Before you board the plane or gas up the car for a road trip, consider choosing a pair of travel compression socks, especially if you suffer from varicose veins, lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis, leg swelling, or general leg fatigue. The tight fibers of a travel compression sock help to promote blood and fluid flow in your feet and legs, reducing swelling and the risk of dangerous blood clots. In fact, your doctor may even insist that you wear travel compression stockings or support hose, especially during longer flights or car rides.
So, how to buy travel socks? Here are a few suggestions:
Consider length. Travel socks come in a variety of lengths – you can choose knee highs, thigh high stockings, or full-leg varieties. For people without major medical conditions who just want to combat the fatigue of long flights, knee highs purchased online or from the drugstore may prove supportive enough. For those with serious thrombotic conditions, like deep vein thrombosis, ask your doctor about tighter compression that may require a prescription.
What about washability? You’ll want stockings you can easily wash after wearing. Be sure that your stockings don’t require machine washing if you won’t have access to those facilities.
Color coordinate. People prone to leg swelling may want the extra support and compression of travel socks when sightseeing. In that case, you’ll want to be sure your socks match the majority of the travel outfits you’ve chosen. You’re in luck, though – many of today’s socks come in a variety of colors.
Finally, here are some other suggestions that may help your travel compression socks work better:
- Drink up. Drinking plenty of water, juice, and other hydrating beverages during your flight or ride will be helpful, because dehydration can reduce blood volume and increase the likelihood of clots.
- Move around. When your seatbelt sign is off, try to get up regularly to walk the aisles or move around in your row. If you’re driving somewhere, stop regularly and take brisk walks to keep blood flowing.