Maintaining Healthy Legs During Travel
Have you ever wondered why people wear compression socks or stockings when they travel? As more people travel long distance by air and car, the problem of travel related discomfort is on the rise. More and more people are flying long distances and having to remain seated for long periods of time. When movement is constrained, the blood circulation in the legs is restricted. This situation can lead to several common symptoms such as heavy legs, leg pain, swollen feet and ankles. Prolonged sitting is also a major risk factor for development of phlebitis and thrombosis (blood clot formation). In some cases, blood clots can migrate to the lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism.
The discomfort and risk of DVT applies to other types of long distance travel such as car, train or bus. According to a recent British study, "all forms of transport involving a journey of four hours or more led to an increase in the risk of blood clots forming in the veins of the legs." When remaining seated without moving for more than five hours, the risk of DVT could be four times higher. A DVT can happen to anyone during travel, regardless of age, weight, or lifestyle.
A simple and comfortable way to help relieve the symptoms of heavy legs, leg pain, swollen feet and ankles during travel is to wear SIGVARIS graduated compression stockings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends wearing graduated compression stockings as a preventative measure against a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Tips for Keeping Your Legs Feeling Great During Travel
- Wear SIGVARIS MEDICAL or SIGVARIS WELL BEING compression socks or stockings. Wearing graduated compression stockings increases leg and foot comfort and helps prevent flight-related DVT.
- Keep your feet moving! Foot exercises make the calf muscles work and help to pump blood back up to the heart.
- Avoid periods of prolonged inactivity. As often as possible, exercise your legs. In a plane, walk the aisle; in a car, make regular rest stops to stretch your legs.
- Drink plenty of fluids. When traveling, replace fluid loss with healthy beverages to avoid dehydration. Avoid alcohol.
- Consult your doctor. Ask your family physician for information regarding the prevention of DVTs and other venous problems.
Source: Advice on travel-releated DVT. Yuet Wan. 2007 British Development of Health 12 March 2007.; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.