Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sea Legs. How About Air Legs?

You know all the wonders of travel. You have scrapbooks full of great photos and stories to tell. You also probably have a memory somewhere in the back of your mind about some of the discomforts of travel. I’m not just talking about the packing and unpacking, the long waits at airports, and the worries about the drinking water. For many, the most agonizing part of travel is flying. (Yes, the scary parts of flying, too.)

While air travel has certainly become more common and, in many cases, more comfortable, there are some elements of flying that don’t really change. On flights longer than a couple of hours, for example, you know how cramped you can feel, especially your legs. Did you also know that the long hours of sitting can also be hazardous to your health, especially if you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

DVT is a blood clot that forms deep in the body. For some, this is a silent disease that can cause sudden death when the clot erupts or blocks a key artery. For others, symptoms such as swelling, redness or tenderness in the legs alert the individual to seek treatment. It is rare that flying can cause DVT, however, it can occur, especially on long flights.

So when you fly, it is important to move around, get up frequently, walk, stretch your legs to improve circulation. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, too. It is becoming more common now to wear compression stockings. Even lightweight compression can aid circulation while on a plane. They feel comfortable, too, resting your legs by ensuring that the blood flow stays steady, reducing swelling and aching.

Getting your air legs is essential if you love to travel, or have to travel a lot. Just as passengers who love to travel the seas have to make preparations to ensure they stay healthy and steady while on a boat for days at a time, frequent flyers should take precautions to be sure they stay as do as much as possible to ward off any hazards while in the air.

Please read our earlier blogs on compression for more details about how wearing these stockings or socks actually helps with circulation. We have a full selection of compression garments at Capabilities. See our sampling here.

If you have worn compression socks while flying, post your comments about that experience. Or if you have questions about compression garments, please contact us and we’ll get back to you.

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