The Benefits of Compression Therapy for Travel

The Benefits of Compression Therapy for Travel

Compression socks are associated with 'getting old', but this is far from the truth. Here's why you should invest in compression socks for travelling.

Compression socks and stockings bring up negative connotations of ‘getting old’. But this is far from the truth. When you sit on a plane or at a desk all day, blood has a tendency to pool in your feet. It is hard for blood to fight gravity and get back to the heart.

Over time, this can lead to a break-down of the valve system in the veins. This creates the lumpy looking, very noticeable, varicose veins that are common in 40% of adults. Varicose veins are also common for people who stand in confined areas for several hours at a time – think cashiers, baristas, or lecturers.

Compression Socks For Long Flights

When you fly, you are relatively immobilized and sedentary. Not only are you sitting, but you cannot often stretch out and so your knees and hips are bent for many hours. This negatively affects blood flow through these areas, in addition to the poor gravity-fighting properties I mentioned earlier.

Lastly, while an airplane is partially pressurized, there is a change in pressure compared to ground level. All this can lead to deep vein thrombosis (or DVTs), which is a blood clot in the lower leg. Not only are there serious health implications with DVTs, but they can also reduce your chances of future air travel.

Luckily, compression therapy can help greatly. Compression can come in sock, stocking or sleeve form. It is a graduated form of compression that helps to shunt blood back up to the heart, promoting proper circulation and blood flow.

WATCH: 5 Reasons Why You Need Compression Socks (2:34)

The Benefits of Compression Socks For Flying

Compression socks have many other benefits, including:

  • Increasing energy due to increased oxygenation of the muscles, and
  • Preventing varicose veins and spider veins

Compression Socks For Travelling

Compression garments can be purchased over-the-counter, which is a low grade of compression and does not require a medical prescription. Extended healthcare providers do not cover over-the-counter compression socks. Sizing is based on shoe size and calf circumference.

Medical compression is necessary if you want full stockings or if you need a higher gradient of compression. This may be due to a pre-existing condition. We need a prescription for medical grade compression. An appointment would need to be made first thing in the morning so that measurements can be taken before any swelling may occur in the legs and feet.

Extended health care will typically cover two to four pairs of medical-grade compression socks, sleeves, or stockings a year. If you wear them every day, your socks will last about 6 months before the compression is less effective.

Compression socks are associated with 'getting old', but this is far from the truth. Here's why you should invest in compression socks for travelling.

Uses of Compression Socks

To review, you should wear compression socks if you are sitting or standing for long periods of time. It takes seven consecutive steps to get the calf muscle pumping blood back to the heart. Wear compression socks for travelling, whether it’s by air or by vehicle.

Pregnant women can benefit from compression therapy to reduce strain on the blood vessels while carrying the added weight of a baby. Athletes can benefit from compression therapy both during their sport and as a recovery tool afterwards. Knee-high socks in marathon runners are not simply a fashion statement!

So put aside your vanity, and think about your health for a moment – consider wearing compression socks for travelling.

Learn More About Compression Socks For Travelling

Along with your physician, the certified compression sock fitters at Kintec can answer any questions about compression socks and their benefits. A Kintec compression fitting specialist will help you find the right material for your needs, lifestyle, career, and footwear.

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