Category: Spider Veins

Surprise: Spider Veins Are an All-Age Problem

Ugh…those awful spider veins! They look awful and they can really hurt, too! If you have been distressed recently and noticed the appearance of little red and blue lines on your legs, don’t panic. Yes, you are young, healthy, and quite fit, so why would you see those “old lady” leg symptoms?

You may not like how they look, but the fact is they are really nothing to become upset about. In fact, they happen to be quite normal. With that said, there are some facts you should know about spider veins even if you are young. This is the best way to protect the appearance of your legs and enjoy healthy aging!

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8 Moves that Help Spider Veins

If you need help for spider veins, you’re not alone: they’re a very common condition, especially among women who are or have been pregnant or are over the age of 50. Just because they’re common, however, doesn’t mean they can’t be treated! In our Texas Endovascular practice, we offer several different treatment plans for your spider or varicose veins, all of them being minimally invasive and performed as outpatient procedures! And, while you’re discussing with your doctor what treatment option is best for you, here are 8 tips to follow that can keep your condition from getting worse!

Hacks to Help with Spider Veins

There are many different lifestyle changes you can make to help spider veins. These are just a beginning point. And if you already have vein health concerns, you’ll need to explore treatment options.

walking can help spider veins
Frequent exercise, like taking walks, can help improve the appearance of spider veins
  1. Stay Active!

    Regular exercise can improve blood circulation in your legs, while also lowering your blood pressure (another factor that could improve varicose veins.) Not sure where to start? Check out our weekly Move it Monday blog posts for exercise inspiration!

  2. Rock Your Socks

    Tight (compression) socks or stockings apply pressure to your lower legs, potentially helping to improve blood flow to the area. Not sure how or when to wear these babies? This guide to putting on compression socks can help.

  3. But…Skip the Stilettos.

    High heels keep your calf muscles engaged, reducing the amount of blood that flows into the veins of your foot and calf. It also reduces the amount of force going to push blood into those veins, meaning blood can begin to pool and form new or worsen existing spider veins. So, while high heels don’t technically cause vein problems, they certainly won’t help spider veins.

  4. Skip the Salt, too.

    Salty foods can cause your body to retain water and swell up; while you’re swelling, those bulging varicose veins may worsen.

  5. Up Your Fiber Intake to Help Spider Veins.

    Fiber is good for your heart health, and improved heart health equals better blood flow throughout the body. For that reason, this diet to boost circulation could keep unsightly veins at bay.

  6. Embrace Massage.

    Gently massaging your legs can help stimulate blood flow to the area, but don’t apply direct pressure to bulging veins as the delicate tissue may be damaged.

  7. Take a Stand.

    Sitting for extended periods of time, whether at home, at work, or on a plane, allows blood to pool in your legs. Take frequent walking breaks to avoid this issue.

  8. Drop a Few:

    Extra pounds on your frame puts extra pressure on your legs. That’s because extra fat in your abdomen makes it tough for your blood to beat gravity and flow out of your legs, back to your heart. Instead, it pools in your legs, stretching your veins and leading to spider veins. So maintaining a healthy weight can help spider veins you already have. Or even keep new ones from forming!

Need more help managing your vein health concerns? That’s what we’re here for! Just reach out today and request an immediate appointment with our Houston area vein specialists!

 

Sources: mayoclinic.org, medicalnewstoday.com

Are there Varicose Vein Complications? 7 Warning Signs to Watch For

Chronic vein conditions can lead to varicose vein complications. That’s why it’s important to treat those varicose veins quickly. Why is that the case? When you have this condition, you may develop varicose veins complications, many of which are serious. And you truly need to worry about these issues if you delay or forego vein treatment.

Are Varicose Veins Complications a Threat to Your Health?

We often hear people saying that varicose veins are unattractive, but no big deal. Which is why we’re here to tell you: that’s just not true!

If you can see those varicose veins, it’s a sign of more serious health problems brewing beneath the surface of your skin.  They tell vein specialists like us that the valves in your veins aren’t working properly. As a result, blood is pooling in your veins, and not flowing back up to your heart as it should. Patient-7-After

At first, that pooling may just cause your veins to bulge and become more visible. Often, painful cramps go along with varicose veins. That can make it difficult to get around and do your regular activities.

