your chances of developing varicose vein symptoms:
1. Food Service Workers
Food service workers are on their feet for hours at a time, quickly moving between greeting customers at each table, delivering orders, working food prep stations, or cleaning dishes. This puts continuous pressure on leg veins, leading to varicose veins and other complications. Many jobs fall under this category, including waiters, hostesses, chefs, counter attendants, kitchen assistants, bussers, bartenders, and more.
2. Office Workers
Many people don’t think about varicose veins becoming a problem for office workers. After all, these jobs traditionally don’t require someone to be on their feet for long stretches. But as previously mentioned, standing or sitting for too long creates circulation problems and leads to varicose veins. Though data fluctuates depending on who you ask, most research suggests that Americans sit almost 10 hours each day on average. Office workers include journalists, writers, clerical staff, customer service or call center reps, computer programmers, CPAs, office managers, etc.
3. Retail Workers
Much like other professions that require workers to stand all day, retail workers are a high-risk group and should do all they can to take breaks, elevate their legs, and even consider wearing compression stockings to get blood pumping. Examples of retail workers run the gamut, including those who stand at a cash register all day, work as a floor manager or sales associate at a department store, handle inventory, or work in a warehouse. Hair stylists, grocery store baggers, and hotel staff also fall under the category of retail-based employees.
4. Healthcare Workers
One study determined that healthcare workers in the United States have some of the highest prevalences of chronic venous insufficiency in the nation. This includes doctors who perform lengthy surgeries, nurses who work up to 12 hours at a time in a pre-natal wing, pharmacists, and doctors who run their own practice who are constantly meeting with patients inevitably run into issues with their jobs contributing to varicose veins.
5. Flight Attendants
Due to their job, flight attendants are required to walk from one end of a cabin to the other to serve passengers. And even when they aren’t serving passengers, they can be confined to their seats for long stretches. As previously mentioned, blood circulation becomes a big problem, especially considering the cabin of most standard planes is cramped and doesn’t allow for a lot of legroom.
6. Teachers and Other Educators
Teachers spend a lot of time on their feet as they educate our children. And when they’re not, they are sitting at a desk grading papers and completing other tasks. Conversely, administrative employees who are also educators, such as superintendents, principals, and front-office staff, are constantly sitting down.
There are countless more examples of jobs that require people to sit or stand for long periods of time, including construction workers, police officers and first responders, factory workers, roofers, and more. If you fall into any of these categories and love your career, it’s important to recognize the warning signs, take steps to improve your situation, and, when possible, visit with a vascular specialist.
Searching for a vein doctor in North Texas for your varicose vein symptoms? Request an appointment with Precision Vascular’s board-certified specialists.
Precision Vascular Is Your Source to Treat Varicose Veins
We all have to work, and while we love our jobs, it’s easy to not think about how many hours each day we spend sitting in an office chair or walking around on our feet helping customers. Regardless of whether you are healthy or have underlying conditions, varicose veins can become a real problem in your life if you don’t take the necessary steps now to prevent them or recognize the signs.
A consultation with our vascular doctors can determine the type, severity, and location of your problem. The key is not to delay seeking help. Our expert doctors and caring staff at Precision Vascular utilize the latest technologies and minimally invasive procedures to help our patients with a variety of vein and artery diseases—especially those patients who have jobs that lend themselves to vein issues.
Precision is a leader in performing advanced procedures to treat issues such as varicose veins, spider veins, venous insufficiency, peripheral artery disease, pelvic congestion syndrome, iliac vein compression and more—all while providing compassionate care.
If you have questions on treating your vein disease, the experts at Precision will recommend an individualized plan to help you get the best results. For a consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us at 469-839-3162 or complete the appointment form.
Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
Precision Vascular serves the D/FW area including Addison, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Lewisville, HEB, Hutchins, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Mesquite, Craig Ranch, Sherman, Dennison, Arlington, Fort Worth, and all North Texas.