Can compression socks provide relief while flying?
Fly Often? It is a very good idea to wear compression socks, stockings or other compression garments during your flight. Flyers aren’t the only ones at risk. If you sit or stand for long periods of time, you are less likely to engage your leg muscles. Lack of activity slows blood circulation, which could lead to the formation of blood clots (also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). Other risk factors include:
- diagnosed vein disease
- blood clotting disorders
- recent surgery
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure,
- smoking and excess weight
Compression Stockings and socks provide external support to the vein walls, which creates good blood flow and helps minimize and control leg and ankle swelling. If you are a frequent flyer, it would help to reduce your risk of DVT by wearing compression garments. In addition to many health benefits, you will feel more comfortable, energized and protected after a long trip.
In addition to wearing compression stockings or socks, there are other ways you can avoid DVT and other venous disorders:
Ways to avoid DVT and other venous disorders
- Point and flex your foot 10-12 times, repeating often
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes ( tight clothing and shoes contribute to poor circulation)
- Cross your legs while sitting ( puts extra pressure on veins around the knee)
- Sit or stand for long period of time ( causes your veins to work harder)
- Watch for warning signs.
When to consult a vascular specialist?
If you notice one or more of the following symptoms, it’s highly recommended that you consult a vascular specialist.
- Intense pain or cramping in the calves
- Tenderness in the leg
- Swelling, warmth or changes in skin color.