Melanie has varicose veins on both her legs. To make matters worse, she works a retail job where she is usually standing 8 to 10 hours a day at the same station. She’s heard there are steps she can take to reduce vein disease and improve vein health, one of which is to get off her feet more.
Working a retail job like Melanie’s that requires you to stand most of the time can do a real number on your legs and feet, especially if you’re suffering from varicose veins. According to a National Institutes of Health study, prolonged standing in the workplace may lead to the development or vein disease or aggravation of chronic venous insufficiency. While there’s no definitive connection, most professionals agree that standing or sitting for too long isn’t ideal for your vein health.
Here are the top 5 ways to reduce vein disease and improve vein health even if you work retail:
1. Keep moving
When you are moving around, the muscles in your legs flex and relax, which promotes increased blood flow throughout your body and in the veins in your lower extremities. Granted, you are still on your feet but by moving around and not staying rooted in one place for too long, you have a better chance of improving vein health.
2. Rest your legs as much as you can
Every so often (about once every two hours), sit down and elevate your legs. This can be accomplished on a quick respite in the break room or at lunch. Ideally, you should raise your legs higher than your heart to allow for blood flow and fluid to stop pooling in the veins and ultimately cause unnecessary swelling. If you can’t elevate your legs, massage them. If you are forced to stand, incorporate the following exercises and basic movements to prevent vein disease and varicose veins.
- Wiggle your toes
- Stretch your ankles and calves
- Peddle your feet
- Bend your knees
3. Wear low-heeled shoes instead of high heels
One of the best ways to improve vein health even if you work retail is to avoid high heels. High heels change your natural walking motion by altering the calf pump, which is supposed to propel the blood to the deep veins and up to the heart. This can result in varicose veins. Low-heeled shoes provide your feet with better support. Heels that are 2 inches or lower are best. You can also get insoles that support your heels and the balls of your feet for extra support.
4. Use compression stockings
Your doctor may prescribe compression stockings for you to wear when you’re at work. These compression stockings will help to massage your calf muscles and encourage better blood flow to help alleviate varicose vein symptoms. You can get compression stockings at most drug stores, or your doctor may prescribe you specific stockings.
While you won’t be able to exercise while working a retail job, it’s definitely something you can incorporate into your lifestyle outside of work. Walking and swimming are the best exercises if you’re dealing with deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency. Walking helps the blood to circulate and reduce swelling, and swimming takes the pressure of gravity off the body to allow the muscles and veins to rest and circulate blood and fluids more easily.
At Precision VIR, Excellent Patient Care Is Our Passion
Precision VIR has long been a leader in performing leading-edge procedures to improve vein health and treat vein diseases such as varicose veins, spider veins, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), and Peripheral Arterial/Venous Disease (PAD/PVP)—while providing compassionate patient care. All physicians at Precision VIR are Board Certified Diagnostic Radiologists with additional Fellowship training in Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
For a consultation with one of our expert doctors, please contact us at 214-382-3200.
Precision VIR serves the DFW area including Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Lewisville and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.