Air travel is already challenging enough, but getting through a longer flight can be especially difficult. The feeling of being crammed into a small space with so many people, some of whom can be downright annoying, can really start to get to you. On top of that, sitting in an uncomfortable position for extended periods of time not only makes it hard for you to get some rest, but it can also be painful and downright dangerous.
In order to have a more comfortable and well-rested journey, any smart traveler should invest in some compression socks. This is in order to prevent the pain, and even danger, that can come with sitting in one spot for too long.
According to The Physiological Society, whenever you’re sitting or lying down for extended periods of time, your blood circulation is decreased. Not only does this cause painful swelling, but it can also cause blood clots, otherwise known as deep vein thrombosis in cases where they occur in deeper veins such as those in your legs. If such a blood clot comes loose, it will travel through your bloodstream and get stuck in your lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism, or blockage of blood flow. Deep vein thrombosis is especially frightening because it is a silent killer, with only about half of those affected experiencing any symptoms, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
That’s why compression socks are an absolute must on any long plane ride — and probably a good idea when taking a nice, long journey by train or even a road trip. It is also highly recommended that you get up every so often during your flight to stretch your arms and legs by walking up and down the aisles or do some foot and leg exercises from your seat every hour or so. It can be easy to forget to do this, however, and it may be difficult if there is a lot of turbulence or you’re looking to get some sleep.
By slightly squeezing your legs, compression socks increase circulation, thus helping you avoid swelling or clots. For a more comfortable and safer long flight, compression socks are just one of the items you should definitely never vacation without.