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Up, up and away – but check out your risk as you are packing!

Sitting for a long time be it in a plane, car or train means that your blood flow is restricted. Your feet and lower legs begin to swell and you can experience pain. Very occasionally you can develop a deep vein thrombosis which is associated with the risk of pulmonary embolism (a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs). To arrive safely at your destination Happy Feet Pedorthics advises the following tips:

1. Wear travel or compression stockings, comfortable clothing which does not in any way restrict the legs or the hips, and of course comfy shoes!
2. Eat light and drink plenty of water – ¼ litre every 2 hours. Avoid alcohol, black tea and coffee and these drinks lead to dehydration.
3. Exercise – either in seat exercises, standing up at least once an hour, taking a short walk, and break up the car journey into 2 hour blocks.

So what is your risk level?

  • Low risk – with a journey of 3-4 hours you have a low risk of thrombosis
  • Medium risk – if your journey is several hours or more and 2 or more of the following apply, you are at a medium risk of travel thrombosis:
    • Pregnant or recently given birth
    • 60 years or plus
    • Thrombophilia (in increased tendency for the blood to clot)
    • Hereditary risk or thrombosis/embolisms in the family
    • Enlarged varicose veins or chronic vein problems
    • Use of the pill or hormone replacement therapy after menopause
    • Excess weight
  • High risk – if your journey is several hours or more and 1 of the following apply, you are at a high risk of travel thrombosis:
    • Thromboses or embolisms in the past
    • Cancer or other serious illness
    • Immobilised leg due to a splint of plaster cast
    • Recent major surgery
Up, up and away

Happy and healthy travelling from the team at Happy Feet Pedorthics!

Clare Nelson C Ped CM AU

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