But, if left untreated, your problems won’t stop there. Soon, you may notice other symptoms. Including these 7 complications of untreated varicose veins.

7 Symptoms of Untreated Vein Disease

  1. Left untreated, varicose veins can lead to swelling in your legs, also called edema.
  2. The swelling may be painful, so your legs can hurt, and need rest and elevation to feel better.
  3. Next, you’ll be at a higher risk for blood clots, especially DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis, a clot that forms in your deep leg veins. This situation is an emergency—if the clot breaks free, it can travel to your lungs and may be fatal.)
  4. And that’s not all you’ll face. As your veins bulge, that pressure could damage your skin, leaving you vulnerable to infections and ulcers (these are open wounds that resist healing.)
  5. Your skin can also change in appearance, turning dark and discolored. Over time, the skin may even thicken, and taken on a rough texture.
  6. Additionally, you’ll be more likely to experience bleeding episodes, some of which may be serious and require immediate medical attention.
  7. You’ll increase your risk for restless legs. This refers to a condition where you feel the constant urge to move your legs; it’s uncomfortable and can leave your sleep disturbed. About 30% of people with varicose veins experience restless leg symptoms, especially after bedtime.

Now you know why, even now, you can’t ignore those varicose veins. But we’re not just here to scare you. So, please follow our advice for treating varicose veins during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Treating Varicose Veins in Houston

For starters, now is not the moment to self-diagnose your vein problems. So, if you’re concerned about varicose veins, request a consultation with our specialists. Because COVID-19 is still a risk, and this virus can increase your risk for clots as well.

In some ways, we can manage your vein health at home. We can recommend compression garments to improve your blood flow, and reduce pooling and swelling. We can help you move more, even at home, which can also help varicose veins. And we can realistically determine whether an in-office procedure will be necessary.

But we can’t help you if we don’t see you. So please, don’t ignore current health issues. If you notice varicose veins, reach out right away. The sooner we start treatment, the more likely it is that we can successfully manage your condition from the safety of your home.

Sources: Harvard Health

These Jobs Can Increase Your Risk for Vein Disease

Living a healthy lifestyle—full of exercise and nourishing food—can go a long way towards protecting your vein and cardiovascular health. But what happens when your profession increases your risk for developing spider veins? You learn the facts and take action to keep your job from hurting your health! That’s why we’re sharing this important information.

Professions that Increase your Varicose Vein Risk Spider veins

Certain jobs can take a major toll on your veins, increasing the likelihood of problems. Some of the top professions include:

Teachers

Standing all day puts a lot of pressure on your veins. And many teachers stand in front of a class from 8 am until 3 pm, with very few opportunities to sit and rest. Want to minimize your risk? Take a quick trip to the teacher’s lounge and sit down, with your feet up, whenever possible.

Wait staff

Waiters and restaurant hosts stay on their feet for their entire shifts. And while waiters at least have the benefit of walking between tables and the kitchen, helping pump some of the blood out of their legs, hosts stay in one spot, greeting diners as they arrive. In order to mitigate risks, try to limit shift length and give extra attention to your feet and legs on days when you’re not on the job.

Flight attendants 

Long flights take a toll on everybody’s vein health. So, imagine flying every day AND spending the majority of that flying time on your feet, serving needy passengers. People who fly for a living need to practice vein-saving, in-flight exercises (see image at right for one example) in order to minimize their risk of complications.

Office Staff

As it turns out, sitting all day isn’t so great for your vein health, either. The effects are similar to all-day standing: blood will start to pool in your feet and legs, making your valves and veins work harder to get it back up to your heart. Taking frequent walking breaks can help mitigate the risk of sitting at your computer all day.

Lowering On-the-Job Vein Health Risks

Aside from the job-specific tips we already shared, here are some other steps you can take to minimize your risk for varicose veins:

·         Wear loose, comfortable clothing.

