Travel Tips for Vein Sufferers
Travel, whether by car or plane, has been associated with an increased risk of potentially dangerous conditions like deep vein thrombosis or DVT. People with varicose veins may also find travel increases the severity of symptoms related to their condition, such as leg pain and fatigue. If you are concerned about an upcoming trip due to your varicose veins or DVT risk, Center for Vein Restoration have a few tips to help you make your travel days as safe and comfortable as possible.
Conditions Ripe for Disaster
There are a number of factors that go into the increased risks associated with long travel days. First, remaining in a sitting position in a car or plane for long periods makes it more difficult for your veins to push blood back to the heart. This is particularly true of the veins in your lower legs, where vessels must work against gravity and the body’s weight to get blood up the body where it needs to go.
Second, traveling by plane means experiencing significant altitude changes in a relatively short period of time. Although the plane’s cabin is pressurized to counter the effects of altitude changes, blood flow inside the vein can thicken as the plane rises to cruising levels. This process may increase your risk for DVT, as thicker blood is more likely to clot.
Taking Preventative Steps
The good news is there are some fairly easy steps you can take to minimize your risk for painful symptoms or the formation of blood clots on your travel days:
Hydrate – Drinking plenty of water before and during your flight will help to keep your blood thin during flights and car rides. Avoid caffeinated beverages and alcohol that can counter the hydration effect.
Dress Properly – Wear loose fitting clothing on your travel days that prevents any type of restriction on blood flow from the lower half of the body to the heart.
Exercise – On longer flights, try to get up and walk a bit every hour to keep blood circulating. You can also do calf exercises in your seat to flex those lower leg muscles and help blood move back up the body.
Add Compression – Compression stockings, whether prescription-grade or over the counter, offer the support your legs need to keep blood pumping in a healthy fashion. The stockings offer gradient pressure that is tighter around the foot and loosens as the stocking moves up the leg.
If you are concerned about an upcoming trip due to varicose veins, treatment options are also available. At Center for Vein Restoration, we offer minimally-invasive procedures that eliminate varicose veins without significant downtime. Don’t let varicose veins put a damper on your fall travel. Contact Center for Vein Restoration to find out which vein treatment might work the best for you.