During summer months, it is natural to want to wear shorts or a skirt, but more than half of the women in the United States choose pants to hide unsightly veins on their legs. It is estimated that as many as 60% of all American men and women will suffer from some type of vein abnormality and nurses are no exception, particularly since they spend a great amount of time on their feet which can cause varicose veins. Learn to save nurses' legs by preventing varicose veins.
Causes of Unsightly Veins
There are many different kinds of vein abnormalities, but one of the most common is varicose veins. These veins appear blue and swollen and on the surface of the skin. They may even appear to be bulging and twisted and may occur with or without pain. Although usually harmless, if you feel associated pain or cramping, see your doctor.
It is not certain what exactly causes of varicose veins, but there are several factors linked to their occurrence. The most influential factor appears to be heredity; if your mom or dad had it, you might be next. This is mostly attributed to genetically weak vein valves.
Hormone changes that occur with puberty, pregnancy, and menopause have also been linked to vein changes. The increase in blood volume that occurs during pregnancy exacerbates the condition as well. As the diameter of the veins increase, particularly in the legs where the blood pools, the symptoms of varicose veins is most evident. Often the veins return to normal size following these hormone changes, but at times they remain long after the baby is born.
Also, as we age, valves in veins may weaken and bulging veins begin to appear. Varicose veins may appear more readily in thin-skinned or fair-skinned individuals, or those who have had a past injury in the leg.
Reducing Appearance of Varicose Veins
There are instances where varicose veins spontaneously disappear, but often they do not. Many treatments are available, so check with your doctor. However, there are several tips that can help prevent the occurrence of varicose veins
Avoid standing in one position for long periods of time.
If it is inevitable that you must stand, prop one foot on a stool for 5 minutes, and then switch legs. Stand with knees slightly bent, not locked in position.
Strengthen your legs with simple leg exercises.
Legs that are exercised are less likely to have varicose veins because they have good circulation. Perform leg exercises every other day. Some examples of leg exercises include:
Slowly lower your rear as if you are going to sit down in a chair. Make sure your knees are not over your toes when in squat position. Hold the squat position for three seconds and slowly rise back to standing. Perform this move until you are unable to perform a squat with proper form.
b. Calf Raises
With a wall nearby for support, stand with legs straight and slowly raise up onto ball of foot and lower. For greater intensity, perform on stairs, extending heels below stair level for maximum stretch. Do as many as you are able until calves are fatigued. To increase intensity, do calf raises one leg at a time.
c. Leg Lifts
Sit on floor with legs straight out in front of body. One leg at a time, raise leg and make small circles with foot and leg, keeping leg straight. Do ten circles in one direction, and ten in the other. Switch legs.
Put your feet up at the end of the day.
Prop feet on a pillow and raise feet above the level of your heart to facilitate blood away from feet and legs. Some people prefer an inversion table, which allows the body to go gently upside-down, to facilitate blood away from the legs. Follow inversion table instructions closely for safety.
Get a foot massage.
Pressure from massage facilitates blood away from the feet and can help improves blood circulation of nurses' legs.
Keep your weight down.
It is more difficult for the heart to pump blood efficiently when you are overweight. Improving nurses' health will help prevent varicose veins.
Stay away from salt and alcohol.
Sodium, or salt, causes swelling in tissue, which can impede blood flow and put strain on leg veins. Alcohol dilates veins, increasing blood flow to feet and legs.
If you sit for long periods, stand up periodically.
The same is true if you stand for long periods, sit periodically. Keep changing your body positions constantly and maintain a good posture. Keeping one position for long periods is very demanding on a body.
Wear support hose.
Support hose keeps blood from pooling in feet and legs, and helps the veins return blood back to the heart.
It is much easier to prevent varicose veins from occurring than to deal with them later. Improve nursing wellness today by looking after your legs.
Following these tips will certainly help keep nurses' legs healthy, strong, and ready for wearing shorts!
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