·         Consider compression stockings to help boost circulation in your lower extremities

·         When you do sit, avoid crossing your legs

·         Elevate your feet for at least 30 minutes, every day

·         Get regular cardiovascular exercise (it doesn’t need to be high-impact. Even walking will make a major difference!) And that’s not all! Walking is also a great way to protect your arteries. In fact, a recent study in JAMA revealed that high-intensity walking can make it easier to manage PAD symptoms like pain with walking, also called claudication. (Even if your walking program hurts when you start, sticking with it can help you walk for longer before you experience pain!)

 

What to Watch for if Your Varicose Vein Risk is Elevated

If your job puts you in a higher risk category for vein disease, you should see a vein specialist if you notice any of the following symptoms:

·         Swollen lumpy veins

·         Color changes in your veins, specifically if they appear to be dark blue or purple

·         Leg pain or legs that feel heavy

 

Of course, you don’t have to see symptoms of varicose veins in order to visit our Houston area vein clinics. If you know your risk for vein disease is already elevated, proactive vein care could go a long way towards preventing negative outcomes! So reach out to our team of specialists, and request an appointment today. From a diagnostic ultrasound to thorough physical exams and treatment recommendations, we have the tools to keep your job from damaging your vein health!

 

 

Over 50 Vein Care? Makes THESE 5 Changes Right Now!

Over 50 vein care looks different because of your increased risk for vein disease. And, since Varicose veins are a symptom of vein disease, you’ll want to prevent or treat this symptom. Here’s what to look for:

Varicose veins bulge, twist and show up in dark colors because they are filled with pooling blood. When the blood pools, it’s because the valves in your vessels aren’t working properly, which makes it tougher to deliver blood back to your heart from your legs.

As you get older, your risk of developing varicose veins increases. In fact, by the time you reach 50, about 40% of women and 20% of men will be dealing with varicose veins. Still, celebrating another birthday doesn’t have to mean that varicose veins are your next inevitable milestone. Instead, try making these important lifestyle changes. They can help prevent new varicose veins from developing, and may help reduce the risk of existing ones.

Lifestyle Changes to Protect Against Varicose Veins

If you want to reduce your vein disease risk, try these five steps:

1.       Work your legs.

Increasing your physical activity level, especially with moves like daily walks, strengthens the muscles in your calves. And when those muscles are stronger, they contract harder, helping to get pooled blood up and out of your legs.

2.       Know your ‘don’ts.’

Avoid sitting for extended periods of time—set a reminder, if necessary, to get up and walk around every 30 minutes. When you are sitting, try not to cross your legs. And, when choosing your OOTD (outfit of the day), steer clear of clothes that cling tightly to your waist, thighs or upper legs (take note of the exception in our next step.)

3.       Try compression stockings.

If your vein specialists agrees, compression stockings can help improve your circulation; they place gentle pressure on your legs, keeping blood moving and helping to reduce any existing swelling. You can wear your compression socks all day long. (Or even during short naps.) And doing so will boost your circulation. But when you get into bed at night, give yourself a break and take off those compression garments. Because, unless you have venous leg ulcers, sleeping in compression socks isn’t necessary. In fact, it could cause other problems. So take a break at night, and…

4.       Take a break during the day, too.

When you are sitting down, get those feet up. Ideally, you’ll elevate them above the level of your heart. Why does this work so well? Aside from feeling a little indulgent, elevating your feet will get gravity on your side to help prevent blood from pooling in your legs.

5.       Lose some weight.

This is, of course, one of the hardest changes to make. But this is the time of year where people commit to taking better care of their bodies. So, if you’re carrying some extra weight right now, consider a New Year’s resolution to eat better and move more (see step 1.) You’ll be helping your veins, your heart, and your over-all wellbeing!

6. See Your Houston Vein Specialists

Remember, over 50 vein care has two parts: prevention and treatment. So, if you’ve already noticed spider veins, don’t wait until they become a bigger issue. Instead, make an appointment at one of our Houston-area clinics right away. After a diagnostic ultrasound, we can help you decide the next best steps towards protecting your vein health for the next 50 years!

