Now that we’re coming out of COVID, it’s expected that more Americans will be traveling this year than in years past. As we prepare to travel distances near and far, sitting for extended periods of time can make you prone to developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and pose a serious risk to your health.
DVT is a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein, usually in the leg, thigh, arm or pelvis. Though there are several symptoms, 50% of people who have DVT may not experience any symptoms at all. The CDC reports as many as 900,000 Americans are affected by DVT each year.
Because you’re in a stationary position for a longer period, you’re much more prone to develop this condition with long-distance travel. And you’re three times more likely to develop DVT with air travel. Long-distance travel is defined as traveling more than 4 hours by air, car, or bus.
Long-distance travelers are at a higher risk for this condition if they are part of a group of people living with risk factors such as pregnancy, smokers, and those who are obese among others.
Symptoms of DVT
The following symptoms are associated with the onset of DVT:
- Swelling in the legs
- Leg pain, cramping, or soreness that starts in your calf
- Red or discolored skin on the distressed area
- Warmth in the damaged spot
Having an active lifestyle and being sufficiently hydrated is the best preventive method for DVT. If you have been treated for DVT or diagnosed before, some doctors will recommend trunk exercises for a leg with DVT that includes both arm and trunk exercises. While for an arm with DVT, doctors recommend trunk and leg exercises.
Compression socks are also highly recommended during travel as well as for providing daily protection against DVT. They also enhance your lifting and cardio performances by distributing consistent pressure over the calves. Compression socks also improve blood flow and promote adequate circulation while ensuring a pain-free workout and pain relief post-workout by reducing fatigue, cramping and soreness.