July 21, 2017

Wearing Compression Socks for Travel

How Long to Wear Compression Socks

Today we make a case for wearing compression socks for travel.

As the world becomes more and more globalized, business people are finding themselves travelling more miles than their predecessors. Often, they will find themselves having to sit for long hours. Now biology teaches us that constrained movement leads to restriction of proper blood circulation.

Reduced blood flow causes symptoms such as swollen feet, ankles, leg pains and heavy legs. The symptoms stated above are commonly referred to as the Economy Class Syndrome. The long hours during the flight can also cause more serious conditions such as thrombosis and phlebitis. Sometimes, the blood will clot and these clots will flow upstream to the lungs, causing a disease known as pulmonary embolism.

Obviously, the risk of clotting do not only apply to long distance travelling on the plane. It also applies to travel by bus, car or train. Remaining seated for more than 4 hours multiplies the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) by a factor of four. Note that DVT may happen to you regardless of your age, lifestyle, or weight.

There is a simple, efficient and comfortable way to reduce the risk of tired, achy and swollen feet and ankles. The use of compression socks has greatly reduced the risk of getting DVT. In fact, wearing compression stockings or socks has been advised by medical practitioners as it is a way of avoiding more serious conditions such as pulmonary embolism, phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis

The approved medical compression socks will hold your muscles tight, thereby increasing the pressure of the blood flow inside your veins. This reduces the chances of the blood pooling around your ankles. It also ensures that your limbs do not get achy.

Quick Tips for Long Distance Travelers

  • Always wear comfortable clothing.
  • At least 10 flexes and 10 circles on your feet and ankles is encouraged after sitting for around 30 minutes. Observing this rule will save you a lot of pain later.
  • ​Take a short walk around the plane (or out of your vehicle) every 2 hours.
  • ​Avoid alcohol during long distance travel. It dehydrates you, and hence reducing blood circulation as well as the oxygen in your blood.
  • Take lots of water to stay hydrated
  • Always pack a pair of compression socks when travelling over long distances.

What are the Benefits of Compression Socks

  • It is the most effective way of containing edema (swelling).
  • It alleviates pain in the legs as well as prevent varicose and spider veins.
  • It mitigates the possibility of acute conditions by aiding the circulation of the blood in the circulatory system

Upon the discovery of the importance of wearing the compression stockings, you will always adorn them when you are travelling over long distances…and your legs will thank you when you are older and your health is failing you.

It is always advisable to seek the prescription of your physician if you are suffering from a certain diseases such as DVT. This is not to say that you cannot get compression socks off the counter. They come in different colors, styles and texture to suit your needs. For the best compression socks, you are well advised to try orthopedic stores, pharmacies, medical supplies stores, and any other specialized store.

Among the groups of people that are very susceptible to DVT while on long flights are pregnant women, obese or overweight people, people who live a sedentary life, and people with history of blood clots. If you fall in this category of people, then it is more important for you to seek medical prescription of the compression socks that will work best for you. Medical practitioners recommend compression socks or stockings that exert pressure that falls between 14 mmHg to 20 mmHG.

Wearing compression socks for travel is not only beneficial to your health but also for your comfort. Your long flights or long distance cargo haulage will be much more worth it if you wear compression socks. They will keep you off the pain in your ankles to concentrate more on the task at hand and in the case of the frequent flier, you can take up reading.

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