Sources: Cleveland Clinic, Senior News

Cold Showers for Spider Veins and Other Summer Safety Tips

When it’s hot and humid, taking cold showers for spider veins may actually sound good! Of course, if the thought of an icy cold shower is unappealing, we get it. Frigid water hitting your body isn’t exactly relaxing. But as it turns out, an icy-cold shower may be just what the doctor ordered if you want to prevent varicose veins.  Plus this tip, and other suggestions for managing venous disease in summer, could help you find relief in the next few months. And it could stop the pain of an existing vein condition.

Cold Showers for Spider Veins Improves Circulation

Why are cold showers for spider veins such a useful tool? Cold showers improve blood circulation–as your limbs get colder, blood rushes down from other parts of your body to warm them. When circulation improves, blood is less likely to pool in your veins. And, since pooling blood causes varicose veins to bulge and become visible beneath your skin, a daily cold shower can help keep this problem at bay.  And for patients already dealing with painful spider veins,

Of course, improved blood flow also helps your overall cardiovascular health. It can also keep plaque from building up in your arteries, preventing the type of hardening we associate with peripheral arterial disease.

Additional Benefits of Daily Cold Showers

But those aren’t all the benefits you may enjoy from daily cold showers. Icy water can boost your lymphatic system. And by boosting your lymphatic system, you can help prevent the build up of lymph material that causes lymphedema (swelling) in your lower legs.

While cold showers can offer preventative vein care, and temporary pain relief, they can’t cure CVD (chronic venous disease) or other underlying conditions that may be causing your spider veins. For true relief, you will need to seek treatment from your local vein specialists.

Managing Chronic Venous Disease in Hot Weather

Now, we know you can’t take cold showers every day. But we can certainly offer other ways to stop CVD pain in the long, hot Houston summer. After all, hot weather may increase some symptoms of venous disease. These include:

  • Pain, tingling and heavy legs.
  • Swelling (edema).
  • Skin changes such as dryness, itchiness or color changes.
  • Spider veins may appear more prominent
  • Your varicose veins may grow longer and more visible as they dilate more
  • In advanced cases, your varicose veins are more likely to rupture and bleed in the summer months

In addition to taking cold showers for spider veins, here are a few more ways to manage CVD in the summer,

• Stay inside during the hottest hours of the day.

• Skip the tanning. Direct sunlight exposure raises your temperature, and further dilates your veins. Plus, you’ll be lying still while you suntan. And that can contribute to blood pooling and more noticeable symptoms.

•Stay hydrated to avoid dehydration. And avoid salty snacks to prevent swelling. Also, sticking to a healthy vein diet can help you manage your vein disease in the summer…and all year long!

• Keep up with your exercise routines, but consider moving them indoors if the weather is too hot or humid.

• Loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Very tight garments are not advisable, as they hinder venous return, like heels.

• Stick to prescribed compression therapy, even when it’s hot out. Even if you reduce your time in your special socks, a few hours a day can make a major difference!

Having said all that, we need you to remember that these tips will only manage your symptoms. You’ll need to treat your CVD to enjoy lasting relief. So schedule a consultation with our Houston vein specialists today!

 

Sources:MSN News, Chatelaine 

Why Going Barefoot Hurts Your Veins

Hello to all our at-home readers out there: we’re here to talk about going barefoot. Did you use the COVID shut downs to switch to a more ‘casual’ (read sweats-only) wardrobe? Great, we’re totally here for it. But are you padding around your house barefoot all day? That, we actually can’t endorse. Because here’s the thing: going barefoot all day is really bad for your feet, as I’m sure you’ll hear podiatrists tell you. And, as it turns out, it’s not that great for your vein health either. Let’s take a closer look, so we can convince you to wear some shoes. At least a few hours every day…heck, maybe you’ll even go out and take a walk in them!

What’s Wrong with Going Barefoot at Home?

In typical times, we’re usually home for no more than a few hours every day. So, if you stick to bare feet in the house, it’s not a big deal. But these days? For the most part, you’re stuck in the house for so many, many hours. Which means, if you remain barefoot, you’re putting tons of pressure on your legs and feet. Especially if your home has stone or wood flooring.

