Healthy foot during air travel! Any tips?

June 6, 2022 by Alaa Hamdy0
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Finally, the holidays are nearing, with flights heading for a different summer vacation or going home to spend more time with family and friends. However, foot troubles might ruin this vacation! This is when good planning comes into play; most of these problems can be avoided. All you have to do is read this article to learn more about healthy Foot during air travel and enjoy your long-awaited vacation.

What are the most common foot problems?

Knowing the most prevalent issues and how to prevent them is an important aspect of healthy foot during air travel.

Swollen feet

It is a non-serious condition that happens as a result of keeping your feet on the ground for an extended period and not elevating your feet during the trip, causing fluid to accumulate in the leg veins and increasing pressure on the leg veins.

Most of the time, swelling of the feet is not a serious problem but while if it persists for several hours even after resuming activity, it may be due to a more serious condition.

Also, if you suffer from swelling in only one leg with leg pain, seek immediate medical attention.

Any advice?

Yes, some simple steps can help reduce swelling of the feet during the flight, such as:

  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes to avoid increasing pressure on the veins.
  • Walking around for a short period of time every hour or so -if you can-.
  • Bending and extending frequently your ankles and knees while sitting.
  • Changing your position as much as possible.
  • Drinking plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives that may make you sleepy or unsteady while walking around the cabin.

Blood clots

Unfortunately, this case is serious and life-threatening unlike the previous one! The risk of developing DVT increases when traveling for long distances (more than 4 hours) due to the formation of a blood clot in a large vein. But the danger does not stop here, as part of the clot may travel to the lungs, causing a sudden blockage of the arteries in the lung!

Although it is a rare condition, it can be fatal, so you must understand what causes it, how to know if you are at risk, and what steps you can take to prevent it.

Who is most vulnerable to infection?

Most people who develop travel-related DVT have other factors that increase their risk of DVT including the following:

  • A previous blood clot
  • A family history of blood clots
  • Recent surgery, hospitalization, or injury
  • Use of contraceptives containing estrogen or hormone replacement therapy
  • Current or recent pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Active cancer or undergoing chemotherapy

Prevention tips?

You can follow the following tips to help you prevent DVT when traveling long distances. These steps include:

  • Walk around the cabin from time to time, choosing an aisle seat to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours.
  • If you’re traveling by car, include breaks in your travel schedule to stretch and walk around.
  • Stretch your feet while sitting and try these exercises the next time you travel:
  • Raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes on the ground.
  • Raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels on the ground.

If you are traveling long distances and at risk of developing DVT, you should consult your doctor about taking extra precautions such as wearing appropriate medical compression stockings and taking medications before traveling to prevent blood clots.

Take care of your feet and pay attention to flight foot health in your next flight.


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