The Issue with Prolonged Standing
There is a myriad of risk factors associated with prolonged periods of standing. Issues that arise from the pressure to the lower part of your body. This includes blood pooling in the lower limbs, increased pressure on the veins, and oxidative stress (imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body) resulting in heavy and tired legs. These issues are heightened by the intensity of the work undertaken by health care providers, accompanied by the length of standing time. The health risks associated with this have been linked to increased instances of musculoskeletal disorders, such as lower back pain and neck pain as well as cardiovascular diseases, such as oedema (fluid retention), varicose veins and venous pooling.
Numerous studies have concluded that ’scrub’ nurses will maintain either a static posture or perform repetitive movements that are sustained for the duration of the surgery. Lower back pain was documented as being the most prevalent complaint of perioperative nurses. Given this, the need for nurses to consider the use of compression garments to combat the effects of sporadic movement and lengthy standing time (as they perform movements including lifting, pushing, pulling, twisting, and retracting – classified as high-risk tasks for developing soft tissue and musculoskeletal injuries in the health-care domain) is evident.
What are the Benefits of ‘Medical Grade’ Compression for Nurses and How Do They Work?
Compression garments are commonly used to assist in alleviating vascular-related issues through increasing venous pressure, reducing oedema and improving blood flow back up the leg. The following benefits are exhibited using compression garments:
Reduced Leg Swelling and Muscle Fatigue
Swelling occurs via blood (in vessels) and/or lymphatic fluid build up (fluid between cells). Compression garments work in conjunction with foot and leg muscles to push and squeeze lymphatic fluid through the lymphatic system and direct blood through the veins and back to the heart and lungs. They are the tightest at the bottom and gradually get looser creating an upside-down funnel to aide with the venous return. In turn, the surrounding muscles are provided with less strain due to increased blood flow and vibration during movement.
Prevention Varicose & Spider Veins
Compression garments aim to prevent swollen blood vessels just under the skin through increased pressure to the leg/ankle area. Standing for extended periods of time can cause spider and or varicose veins by allowing blood to pool which enlarges and promotes the appearance of veins in your legs.
Reduced Risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. Dissimilarly to prolonged standing, extended periods of sitting or staying stationary (more common in perioperative nurses), can cause DVT. The main signs and symptoms of DVT are pain and swelling in the affected area - usually in the lower extremities. Wearing compression stockings and moving your feet and legs as much as possible can aid in the prevention of DVT.
What type of compression is right for you?
Bauerfeind has been developing compression products for phlebological and lymphatic conditions since 1929. We work closely with doctors, clinics and orthopaedic technicians to incorporate the latest medical insights into product development ensuring the highest medical grade standard, effectiveness and comfort.
Bauerfeind’s VenoTrain Line
Our VenoTrain compression stockings cover all areas of application associated with modern compression therapy. They offer impressive, clinically proven effectiveness and unique material properties. Using the following guide, find which VenoTrain product is best suited to you, and find your perfect match on our website: https://www.bauerfeind.com.au/search?type=product&q=venotrain
If you still need assistance on selecting the right product for your needs, book a video consultation with a Bauerfeind expert: Book Video Call, or call us on 1300 668 466.
Other Forms of Compression Support
Ultra-Light Performance Compression Socks
Providing muscle stability, fatigue reduction and increased power with each step, Ultra-Light Performance Compression Socks are lightweight ultra-breathable compression socks that can be worn at any level of sports or exercise, as well as ‘all day’ wear on your feet.
Sports Compression Socks (Ball and Racket)
Stabilising sports compression sock (not limited to just ball and racket sports) feature an innovative muscle toning zone to reduce muscle vibrations of the calf and an ankle taping zone for improved body awareness, improving agility and stability.
Performance Socks (Full Length)
Promoting blood flow with targeted compression. For maximum performance and fast recovery in any activity, the Performance Socks (Full Length) offers protection against excessive strain during longer periods of activity.
Performance Socks (Mid Cut)
Relief pads and revolutionary functional zones stabilise the mid-foot to provide the comfort and support you need. Similarly, to the Full-Length Performance socks, The Relief Sole and Heel Protection comfort zones are gentle on the sole and reduce pressure on the heel as the foot touches the ground in sport shoes.
What else can you do to take care of your feet, legs, and veins?
Many of the daily tasks carried out by nurses involve prolonged periods of standing. A set of guidelines (approved by The Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses) recommends nurses should strategies their shifts to ensure adequate care is taken.
It should be noted that wearing compression socks or stockings is a simple intervention. When accompanied by the use of a sit-stand stool and anti-fatigue mats (where appropriate), a holistic mitigation of cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal disorders can be achieved. The importance of good posture and micro-breaks can also not be overlooked when considering remedies for these issues.