As the days and weeks of quarantine add up, that pressure will likely give you plenty of foot pain. And it may also affect circulation to your lower legs and feet, resulting in more swelling (edema) or the emergence or worsening of varicose veins. Now, we can certainly help you with those issues if you’re already experiencing discomfort. But we’d rather stop the problem before it starts. In order to do that, this is what you’ve got to do.

The Fine Art of In-Home Shoe Wearing

We know that many readers prefer a shoe-free home. This is, after all, a great way to keep germs out of your house. Yet, as we just mentioned, going barefoot all day is a major problem for your feet and your veins. What then, do we propose? It’s actually very simple: pick a pair of supportive shoes that you only wear at home. If they never step outside, they’ll never pick up germs, so your house stays clean, and your feet and legs secure much-needed support.

And guess what? You don’t even have to wear outdoor shoes in your home. Many pairs of slippers are designed with sufficient arch support to stave off pressure, pain and swelling. And, in combination with any recommended compression socks, these will do a great job protecting your vein health. Which is very important, if you want to avoid long term damage to your veins or arteries. Not to mention conditions such as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD.)

Going Barefoot and PAD

If you develop swelling or leg pain after going barefoot, that could spell problems for your arteries, too. How could that be? Well, PAD is a condition that develops when your arteries narrow (atherosclerosis.) But many patients miss or delay a PAD diagnosis. Because it’s symptoms (including leg pain, and changes in skin color on your legs) look like other problems.

Other things add to the trouble when it comes to diagnosing PAD. Recently, presenters at the American College of Cardiology‘s annual conference noticed that there’s a research gap when it comes to PAD patients. Already, doctors are trying to close that gap with new studies like the Voyager PAD trial.

But as researcher Mar Bonaca, MD, said, “I think that has to change…The PAD patient is complicated…They are at very high risk of limb events. And the risk there is not the same over time.” He also noted, “We need to understand what therapies do, their risks and benefits in a fragile population, and we need to look at outcomes that are relevant for this population.”

We could not agree more! In our Houston area vein clinics, we already make a major difference for PAD patients, by offering treatments such as angioplasty, stenting or atherectomy. But we also want to do our part and educate people about their PAD disease risk. Which is why, for now, we ask you to stop going barefoot. To pay attention to any unusual new symptoms in your legs. And to make an appointment with our specialists at the first sign of any changes in the look or appearance of your legs!

Sources: Footwear News

Will Crossed Legs Cause Spider Veins?

Do crossed legs cause spider veins? We’ll get to that in a minute. First, we have to ask a different question. How many times a day do you look down and realize you’ve got crossed legs? Are you doing it right now? We’ve likely all heard that crossing your legs can be problematic, but do you know why? Or how long it takes for vein damage to set in? Here’s the low down on leg crossing.

Could Crossed Legs Cause Spider Veins?

To be clear: we can’t prove that crossed legs cause spider veins. But while there hasn’t been conclusive proof to date, there seems to be a definite connection between crossing your legs and the appearance of varicose veins. The connection seems to be a result of pressure: varicose veins develop when veins are over-tasked. And resting one leg on the other can restrict blood flow, causing extra blood to pool and stretch out the over-worked veins.

Now, while we don’t know if leg crossing causes varicose veins, we do know it can lead to other issues. First of all, if you cross your legs a lot, you’re going to experience lower back pain. Also, let’s go back to that leg pressure. Even if varicose veins don’t pop up, the pressure from crossing your legs will make your veins more prominent. And that seems to be a step on the road to varicose veins.

Of course, crossing your legs is just one piece of the varicose vein puzzle: even without assuming this position, extended periods of sitting can cause problems in your veins. After all, when you sit for a long time (like all day at a desk or for hours on a long flight) blood can pool in your legs, making it harder to flow back up to your heart. Once again, situations like these can compromise your veins and allow for the unsightly bulging of varicose veins.

Managing the Impact

Try telling someone not to think of a pink elephant, and that’s immediately what pops into their minds, right? The same can be said of trying to break a leg-crossing habit: for many of us, especially for skirt-wearing women, this seated position is just second nature.

