Compression socks - your best travel companions
Sitting for long hours at a time isn’t something new for regular travelers. But did you know that you may face certain health problems due to this? Read on to learn why travel socks should be a part of your carry-on!
Who are travel socks for?
Travel socks, also known as flight socks or compression socks are specialized socks that are often worn by people who regularly travel. But why exactly look for socks when going on vacation? Well, the reasons may surprise you. Whether you travel by car, plane, bus or train, sitting in one spot without any movement can lead to a number of health issues, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and possibly varicose veins.
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the legs, causing significant swelling, pain, redness, warmth coursing up the affected leg or in some cases, no symptoms at all. This is due to not moving for long periods of time, like when traveling, however, this condition may also be caused by smoking, cancer, a history of family blood-clotting and even pregnancy. This condition is very serious, as clots formed in the legs can break apart and get lodged in the lungs, consequently, blocking blood flow. This is called pulmonary embolism and is life-threatening and symptoms may include shortness of breath, lightheadedness and coughing up blood.
Varicose veins may also form as a result of sitting in one spot for extended periods of time, however, they can also be caused by weak valves, obesity and hormonal changes due to pregnancy. As blood begins to pool in the legs, valves might not have enough strength to squeeze it up the legs, thus creating varicose veins. Symptoms of varicose veins include large, bulging veins that are dark purple or blue in color and are somewhat twisted, which may cause heaviness and muscle cramping and swelling in the legs, as well as discoloration around the vein. Aside from varicose veins, a person may also develop spider veins, which are a milder condition that may also be caused by a lack of mobility.
How do travel socks work?
Travel socks work by promoting blood flow from your legs to the remaining parts of your body by applying graduated compression to your feet, ankles and legs. They help reduce pain and swelling, prevent blood from pooling, venous ulcers and promote better lymphatic drainage. If you remain immobile for long periods of time while traveling, especially during air travel, gravity is constantly pulling blood in your legs down, thus causing blood pooling and possible DVT. But by wearing these compression socks for travel, the diameter of major leg veins is reduced, which improves the blood flow from the legs to the rest of the body. This in turn will keep your feet and legs feeling light and not swollen. In other words, compression socks turn your legs into more effective blood pumps, which better transport blood throughout the body.
Although travel socks ought to be a part of every traveler’s luggage during long flights or drives, it’s best to speak with your doctor prior to purchasing a pair. In order for them to work properly, you should get your compression socks fitted, know how to put them on and take them off, how long to wear them at a time and how to make sure they don’t cause any additional health issues.
What are the different types of travel socks?
Travel socks vary, depending on their color, compression level, length and material used to make them. Since these socks are meant to improve blood flow throughout the legs, it’s important to note that knee-high socks are the most effective at doing so. Compression socks can also be made from a number of materials, including cotton, silver fiber, milk fiber, microfiber, aloe vera and merino wool and can even include additional features, such as a massaging sole. You can find a wide variety of the best compression socks in our store - but prior to making a purchase speak with your doctor and ask which model and compression level best suits your condition.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
1. What are compression levels?
This is the pressure that is provided by the travel onto the legs in order to help with blood flow. The most common pressure levels can range from 18-22 MmHg to 22-27 MmHg, depending on the model.
2. Do these socks offer good airflow?
The majority of the socks in our catalogue provide good quality airflow, however, those made of microfiber and moisturizing aloe vera are the best for this.
3. How long can these socks be worn throughout the day?
Travel socks can be worn while you travel, however, how long you wear them depends on the condition of your legs, blood flow, and compression level. It is best that you speak with your doctor, as each case is different.