Safe traveling without the risk of thrombosis: the power of travel stockings and flight socks
What is traveler's thrombosis?
Traveler's thrombosis is a condition that can occur after a long journey, during which someone sits still for an extended period of time. The medical term for this is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein of the body, usually in the legs. Although the risk of thrombosis is low (about 1 in two to five thousand), there are certain groups of people who are at increased risk. These include the elderly, overweight individuals, tall people, those with a history of thrombosis, pregnant women, and cancer patients.
Symptoms of traveler's thrombosis:
There are several symptoms that can indicate traveler's thrombosis. Swelling often occurs around the foot, ankle, or leg, and the legs often feel warm. Some other examples include having a tight skin, discoloration of the skin (often red or blue), suddenly visible veins, and shortness of breath.
Prevent traveler's thrombosis with compression stockings during long journeys
If you sit in a stationary position for many hours during long journeys, for instance by plane, train, bus, or car, wearing compression stockings is highly recommended. These stockings stimulate the return flow of blood in the legs to the heart, thereby reducing the risk of DVT. Compression stockings/support stockings specially made for travel are also called flight socks because they are often worn during air travel. The pressure (compression) that the stockings exert on the legs stimulates blood circulation and supports veins in removing excess blood and fluid in the lower legs. This significantly reduces swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs.
Wearing compression stockings during long journeys can help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of traveler's thrombosis. A study by Clarke and Hopewell (Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis in airline passengers, 3 APR 2007) found that wearing travel stockings resulted in a significant reduction in DVT symptoms among airline passengers who wore them. These passengers also had less painful and swollen legs (edema) than those who did not wear travel stockings. The conclusions of this study were based on more than 2,800 participants, half of whom wore travel stockings and half of whom did not, during a journey of at least 7 hours. It was striking that the number of DVT symptoms between the two groups differed significantly, with a reduction in the risk from tens of symptoms per thousand passengers to 2 or 3 per thousand for the group that wore travel stockings.
Where can I buy airplane socks?
At STOX Energy Socks we offer our special 'Travel Socks'. These compression socks are made with temperature-regulating materials, so that your feet stay nice and warm during the flight.