How To Take Care Of Your Veins As A Trucker
The human body is supposed to move continually. Even when we sleep, we toss and turn, and fidget endlessly.
The reason we do this has to do with how fluid moves around our bodies. We actually have several circulatory systems. The biggest is the blood, but there’s also one for lymph and another one for brain fluid.
These systems can work while the body is sedentary. But they have movement built into their design, meaning that to function at their best, they need you to activate your muscles.
Most workers have no problem doing this. Even office workers have to get up for a cup of coffee or a meeting every now and then.
For truckers, though, it’s a different story. You often can’t stop and take a break to stretch your legs, particularly, if you’re caught in traffic.
And that’s a problem because it can lead to damage to your blood vessels over time.
So what can you do about it when there are thousands of loads available and you have to work your socks off?
Move Your Legs Around
Many truckers develop problems such as varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis. It’s not just down to “getting older.” Instead, it’s a consequence of how blood pools while you drive. Over time, it applies pressure to the inside walls of veins, causing them to lose their elasticity and balloon outwards. When this happens, it’s almost impossible to get them to return to their original shape.
The trick here is to move your legs around often. Just moving them at the knee can be enough to get the blood moving. When you come to a traffic stop, try pushing both your toes into the floor and then releasing, repeating several times. Again, this will encourage the blood vessels in the legs to get to work and return blood to the heart.
Stop Every Hour Or So
While stopping every hour or so isn’t always possible, you should try to do it whenever you can. Stopping and moving gives your body a chance to pump blood around your system, relieving vein problems in your legs. You’ll notice that you feel so much better after a five-minute walk and stretch than if you just carry on driving. Plus, it will help reduce the chance you’ll develop vein dysfunction in the future.
Wear Compression Stockings
The idea of wearing compression stockings might sound a little strange. But studies seem to indicate that they work.
Stockings compress muscles. This process, in turn, causes the blood vessels inside them to work harder. Evidence suggests that they can reduce blood clots by a significant amount.
You can buy compression stockings in most drug stores. They’re also a great investment if you do a lot of flying.
Flex Your Foot At The Ankle
Another strategy is to flex the ankle, something that medics call dorsiflexing. The action moves the foot up and down, helping to pump the muscles and improve overall blood flow. It’s also great if you drive in a cramped seating position.