When travel results in prolonged sitting, in particular airline travel greater than 4 hours, an increase of your risk for a blood clot in the deep veins within the calf muscle, or a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) results. DVTs are considered serious as they can travel and lead to a pulmonary embolism, or clot in the lung.
- red, warmth and swelling of the calf muscle
- a heavy ache feeling
- tenderness to touch of the calf muscle or muscle group where clot is located
Risk factors for DVT include:
- prolonged inactivity
- history of blood clots
- abdominal surgery, including cesarean section
- medical history of cancer and related treatment
Prevention is KEY!
It has been found that the use of a below the knee compression sock, or "flight sock" while travelling can help reduce the risk of the development of a DVT. The compression provided by the sock helps improve overall blood flow within the lower leg.
Another plus: compression socks are often covered by your health insurance, usually 2 to 6 pair per year!! So check with your plan for the requirement of a prescription and the number of pairs of socks that you may have covered. And don't forget, most plans reset at the end of December!
Final plus: they come in vibrant colours and amazing patterns - not just your typical beige hospital grade compression sock. So, why not consider the benefit of compression therapy? I love my pairs of socks, and wearing them daily - just as me next time you see me!
~ Michelle, PT