So, if you can’t stop crossing, how can you protect your vein health?

First of all, set up your desk to make it more conducive to healthy sitting habits. Adjust your seat height so both feet can rest comfortable on the floor without restricting access to your keyboard or other desk items.

Next, limit the amount of time you spend in any one position, whether it’s flat-footed or cross-legged sitting, or even standing in one spot. If you’re able, take brief walking breaks every 20-30 minutes to take the toll off your veins—and your back. Even a few minutes of walking, spread throughout the day, will go a long way towards staving off many of the problems associated with sitting, including the appearance of varicose veins.

But what if your job doesn’t allow you to just get up and walk around? Not to worry, you can still keep your veins flowing freely. Consider subtle desk stretches, like reaching down to touch your toes or swiveling your feet and ankles in circles. Even simple movements like these, done frequently throughout the day, can help prevent blood from pooling in your feet and legs.

Signs of Varicose Veins

If you’re worried that crossed veins cause spider veins, here’s some signs to watch for. First, watch out for veins that are visible. Even if your veins aren’t twisted or bumpy, changes in vein surface color could mean varicose veins are hiding underneath. It’s also a warning sign if the skin over your veins becomes dry, sore or itchy. If you’ve got varicose veins, you may also notice staining on the skin around your ankle. It could look red, yellow or brown, but all those changes could be signs that blood reflux is causing inflammation. Finally, if your legs are often swollen, heavy or aching, that could be a sign of brewing vein problems.

Now, getting back to our original question: does leg crossing hurt your veins? While we can’t conclusively answer, “yes,” we can certainly say, “maybe.” And it’s a distinct possibility if you’ve notice any of these varicose vein warning signs. So, as Houston vein doctors, we hope that likely causation will be enough motivation to keep you uncrossed and moving around throughout the day. Your back, heart and, most likely, your veins will all be happy you did! But if you just can’t stop, or you’re already dealing with symptoms of varicose veins, make an appointment to see our Houston vein specialists today!

Sources: womenshealthmag.com, shape.com

When Varicose Veins Bleed, Here’s What to Do!

When varicose veins bleed, it’s a sign of serious vein disease. But it all starts with a smaller problem: spider veins! So many people think that varicose veins are a cosmetic problem. But did you know that it’s fairly common for even small spider veins to trigger bleeding episodes?

Yes, you read that correctly. Even if you have small spider veins, something as simple as a little cut could cause you to bleed. A lot. In fact, you might bleed so much that you have to seek medical attention to make it stop. And, want to know something even scarier? Sometimes, that bleeding event could happen spontaneously. In fact, it often happens when you’re taking a hot shower. The warm water dilates (opens up) your veins and brings more blood flow to already weakened areas. At this point, since the veins are so close to the surface of your skin, they may simply rupture.

Now, the point of this post isn’t to terrify you into treating your spider veins. But we do want to help you understand that leaving them untreated could contribute to further medical complications. And cause you more problems than embarrassment when your legs are exposed.

What Causes Varicose Veins to Bleed? spider veins on legs

While every individual is different, we usually see a common thread when varicose veins trigger bleeding. Typically, we see that a vein slightly above your bleeding site has become incompetent (it’s valves aren’t working.) This has allowed blood to collect in the veins. And that blood puts pressure on those veins making them both larger and more delicate.

Now, don’t forget, varicose veins are located fairly close to the surface of your skin. Which means that, over time, your varicose veins are become large, weak, easily-impacted store-houses for your blood. Now you understand why people with vein disease are more vulnerable to bleeding episodes, and why those episodes may result in serious blood loss.

Risks of Bleeding Varicose Veins

While rare, bleeding triggered by varicose veins that burst can be fatal. Now, if you’re pretty healthy otherwise, that shouldn’t happen. But if you are older or more socially isolated, a varicose vein bleed is more likely to cause serious harm. The same is true if you consume too much alcohol, take medication to prevent blood clots, or suffer from restricted mobility or dementia.

