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Latest News from Marian College, School of Nursing

Nurse Wellness- Preventing Varicose Veins

About 60% of men and women in America will experience the vein abnormality known as varicose veins, and nurses are especially prone to it since they stand for long periods of time. The cause of varicose veins is still unknown, but they tend to appear as a hereditary trait and when drastic hormone changes occur. The unsightly blue veins can be prevented with strengthening of the legs and ensuring healthy circulation of the blood. This vein abnormality can affect your overall wellness and are easier to prevent than to treat; here are some tips for preventing varicose veins.

Avoid Standing in One Position for Long Periods of Time
Since most nurses need to stand, try shifting your weight by propping one leg up on a foot rest or stool for five minutes at a time. This will help prevent strain on your legs. When standing, try standing with knees bent slightly.

Put Your Feet Up
At the end of the day, lay back with your feet above the level of your heart to allow blood to flow from the legs to your body. After long periods of standing blood will start to pool in your legs, and this post-work practice can help to alleviate that pressure.

Strengthen Your Legs with Simple Exercises
Exercising your legs helps blood circulation and your overall health. Practice these exercises every other day until your legs feel too tired to do them with correct form.

  • Squats
  • Calf Raises
  • Leg Lifts

Avoid Salt and Alcohol
Salt causes tissue to swell which can put pressure on your veins, and alcohol dilates the veins, allowing more blood to pool in the legs. Avoid consuming these when possible to prevent veins from swelling.

Get Foot Massages
While having a drink may not help varicose veins, a different and more helpful form of relaxation is getting a foot massage. The pressure from a foot massage helps promote blood circulation from the legs back into the rest of the body. Foot massages also help relieve stress.

Sometimes varicose veins will disappear on their own, but this is not very common. If you have varicose veins or they run in your family, consult a doctor about different treatment options.

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