Sitting still for long hours during flight journeys can take a massive toll on your body!
When you’re thousands of feet up in the air, you are obviously dehydrated. And being stuck at a place without moving around for prolonged duration can also result in swelling and blood clots. However, there are some ways you can control swelling, blood clots, and a general sense of discomfort in your feet. And it won’t cost you a fortune either!
It’s during times like these a good pair of compression socks can work absolute wonders. They have been quite popular among people thanks to the many compression sock benefits they can have by simply donning a pair. For those who fly frequently, or are prone to ankle and feet swelling, wearing a pair of compression socks would help with the circulation of blood and keep their legs happy. It also helps you in a few other ways so that you can have a comfortable journey, without having to worry about stiffness, cramps, and clots. Let’s have a look at them, shall we?
1. Improve blood circulation in your feet.
This is probably the first, and most important, reason that comes to mind when someone talks about the benefits of wearing compression socks while traveling.
Being seated for prolonged periods in the flight makes it challenging for the blood to flow through the body freely. This is due to the gravitational force pulling down the blood into the extremities, making it difficult for it to reach back to the heart for reoxygenation.
Now, dealing with language problems in another country is tough as it gets, and the last thing you need is numb feet keeping you down. Wearing a pair of compression socks can fight back the gravitational pull and enable free movement of blood throughout the body.
These compression socks come in different sizes now, are quite stretchable, and hug your feet perfectly. But for maximum circulation of blood, it’s better that you choose a pair that comes up to your knees.
Lymph fluid is rich in protein that moves through lymph vessels. They get hold of viruses, bacteria, and other waste materials in your body, and takes them to the lymph nodes. The fluid is then filtered by lymph nodes so that the impurities are flushed out of your body.
When there’s too much collection of lymph fluid, there’s a risk of swelling in the legs, which leads to a condition called Lymphedema. Now, wearing compression socks during travel can help lymph move around in the legs freely, thus reducing swelling.
3. Prevents clotting of blood.
Though rare, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that can occur when the blood is clotted in veins. A DVT blood clot can be observed in several areas of the body including arms, legs, and torso.
Once they grow in size, these DVT clots break off and reach your lungs by traveling through blood. This could ultimately result in a pulmonary embolism. Now, flying can increase the risk of blood clots at least thrice as much in journeys more than four hours long when compared to the times you travel via road.
Wearing compression socks in flights with a three hour or longer duration can help you keep away the risk of blood clots. Since these socks hug your ankles tightly but are less constructive as they reach the thigh areas, you can be assured that the blood has enough pressure to flow around smoothly. This result reduces the possibility of blood clotting in your system.
Also, you must note that this specific benefit is mentioned keeping in mind those with no history of DVT. But, if you have the condition or have noticed any symptoms of DVT, it’s better to seek medical advice to make sure if it is safe for you to fly, and if these compression socks could help.
4. Helps prevent venous blood from being collected in the legs.
There is a high chance for the blood to pool in the veins of your feet and lower legs, especially if you’re seated for prolonged durations without any noticeable movement. This pooling of blood can result in a variety of things that can affect your physical health eventually. If you’re curious, these outcomes may include fatigue, leg swelling, achiness, and in some extremely rare scenarios, a venous blood clot. Now, this venous blood clot can be quite serious and can eventually lodge in the lungs.
Keeping your feet comfortable throughout is the whole point of why you must wear compression socks while traveling. Anyone who moves around a lot will tell you how warm their feet tend to get sometime and how uncomfortable it feels. Flight journeys can get quite cold- or quite hot- due to poor oxygen flow in the body, which again, might be a result of the lack of blood circulation. Like we’ve mentioned multiple times in the article, compression socks can aid in the returning of blood to your heart, which results in the better supply of oxygen to your body. This means, your feet- and maybe even the entire body- will have regulated temperature levels. Also, since the best compression socks are made of breathable and moisture wicking fabric, using them will make your feet remain comfortable throughout the journey.
Ready to try one out yet?
So, these are a few benefits of wearing compression socks during your flight journeys. You might possibly relate to one of these reasons and would want to get a pair before your next air-bound journey. But, make sure you do thorough research on the options available in the market before you buy the one that best suits your needs.
Steven Page is a travel enthusiast and ambassador for Atom Compression Wear, a new compression clothing company. Recently started looking into compression socks for my pregnant wife for our long flight to Ireland. Turns out they have helped her aches and pains in her legs in more ways than one. This lead me to want to educate others on the benefits of compression wear to improve lives of others.