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Compression & Flying

Long flights can be both exciting and exhausting. While soaring through the skies to a new destination, it is important to understand the impact that extended periods of sitting can have on our bodies. Prolonged immobility can pose several risks, but compression socks can offer a simple yet effective solution to mitigate some of these dangers.


Sitting for long hours during flights can potentially lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which blood clots form in the deep veins of the body, often in the legs. The lack of movement can hinder blood circulation, causing blood to pool in the legs and increasing the risk of clot formation. DVT is not only uncomfortable, but it can also be life-threatening if the clot dislodges and travels through the bloodstream, causing a pulmonary embolism.


Compression socks are specifically designed to combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting. These socks apply graduated pressure to the legs, gradually decreasing from the ankle to the calf. By exerting this pressure, compression socks assist in pushing the blood from the lower extremities back to the heart, enhancing blood flow and reducing the likelihood of blood clots.


Studies have shown that wearing compression socks during long-haul flights significantly reduces the risk of DVT. According to a research study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, compression stockings were found to decrease the incidence of DVT by almost 90% when compared to individuals not wearing them during flights. The study further emphasizes the importance of wearing these socks among those particularly susceptible to DVT, such as older adults, pregnant women, individuals with a history of blood clots, and those with certain genetic or medical conditions.


Aside from reducing the risk of DVT, compression socks also offer additional benefits during long flights. They can alleviate swelling and discomfort in the legs, which is a common occurrence due to fluid retention during extended periods of immobility. Furthermore, these socks can enhance overall comfort and improve circulation, helping passengers feel more refreshed upon arrival at their destination.


To make the most of compression socks while flying, it is crucial to choose the right size and wear them correctly. It is advisable to put them on before the flight and keep them on throughout the journey. Additionally, staying well-hydrated, stretching and moving as much as possible within the confines of the cabin, and wearing loose-fitting clothing can further assist in preventing DVT.


If you are looking for compression socks for your next trip- book an appointment with the team at Leduc Physio. They will provide a fitting and help select a sock that will work best for you.




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