Painful, unsightly varicose veins. Although the cause of varicose veins is unknown it is thought that they may be a result of prolonged standing.  

The superficial veins in the legs usually become weak. Combine this with heredity and prolonged standing, and the result is varicose veins.  

Nurses are often on their feet for 12-16 hours a day, so varicose veins can definitely be a problem.  Here are some facts about them and how to prevent them. 


  • Hemorrhoids are also a type of varicose veins.
  • They are not always painful, but can be achy, swollen and itchy. 
  • Any vein can actually become a varicose vein.
  • Varicose veins are large, swollen and twisted blue veins that appear under the skin on the lower legs. 
  • They can be caused by weak veins and are more common in women, largely because female hormones can weaken veins. 



Here are some tips to prevent varicose veins

 1. Exercise can help by keeping the circulatory system healthy. Move around as much as possible during your day.

2. Keep your weight down. Maintaining a healthy weight will keep the pressure off your legs and help you to avoid varicose veins. 


3. Try to elevate your legs when possible to allow your veins to rest and assist venous return to the heart.  During your breaks try to put your legs on a chair or footstool.  This also helps maintain elasticity in your lower extremities by allowing the legs to rest. 


4. Don't wear heels.  When you wear heels you subject your calves to strain and increase venous pressure.  Always wear comfortable nursing shoes while working.  

5. Don't cross your legs or sit on them . If varicose veins are hereditary in your family avoid crossing your legs or sitting on them. It increases pressure on the lower extremities and makes venous return difficult.

6. Wear compression stockings at work and any time you are in a car or plane.  They give venous return to the heart  a little helping hand and help to prevent deep vein thrombosis.  There are some very stylish, colorful and comfortable compression stockings available now and they are very effective.