"Compression socks" for air travel


Nov 30th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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"Compression socks" for air travel

For our next long flights I was going to try some of those compression type socks that help circulation. I thought I would just go to a local travel store or Target or the like & pick some up! The only ones in store were just above the ankle & I was really looking knee high. I am just going to order them on line & am now faced with dozens of different brands/types. So wondered if anyone had any recommendations??
Thanks J
jules39 is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2009, 08:51 AM
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Excellent idea! I used them on our last trip to Australia and will use them again on our trip to New Zealand in April. Wal-Mart has them online at a decent price:
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Nov 30th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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I have used them for several trips and find they help out a lot.

I bought the last pair at the local travel store and have to admit I don't think they are as good as my older pair which I got from I will probably re-order the Magellen socks before my next Europe trip.
CarolA is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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You can also try They have everything you could want for footwear including compression socks. I wear them all the time and their prices are even better than the prices from walmart with a much larger selection.
RonDace is offline  
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Nov 30th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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You might also check out any major drug stores/pharmacies. Many carry a pretty wide range of compression socks.
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Nov 30th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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If you do decide to give these a try, please be sure to pay attention to sizing - compression hose that do not fit properly are actually worse than not wearing any at all. And when wearing them make sure they do not roll down and create a band around your leg.
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Dec 1st, 2009, 07:12 AM
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Seamus that is one of the things I was thinking but thanks for reinforcing it. J
jules39 is offline  
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:37 PM
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Compression socks don't help circulation unless you are also walking around. They are designed mainly to reduce pooling of blood and edema in people who already have poor circulation. Their utility for people in normal health is questionable. Best to ask your doctor about them before using them, especially if you have any chronic medical conditions (particularly cardiovascular disease or diabetes).
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Dec 3rd, 2009, 12:58 PM
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I am glad to see your comments AnthonyGA as two people I know were going to buy compression socks and in both cases their respective doctors advised them not to do so, both are diabetics. Another friend was giving the "OK' by her doctor but she was told to go to our highly respected local medical supply store so she would be fitted properly, which goes along with Seamus' comment.
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Dec 4th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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I am not a fan of compression stockings unless specifically recommended by a health care professional, mostly because so many people use them incorrectly (wrong size, improper application, etc) but they do indeed have benefits for the non-ambulatory, Anthony. The gradient pressure (higher at the distal end) promotes venous return. Total flow is increased when the compression augments the normal muscular "milking" effect when walking, but even in stationary individuals they offer some benefit if used correctly.
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Dec 5th, 2009, 01:58 AM
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There is no credible medical evidence that over-the-counter compression socks do anything. And many people find them uncomfortable. When a person needs elastic stockings for medical reasons fitting involves taking 3 different measurements in 3 different places on each leg - so why would one think S-M-L accomplishes the same thing.

Save your money.
gail is offline  
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Dec 5th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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My dermatologist thought they were a good idea and gave me a recommendation--not the doctor I would usually ask about circulatory topics; just came up in travel discussion and there is a manufacturing plant here that makes the socks. I did not buy them.

I did buy some "diabetic" crew height socks at a local store--don't remember if drugstore or what. They are comfortable with loose elastic, but don't sag or roll. I do like them for air and other travel.
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Dec 5th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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My young adult non-diabetic son loves diabetic socks. They are usually without seams, very soft and non-binding - the most comfortable socks around.
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Dec 6th, 2009, 02:28 PM
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Take an asprin and thin your blood before you fly.
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Dec 6th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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I don't have any health issues, but my feet definitely swell on long flights -- to the point where I can't get my shoes on. My doctor recommended compression socks so I decided to try them. I bought a pair from AAA. They aren't soft and cushy like the socks I would prefer to wear during long flights, but they did definitely help with the foot swelling. I was able to wear shoes with no problems when we landed. Seamus's explanation of how they work probably explains the results we had.
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Dec 9th, 2009, 03:48 PM
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I bought a pair of the futuro brand from and they only served to cramp my legs up. I couldn't figure out why my calves hurt so much after an overnight flight and realized it was the socks.

I'd try them for a day of sitting at your desk with no movement before flying with them. I only bought them because, as others have mentioned, my feet/calves sometimes swell from being cramped/not moving around, not because I am diabetic. My feel/legs did not swell wearing them though, but it wasn't worth it for me at least. The swelling is not to the point of not being able to put on shoes for me.
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Dec 11th, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Compression stockings can help reduce dependent edema caused by prolonged sitting and standing. It's essential that they fit properly or they won't be effective or even worse, can reduce blood flow.
Most diabetics and anyone with peripheral arterial disease should not use them.
Buy them from a drugstore that can help you fit them (CVS). Take a tape measure with you--you need to measure around your calf to select the right size.
Other measures to reduce leg swelling: don't cross legs, avoid salt, get up and walk up and down the aisle several times, do leg pump exercises, use a little footrest if you're short to reduce the pressure on the back of your legs.
Use your carryon as a footstool while waiting at the gate to elevate your feet.
Taking an aspirin has not been shown effective to reduce DVT's but won't hurt you unless you have an ulcer.
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Dec 21st, 2009, 08:01 AM
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I take a blood thinner for clotting problems. In addition to this, I have been wearing compression stockings on long flights. I am questioning doing this in the future because of my experience with the stockings rolling down and creating a band just as mentioned above. I think the Coumadin is probably safeguard enough. This is all very useful information. Thanks.
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Aug 28th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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My plan is to move my feet up and down as much as possible. This, along with walking, will have to suffice. I bought soft, aloe coating socks but they will most likely not fit in my shoes. So, the next area of debate is to wear shoes, slippers or just but socks....well not just socks, but you know what I mean.
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Dec 6th, 2010, 09:29 AM
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My doctor said to get compression socks for a long flight because I am in my 60s. The store here sells TravelSox, which are really long. To get them to not be over my knee, they have to be folded down. The company said that's OK. But is that any different than the concerns raised above about the socks rolling down?
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