Long Distance Travel and Compression

Long distance travel, whether by automobile, train, or airline can be associated with circulatory problems.  This is why Long Distance Travel and Blood Clots are often linked.  Activity restriction in a confined seated position results in diminished flow of blood from the legs back to the heart. A lack of blood flow combined with pre-existing risk factors may lead to a more serious danger – travel-related blood clot in your vein. In medical terms, this is referred to as a “Deep Vein Thrombosis” or DVT for short.

What are the risk factors for blood clots?

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  • The length of travel
  • Age over 40 years
  • Women using birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy
  • Varicose veins in the legs
  • Obesity
  • Genetic clotting disorder

 

Other likely risk factors include:

  • Previous blood clot
  • Recent major surgery or trauma
  • Recent child birth
  • Leg casted or immobilized

 

What can I do to prevent blood clots when traveling?

The likelihood of a blood clot occurring can be reduced with appropriate preventive measures suited to an individual’s risk level. Some common recommendations include:

  • Stand and walk as often as possible
  • Stay hydrated
  • Elevate your feet
  • Exercise your calf muscles
  • Sit in an aisle seat if possible
  • Avoid wearing restrictive clothing
  • Wear compression stockings

 

How do compression stockings prevent blood clots when traveling?

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Compression socks and stockings are designed to support your veins and improve circulation. They act as a layer of muscle by gently squeezing the stretched vein walls together. As the distance between the walls of the vein is reduced, blood flow is able to be restored to a normal state (returned back to the heart).

Compression stockings come in different degrees of compression, lengths, colours and patterns and have become very fashion forward in recent years. The amount of compression and length of the stocking is chosen based upon your unique situation.

Compression products must be professionally measured by certified fitters to ensure the best fit and reduction of symptoms. BioPed’s lower limb specialists are trained to both fit as well as select the best products for you.