Now, even if your varicose vein bleed doesn’t prove fatal, it can still lead to serious complications. So, what can you do to prevent those complications? Well, the answer is fairly simple: treat your spider or varicose veins. That way, blood will stop pooling in your legs, and there will be less of a chance for serious blood loss if you do sustain a leg injury.

Fortunately, vein specialists like us offer a variety of different varicose vein treatments. The one you select will depend on your specific needs and, of course, the progression of our condition. But, you can’t pick a treatment without getting into the office. Which means that, if you have varicose veins and you’re worried about bleeding, you need to get scheduled for a diagnostic ultrasound as soon as possible.

Sources: Bertran, Carol Grace, MD. “Varicose Veins Can be Fatal.” PhilStar Golbal National Health Services

Are Standing Desks Good or Bad for Your Veins?

Have you thought about getting a standing desk for your home office? Did all your co-workers have them before? These days, so many nine-to-fivers are opting to switch out traditional work stations for Standing Deskstanding desks. (BTW, these are desks that can be raised or lowered. They give you the option of standing or sitting throughout the day.)

These standing desks became popular for a reason. So many people in this country struggle with their weight. And that’s partly because of their lack of activity.

That’s why many people thought standing desks were great. They could solve the problem of all-day sitting. But, unfortunately, standing desks bring individuals a whole new set of problems. Because, as it turns out, standing desks are linked  to increases in foot and back pain. They can also increase your risk of developing varicose veins. To better understand the risks of a standing desk, let’s explore the pros and cons of each desk option.

Why Sitting All Day is Dangerous

Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? That’s right, some health experts have said that it’s worse for your health to sit all day than to smoke a pack of cigarettes. Extended periods of sitting have been linked to an increased risk of both heart and kidney disease. Not surprisingly, sitting has also been shown to increase the odds of gaining weight. And, as we already know, being overweight contributes to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. Some researchers even suggest that increasing your exercise level won’t completely combat the effects of entire days spent sitting. That’s why people started falling for standing desks.

Danger of Standing All Day

Here’s some unwanted news. Even if you get your boss to approve a standing desk, or spring for one on your own, your health woes may not be over.  Standing desks have been known to cause back and foot pain. And that’s not all. Extended periods of standing can leave you feeling tired and less able to concentrate.

Plus, getting to the point of this blog, standing desks increase your risk of DVTs (deep vein thrombosis) and those lovely, bulging varicose veins we all love to hate. Why is that the case? Standing all day overworks your back, leg and feet muscles as you struggle to maintain one position. And, to find out why all day standing can cause spider veins, just keep reading!

Standing Leads to Spider Veins

The veins in your lower legs have to fight gravity to get your blood to flow up your body to your heart. As you age, or when you put too much pressure on those veins, they can weaken or sustain damage. That already makes it harder for blood to get moving.

As a result, blood pools in your veins and the vessels swell. This is when you usually notice spider veins.  Your varicose vein risk increases when it becomes harder for your blood to flow to your heart. Weight gain, tight clothes and—you guessed it—long periods on your feet—make it harder for blood to flow. That’s why standing desks, and jobs like construction work or nursing that keep you on your feet, make you more likely to develop spider veins.

Should you Choose a Standing Desk?

Since neither option is perfect, a standing desk is still a great choice. Because it moves up and down, you can alternate between periods of sitting and time spent standing. But how often should you switch positions?

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees on this front. Experts recommend changing positions anywhere between every 20, 30 or 60 minutes. And some get more specific about standing desks. They say you should not stand up to wor for more than 10 minutes out of every hour. You can also invest in an anti-fatigue mat to use when you’re standing up at your desk. This can help take some pressure off your lower legs and feet.

If you follow these guidelines, you can minimize your risk of standing or sitting too much. It’s also a great idea to step away from your desk for quick walking breaks throughout the day. Even small bursts of movement can help keep your blood flowing as it should.

Making the switch to a standing desk can be life changing—as long as you know the risks and take the appropriate precautions. Still with proper care, you can almost certainly enjoy this innovative office feature without the fear of destroying your vein health. And if you have concerns about sitting, standing and your vein health, come in for a diagnostic vein scan. We’ll let you know if that standing desk is a good idea or not!

Sources: The Mountaineer

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