What Teachers Should Know About Their Risk For Varicose Veins
Another school year is in full swing, and we are grateful for all the dedicated teachers who stand up for our kids day after day. And by stand up, we mean literally as well as figuratively.
Teaching is a demanding enough profession as it is, but unfortunately it also requires long hours of standing in the classroom each day, and prolonged periods of standing also increases the risk of developing varicose veins.
Aside from standing for long periods, teachers should also consider that family history is the strongest risk factor for varicose veins. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, if one of your parents has or had varicose veins, you’re approximately 50% likely to as well. And if both your parents have or had varicose veins, your risk increases to about 80%.
Add to the genetic risk factors that female teachers have a higher risk of venous disease since women are almost twice as likely as men to develop varicose veins during their lifetime due to hormones and pregnancies. However, men certainly develop varicose veins too, and tend to have more severe cases and more commonly experience complications as a result of untreated varicose veins.
Finally, age plays a leading role in the development of varicose veins. And since varicose veins are a chronic and progressive condition, the disease and accompanying symptoms like swelling, aching, heaviness, pain, itchiness, or restless legs become worse as you get older.
5 Things Teachers Can Do About Varicose Veins
While teachers may not be able to avoid standing for long periods of time—nor change factors like their family history, gender, or age—there are some steps teachers can take to reduce the development or progression of varicose veins and to relieve any uncomfortable symptoms of swelling, pain, or heaviness, including:
- Women should avoid wearing heels and instead choose flat shoes with supportive soles.
- Men and women should wear graduated compression stockings to promote circulation throughout their legs. Ask your vein doctor which grade of stockings would best support your legs and symptoms. (Many teachers need 20-30 mm Hg graduated compression over the calf for optimal support.)
- Sit when you can. When you do need to stand, move or walk as much as possible so that your calf muscles contract, which promotes circulation in your legs.
- In the evenings, lie down and prop your legs so that they’re elevated above heart-level for at least 20 minutes to improve circulation in your legs.
- If your symptoms of aching, swelling, throbbing, or pain are interfering with your work or other daily activities, talk with a vein specialist about treatment options.
At East Tennessee Vein Clinic, we’ve helped many teachers get rid of their varicose veins so they don’t have to suffer from symptoms such as swelling, aching, throbbing, heaviness, or even restless legs. When our patients learn that today’s advanced treatments are quick and require little to no down time—plus are typically covered by insurance—they’re glad they didn’t delay treatment any longer.
As the first physician dedicated solely to the treatment of varicose vein disease in Tennessee, Dr. Douglass and East Tennessee Vein Clinic leads the region in experience and expertise of varicose veins. We treat varicose veins differently than other clinics precisely because of our dedication to treating the root cause and the full extent of each patient’s varicose vein disease.