You’ve been on a long flight, twisted like a pretzel in coach class. You finally land and your ankles look like balloons from being swollen and it may even hurt to walk to baggage claim. What causes it? Assuming you’re healthy, it’s from the lousy circulation you’ve experienced while your feet have been on the floor, with your legs not moving much, for hours on end. Assuming you’re healthy, the chance of your developing a blood clot from this is small, but still a possibility. But there’s good news – you can decrease that swelling with compression socks!
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping your veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. They offer a safe, simple and inexpensive way to keep blood from stagnating.”
So what are you trying to prevent? From WedMD:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a potentially dangerous type of blood clot that develops in the deep veins of the legs, torso, or arm. These clots can grow, break off, and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and cause a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism.
DVT has also been called “economy class syndrome,” as sitting still for long periods of time, such as on transoceanic flights, can increase the risk of these clots occurring.
Although they do essentially the same thing as your grandmother’s support hose, they come in many more designs than the typical beige, white or black ones that she wore (or maybe still wears, who knows?) Maybe not as many patterns as Lularoe, but enough to be something of an airport fashionista or male leg model.
So yeah…if you want to stop your feet and legs from swelling on long plane rides, and if you don’t have any medical conditions where your doctor would suggest against wearing them, maybe look into compression socks. A little more comfort at the end of your flight will go a long way!
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