Compression socks are one of the most helpful inventions for travelers. All over the world, several frequent travelers use compression stockings for travel. Travel brings adventure and novelty to our mundane lives, but that doesn’t eclipse the swelling and leg cramps that we have to endure due to the journey.
Ever wondered what causes our ankles and feet to swell up after a long flight or car ride? Well, It’s the blood circulation or, in this case, the lack of it!
Our calf muscles are the main pump for blood flow in our legs. The muscles constrict the veins, pushing the blood up the legs and back towards the heart as we walk. While traveling, our movement is restricted, and our calf muscles stay inactive. This immobility causes blood to pool in the legs, affecting proper blood circulation.
Being cramped in a confined space for long hours increases the risk of developing cramps, swelling, and, even worse, deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is caused when a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, generally in your legs.
Yeah, this does sound scary! So, therefore, we are going to tell you how to choose the right compression socks for travel in 2023 and how you can benefit from wearing them.
What are Compression Socks?
Compression stockings apply controlled pressure to your legs. This pressure is graduated, which means that it exerts the greatest degree of compression at the ankle, and then this compression gradually reduces as you go up the leg. It is this structure that helps boost blood circulation even when you are not moving for hours. As a result, these socks relieve heaviness and swelling and significantly reduce the risk of developing venous conditions.
Doctors have always been prescribing compression garments to manage vein-related medical conditions. It’s time we borrow their secret and give our legs the gift of pain-free travel.
Now that we are well acquainted with compression stockings let’s look at the different types available and find out the best compression stockings for travel.
Types of compression socks
Non-Medical Support Stockings
This type of compression garment provides mild compression to your legs. As the name suggests, they are meant to support your veins and aid blood circulation, consequently avoiding pain, heaviness, and swelling.
These compression stockings can be used by anyone, and they do not need to be worn under the guidance of a doctor. Support hosiery is where your regular socks and medical compression stockings meet because people wear this compression type, even for everyday wear. In addition, it serves as a preventive measure and reduces the risk of developing any venous conditions in the future.
Medical compression stockings
Medical compression stockings are available in different compression levels that offer moderate to very strong compression. These garments are meant to provide measured, controlled compression, and therefore, the sizing is based precisely on leg measurements.
Medical compression garments should be worn under the guidance of your doctor. They are commonly used to manage medical conditions such as varicose veins, lymphedema, venous ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
This type of compression stocking is designed for bedridden or immobile patients. They are commonly used for patients after they have undergone surgery.
We now have a basic understanding of compression stockings and their various types. Let us now focus on the specificities to look for while buying compression socks for travel.
How to choose the Right Compression for travel-
1. Choose the proper compression level.
The compression level determines the amount of pressure the stockings will apply on your legs. Whenever you buy compression stockings, you will see something like mmHg, which stands for millimeters of mercury. The higher the mmHg value of the compression stockings, the stronger the compression.
If you are a healthy adult with no pre-existing venous problem, you should choose support stockings for travel. They will be ideal for preventing pain and swelling in the legs, keeping your legs light and energized.
However, if you already have a vein-related condition and have been prescribed medical compression stockings, you can continue to wear the same pair while you travel. In addition, you can speak to your doctor about other precautions that you may need to take while traveling
2. Get the right size and fitting.
It’s not your “one-size-fits-all” while buying compression garments. Instead, you need to check the sizing guide to get your perfect fit. Various manufacturers have their own sizing charts, so make sure you check the sizing guides.
The effectiveness highly depends on how well it fits your leg. Loosely fitted compression socks fail their purpose, and socks that are small for you can make the blood circulation even worse.
3. Don’t forget to check the material.
Naturally, these socks made with a higher-quality material will be more comfortable and long-lasting. Compression stockings are worn for long hours; hence it becomes imperative that the fabric is breathable. The best material usually is cotton blended material.
Okay, so now that we know what to look out for when buying the perfect socks for travel, it’s time we learn the correct way to use them.
How to use compression socks for flying?
According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, you should put on your compression stockings at least 2 hours before the flight and keep them on throughout the journey.
Sitting or standing in the same position for hours during traveling can cause discomfort, pain, and a real risk of DVT. But simply using compression stockings for travel, you can throw all those worries and problems out the window. So what are you waiting for? Order your pair of compression socks for travel now! Here