Travel Socks a.k.a. Compression Stockings
Long before I worked at BrightLife and learned about the wonders of compression socks, I flew back and forth from Moscow, Russia fairly frequently. About 3 hours into the flight my legs would start to cramp up. Crossing my legs, crossing my ankles, stretching my legs into the aisle, taking my shoes off, walking to the bathroom...no amount of flexing or standing up could really relieve the achiness that set in. A few times, I noticed my feet and ankles were puffy and swollen looking when I landed, but because I was young and thought I was fairly invincible, I never really worried about it. I basically chalked the discomfort up to sitting in Economy.
Now, knowing a great deal about the circulatory system - I know exactly what was happening. The reason our legs and feet get so sore during long flights, train rides, and car rides is that our muscles are not being flexed or used, therefore blood is simply pooling in our leg veins. This can cause a heavy, sore feeling in our legs, and swelling in our ankles and feet. If you’re at higher risk for blood clots, are overweight, or you have notoriously poor circulation, this could lead to more serious problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis. A number of celebrities, who are frequently on long-distance flights, have had serious medical complications due to blood clots. Nene Leakes, Serena Williams and Hillary Clinton to name a few.
The British newspaper, The Telegraph, ran a medical advice article awhile back about a woman who will be traveling from London to Tokyo and was concerned about developing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and wanted to know what steps she could take to prevent it. Dr. Richard Dawood, a travel health expert, recommended against aspirin because of the low, but definite risk of bleeding in the stomach. His best and safest recommendation to prevent a DVT… wear compression stockings. They speed up blood flow, and reduce discomfort caused by ankle and foot swelling.
Dr. Dawood consulted with his travel guru, vascular surgeon, John Scurr, whose research studies have shown a significantly reduced rate of clot formation among air travellers using graduated compression stockings. Dr. Scurr recommends a knee high stocking that is sized properly, and specifically mentions Mediven. Both doctors also recommend standing, walking and stretching as much as you can, and keep hydrated with as little caffeine and alcohol as possible.
For high risk individuals, those who have a past history of blood clots, have had recent surgery, especially on their legs, have blood clotting disorders or are overweight, they recommend talking to their doctor before travel. In addition to compression stockings, blood-thinning medication might also be considered.
If you travel a lot (especially on an airplane), it is important to wear compression socks to prevent blood clots, swelling and leg fatigue. DVT's are so common from traveling that it is also known as "economy class syndrome."
You've probably seen socks sold in airports even. Be careful about what you buy, not all compression socks are created equal. Not all "compression socks" provide medical grade compression. A tight sock does not have the same medical benefits.
This is probably the twentieth blog we have written with news about travel socks. You know why? They work! Here are some of our favorites:
Sockwell: Sockwell compression socks come in variety of colors and patterns for men and women. These fun socks are super easy to size and are perfect for travel or everyday wear. You can find lots of other fun patterns of travel socks here.
15-20 mmHg: Generally, 15-20 mmHg compression socks or stockings are recommended for travel, but you should always ask your doctor what compression level they recommend for you specifically. You can wear knee highs, thigh highs, or pantyhose to keep you comfortable, energize legs, and reduce fatigue and swelling while traveling.
Allegro: Looking for some great socks that won't break the bank? Try Allegro compression garments for men and women. Available in solid colors and fun patterns!
A Few Travel Tips To Remember:
When you do fly, help to keep your legs happy and healthy by staying hydrated. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine before flying as well. If there's room, store your luggage in the overhead compartment so you have more room to stretch out. If possible, get up and stretch or take a brief walk around the cabin during the flight to help prevent clots and keep you comfortable, especially on those long hauls! Getting an aisle seat is ideal to be able to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Lastly, comfort is key. Remember to wear loose clothing so you don't restrict blood flow!
By: Pete@BrightLife Direct