Traveling abroad is a luxury less than 4% of Americans take advantage of. Some people prefer to stay close to home, others find international travel daunting.
Long flights do have their own special set of mild risks. Dry skin, earaches, and jetlag are minor annoyances. But flights longer than 4 hours also carry the risk of developing major complications from restricted blood circulation.
While these complications are rare, travel compression socks can help. Here’s why you should start wearing compression socks when you fly.
They Reduce Swelling
Long flights can cause excessive swelling in your lower extremities, especially if you tend to stay put to be polite. Extended periods of inactivity allow blood to pool in your veins and seep fluid into available soft tissue, like your feet and ankles.
Flight compression socks help regulate circulation. The squeezing from the socks mimics the natural squeezing of your muscles. Blood can get back to the heart and doesn’t need to set up shop in your legs.
They Prevent Blood Clots
Sitting still for long periods of time puts you at risk for blood clots.
Although you do sit for long trips in the car, you’re still able to stretch your legs out and change your body position when it becomes uncomfortable.
When you’re sitting on an airplane with less and less clearance between the seats around you, your movements are severely restricted. You keep your arms tight, trying not to rub shoulders, your knees locked, trying not to bump the seat in front of you.
The blood that pools in your veins clots as it moves more slowly than usual. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) happens when a blood clot develops in a deep vein.
These clots can form a type of plug that blocks veins and arteries. If they break off and travel elsewhere, you can suffer a life-threatening embolism.
Compression socks for flying help reduce the risk of DVT by improving blood flow.
The socks are designed like a funnel. Because they’re tightest at the ankle, that forces fluids back up through the leg where they can move more freely.
Types of Travel Compression Socks
Different types of compression socks provide varying amounts of support.
Some are more like leg warmers and support your calves. Others cover only the foot and ankle. You can get open-toed or closed, sock-style or full leggings.
The best compression socks for travel are knee-highs that fit snug but not too tight.
The nice thing is that today’s airplane compression socks are actually pretty cool looking. If you’re envisioning post-op hospital stockings, you’re way off.
They come in fun colors and all kinds of designs. Stripes, honeycombs, polka dots, geometric prints, neon, even argyle for your inner golfer. You won’t have to sacrifice your travel style for safety.
Dress for Travel Success
When you’re packing for your next international flight, don’t forget a pair of travel compression socks. They’ll reduce flight swelling and give you peace of mind about DVT. Plus, they’re cute.
Are you looking for more travel tips? Look no further! I’ve got a whole category dedicated to travel and vacations.