The last time I traveled it happened to me. I traveled a total of 17 hours on 3 different flights. When I got off the plane, my feet were extremely swollen. I had never experienced such swelling except when I was pregnant.
Swelling of the legs and feet while traveling by air are actually common and normally harmless. The way we sit in the seats of an airplane tends to increase pressure on the veins in our legs. So, the legs and feet tend to swell because of the limited ability to move around for hours and hours in the air.
Wearing compression socks while traveling is one way to have leg comfort especially during air travel.
What Are They?
Compression socks or most commonly known as compression stockings are unlike your regular everyday socks or stockings. They are specially made to increase blood flow throughout the legs and feet.
They are made of stronger elastics so that there is more pressure on the legs. Compression socks have a tighter fit than regular socks and stockings to compress the legs and feet.
3 Types of Compression Leg Wear
There are three types of compression leg wear. All are great for wearing while traveling.
1. Compression hosiery comes in both pantyhose and thigh-highs. You wear them just the same as regular hosiery but they provide complete and total support in compression. Ideal for the working woman who is always on her feet.
2. Compression socks is the most popular style in compression leg wear as it compresses the legs and feet. This is ideal for everyone whenever leg support is needed.
3. Compression leg sleeves compress only from the calves to the ankles. This is popular with people that enjoy outdoor activity or play sports.
My husband and I personally enjoy wearing compression socks that cover our legs and feet. They are just a lot more practical for our needs. We do own compression leg sleeves that we use once in awhile.
How Do They Work?
Compression socks put extra pressure on your legs and feet to help blood vessels work better. They relax the arteries for better blood flow and the veins can push blood back to the heart. This helps lessen the swelling and pain.
Despite the ultra-tight fit, you wear them just as you would a typical pair of socks or stockings. It should just feel as if your legs and feet are getting a gentle squeeze.
This is why wearing compression socks while traveling completely helps to find the leg comfort that you are looking for on the go.
Not Just For Travel
I highly recommend wearing compression socks while traveling by air for your leg ease especially, because we can all probably bet that many pilots and flight attendants wear them. However, they are not just for travel.
- They are great for sports and many outdoor activities such as hiking.
- Pregnant ladies also benefit from compression socks and so do people who have jobs that require being on their feet all day.
- And of course the obvious reason to wear compression socks is if you are at risk for problems with poor blood circulation or bed-ridden.
What Else You Can Do for Leg Ease During Air Travel
Although wearing compression socks while traveling will help decrease swelling of the legs and feet and any discomfort. There are other things you can do for leg ease during air travel:
- Drink lots of water
- Walk around when you can especially on longer flights
- Avoid as much salt as possible
- Request for an aisle seat
- Massage your legs and feet
- Exercise your feet while seated
- If and when possible, elevate your feet
- Wear or bring a pair of slippers or slip on shoes
My Lesson Learned
After experiencing swollen ankles after a 17-hour flight, one of the first things that I looked for was a pair of compression socks. I will not travel without one ever again. Wearing compression socks while traveling will be priority for me.
I think that you should get a pair, too!
And if you ever run out of gift ideas for someone near and dear to your heart and they love to travel, why not get them a pair of compression socks as well?Follow me on social media: