Travel overseas often? Think deep vein thrombosis (DVT) only strikes senior citizens? Think again.
“The myth about DVT is that it is more likely to strike the elderly or those with poor health,” said Paul Amatangelo, support hosiery specialist for AmesWalker.com. However, recent science is indicating that those in better than average health, for instance marathon runners, are at great risk.”
On a red eye flight from San Francisco International airport to Miami, Florida, I wore a pair of AmesWalker.com Travel Socks, style 167. I put them on in the morning and didn’t take them off until I had boarded the Crown Princess cruise ship 24 hours later.
The medically-correct socks, like graduated compression legwear, apply decreasing pressure from the ankle to the knee, forcing blood to the leg’s deep veins. The idea behind the socks is to promote blood flow in the legs, prevent leg swelling and reduce the chance of blood clot formation in a DVT.
I wore the travel socks on the flight from SFO and didn’t have any problems with the comfort of the sock, although they were tight fitting. A Dress/Trouser Microfiber Knee Sock, style 136 in beige were tried on the return flight from Miami to SFO. In this instance, I’d only had the socks on for six hours and yet I was painfully aware of these socks. The socks felt as though they were squeezing my skin like sausage being squeezed into its casing. I had actual welt marks on my skin around the knee area.
Both pair of the Microfiber Firm Support Travel Socks were the same size, so I’m not sure why the beige pair were so uncomfortable. I e-mailed the company and they explained that compression levels for each pair of socks are different – the Travel Socks have a moderate level of 15-20, while the Micro Fiber Socks had a firm level of 20-30. I tried the same Microfiber Support Sock in level 15-20 and while it was more comfortable, I ended up removing my socks mid-flight because the band at the top was again leaving a deep indentation on one of my legs.
While these travel socks have merit, it is crucial that you have a travel sock that fits your compression level. Like Goldilocks looking for her perfect fitting bed, I had difficulties finding the perfect sock for my long-haul flight.
ECONOMY CLASS SYNDROME
The company has developed a podcast of upper body and leg exercises to help prevent blood clots from forming during extended air travel. The MP3 podcast can be downloaded for free here.
What tips do you have for long haul airplane travel?