At 8:05 am, I board the plane, anticipating the departure of my 20 hour flight to India. I had taken countless flights halfway around the world before so I certainly knew what I was going to do: constant ears, not being able to fall asleep, etc. After about 7 hours of flight my legs and feet really started to hurt.
This is not something I had experienced on a long haul flight before. I took off my shoes, only to notice that they were quite swollen. If I had been in first class I would have instantly reclined my chair and raised my feet up, but due to my economy seat on the plane, that just wasn't an option.
I tried to walk a bit - back and forth from the bathroom. After all, there was nowhere to go, and the bathroom was really just a few steps away. So for the next 13 hours I traveled India with a pretty boring feeling of discomfort. The phrase “my dogs were barking” doesn't really do justice to this type of discomfort. It's not that my legs were just tired or sore, they were really hurting.
Well, it didn't take a doctor to tell me what the problem was - the sitting position I was in was not allowing my blood to flow properly. I mean, that's what I thought - it was pretty common sense. When I finally visited my doctor - explaining my situation and symptoms, he confirmed my initial hypothesis to be the case.
He said prolonged sitting positions can cause blood to pool in the veins in the leg. The very position your legs are in when you are sitting also increases the pressure in the veins in the legs. In turn, this causes swelling in the feet and legs by drawing fluid out of the blood and migrating to surrounding tissues.
What to do in case of swelling
The first thing my doctor recommended was a pair of Mediven 15-20 Travel Socks. He mentioned that these travel socks equalize blood circulation, so on my next long distance flight the swelling wouldn't be a problem. I was a bit reluctant at first - for some reason I thought they would be extremely uncomfortable and awkward, but I was wrong. They couldn't be more relaxing to wear.
Besides the travel socks, my doctor also mentioned that I remember stretching my legs every hour or two. I guess I got the right idea when I got up and walked to the bathroom.
He also said that on my next trip I would have to change positions in my seat often and crossing my legs is probably one of the worst ways to make the leg swelling problem worse.
Another thing he mentioned that I didn't like too much was that I should avoid sedatives and alcohol on any long flight. While a drink can make a boring flight a bit more entertaining, it can also make you too drowsy to regularly stretch your legs.
Nowadays, many people are choosing to wear compression stockings. They are affordable, easy to access and help to fight off unpleasant symptoms of illness. These specialized elastic socks are designed to offer comfort to the wearer by applying pressure to the legs, allowing better blood circulation throughout the body.
However, those who wear compression stockings know that getting them on can be challenging. The good news is, there are easier ways to don your stockings and move forward with your day. ComproGear has put together a gamme of tips and tricks to help you simplify your compression sock routine.
Before we go over how to put compression socks on, we’ll take a look at the basics : What are compression socks ? How do they work ? And what do compression hose have to offer you ?
Compression stockings are a unique type of therapeutic wear that helps to improve blood circulation in the body. These socks and stockings are often used to reduce pain or swelling in the legs.
Compression stockings can also lower your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis ( DVT ) by exerting pressure on your legs as you wear them. This gentle pressure assists with blood flow from the legs and back to the heart, preventing the clotting and pooling of blood.
You will find compression stockings in a range of sizes and pressure levels. When de course for your compression socks, note that mmHg is used for denoting the pressure exerted by compression stockings. A higher mmHg indicates a higher amount of pressure being applied to the legs by the compression sock. For example, 30mmHg is a higher pressure outil than 15mmHg.
For those who do not have a medical diagnosis, using compression socks with a mild pressure rating will suffice. A low pressure rating can help you deal with tired legs and mild swelling.
A compression sock should offer a “snug” fit but shouldn’t be excessively tight. Before you make a purchase, take a look over the sizing chart to get an idea about which size would fit you best.
Medical grade compression socks are generally tighter in the ankle portion of the sock and gradually become less tight towards the knee. This type of compression is called graduated compression. TED socks and many varieties of compression garments use graduated compression.
You can purchase compression socks from medical equipment stores or ComproGear. If you need compression hose for medical reasons, your doctor will prescribe the right compression according to your needs and will help you order the acceptable size. Prices will vary according to the type of compression sock and its brand.
Those who suffer from medical conditions related to poor circulation can benefit from wearing compression stockings : Anyone recovering from varicose vein surgery. Athletes who are recovering from an injury or who are training extensively. Those who are at risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis ( DVT ), varicose veins, edema or leg ulcers. Those who spend a lot of time travelling or sitting such as pilots, frequent fliers, truck drivers, etc.
It’s a great idea to put your compression hosiery on first thing in the morning before any swelling occurs from the day’s activities. This will allow the stockings to slide on with greater ease. Alternatively, you may lay down and rest your legs on an elevated pillow for about 15 minutes to reduce swelling before donning your socks.
Your legs should also be clean and dry. Dry off completely after bathing and if it is a particularly humid day, sprinkling talc or cornstarch across the legs can help the fabric of the socks slide on smoothly.
to pull on your compression stockings with ease, place just your toes into the stocking’s toe area. The rest of the sock will be bunched up around the toes as you do this. Gradually unravel the sock upwards towards your knee. Do not crouch on the floor or bend over while standing, as this will make it difficult to pull your compression hose on. It is best to sit in a peau while donning your socks.
Wrinkled stockings are difficult to wear. Creases in the material can apply démesurée pressure to the skin beneath them, causing discomfort or cutting off circulation. Be sure to smooth out any creases in the fabric once your socks are on. This will ensure you’re getting the optimum pressure outil from your stockings. Do not fold over the top of your compression hose as this can interrupt blood flow.
If you wear open-toe compression stockings then this trick is for you. Slip a plastic bag over your foot and heel. The plastic bag’s slippery surface will help your compression hose slip onto your leg with ease. Once your sock or stocking is on, carefully pull out the loose plastic bag through the open-toe of your stocking. You can also try using a silk foot slip to help you put on your compression socks. It works in much the same way as the plastic bag trick. All you need to do is to place your foot into the silk foot slip then sweat your pressure sock over it and onto your leg, just as you would with a regular sock.
An effective method for donning compression stockings without the hassle is to use talcum powder or cornstarch. Sprinkle some across your ankles and legs before pulling your socks on. These silky powders allow close-fitting compression garments to slide over the skin easily. Talcum powder can also help absorb excess moisture on the skin.
Applying lotion and creams to the legs will make it difficult to put your stockings on. Moisturized skin tends to stick to or grab the fabric of the socks as you attempt to sweat them on. One solution to this problem is to apply lotion before going to bed rather than in the morning. This allows enough time for the cream to absorb into your skin, leaving it smooth enough in the morning for the compression socks to slide on easily.
There are several donning tools available commercially that can help if you’re struggling to get your compression stockings on. You can purchase these tools at medical equipment or online stores. The prices will vary according to the brand. Popular donning devices include Medi Butler, Juzo Slippie Gator and Sigvaris Doff n’ Donner. These tools are ideal for elderly people or anyone with a mobility provenant that has difficulty putting on compression stockings.
Donning gloves are a great tool to help you firmly grasp your stockings without tearing them. It can be quite difficult to grab and pull the stocking fabric with your bare hands. This is where gloves can come to the rescue. Various brands manufacture gloves that can be worn while donning compression stockings. These gloves also protect the stocking fabric, especially if you are concerned about your nails tearing the hosiery.