Interview with Dr. Ben Stone, elite sports performance specialist/physiologist. Ben is an accomplished endurance athlete and earned his Ph.D from Oxford. He's kind of a big deal.
DX: "After attending your lecture at Mayo Clinic Arizona last year, I was struck by all the factors that you take into account when training elite athletes. As a healthcare professional, do you see any similarities between the needs to the elite athlete and healthcare workers?"
Dr. Stone: "That is a great question! Though the pace of the activities are quite different, there are remarkably similarities. First, there is an endurance component. HC professionals work LONG hours and much of it is spent in movement. Though the metabolic demands are dissimilar, the dependent forces on the venous and lymphatics are significant. For instance, a surgeon could be on her feet for 12-16 hours straight in some cases. Over years of doing this the veins distend, venous valves become incompetent, they remodel over time. These changes creates greater capacitance in the lower legs and a propensity for swelling. But not only is this an eye sore on the beach and increase your risk for venous clot formation, varicose veins, and can actually can lead to reduced clearance of muscle lactate due to increased stasis. Muscle lactate accumulation will be interpreted as FATIGUE and that next day in the clinic will be less enjoyable."
DX: "So compression garments, much maligned in the elite sporting literature, can assist in disease prevention in HC pros! Interesting."
Dr. Stone: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of money spent on venous stripping!"