Travel free of foot and leg discomfort with compression socks
Have you ever noticed how, after a long flight, your legs ache and your shoes don’t fit? You are not alone. Flying conditions conspire to make our legs and feet very uncomfortable.
Passengers have no space to stretch out and virtually no way to move around – often sitting for hours in one position. Lower oxygen availability and cabin air pressure thickens blood, causing blood pooling in our veins and putting us at risk for a DVT (deep vein thrombosis), a life-threatening blood clot. These conditions can also cause dehydration, which also thickens blood. Drinking lots of water and wearing compression socks can help you have a healthy flight and reduce your risk of developing a DVT.
Tragically, many lives are lost because public awareness of DVTs is low. Many studies have shown that fewer than 1 in 4 people know about blood clots, including their signs and symptoms. Dr. Howard LeWine, M.D., Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publications wrote in 2011 that blood clots pose an immediate and long-term health hazard and that DVTs are at the top of the list of under-the-radar health conditions, putting more than 250,000 Americans in the hospital each year.
Did you know that simply sitting and standing for long time periods, even when not flying, slows down our circulation, too? This, also can cause pain, discomfort and blood to pool in our legs, ankles and feet. Spider veins, varicose veins and small blood clots can also form — again putting us at risk for a DVT.
The good news is you can do a lot to keep your legs healthy and help to prevent a DVT not just when you travel, but also as part of your daily routine. Stay physically active, avoid dehydration, maintain a healthy body weight and wear compression socks to help usher fluid out of your legs and avoid the risk of venous pooling.