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do you wear compression socks for the long haul


Apr 25th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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do you wear compression socks for the long haul

I just was looking through my Magellan catalog and noticed the compression socks. I wonder if worth the money or the bother or do you walk around often and take baby asprin daily before the trip.
jelane is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2008, 05:01 PM
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Hi jelane. Before our first trip, I wondered the same thing. I posted here but didn't get any responses. Ended up not buying any. We flew 12 hours in coach & even though I walked around, my feet were swollen like balloons!

I guess the answer is that we should all take such a precaution, but probably very few do.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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I do and they help me. I also bought mine from Magellan's. If you live in a larger city you may be able to buy them from a store.
esm is online now  
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Apr 25th, 2008, 05:16 PM
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No - but I do get up and walk around a lot - unless I have a sleeper seat. But, then I've never had a problem with swollen feet or legs.

If you do - I would suggest ask your doctor for the best choices - since the one size fits all ones are sometimes too tight - and do more harm than good.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 06:33 PM
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God, no. I don't do aspirin, either. I must be the least-concerned mid-50s person ever about this stuff, but no, I just pack and get on the plane and hope for the best.

I've never had a swollen anything from flying or anything else. But I'm a mere sprite of a person with no health concerns and a positive, non-hypochondriac personality.

I do walk around and do feeble exercises on planes. I also have at least two of those tiny bottles of wine they offer.

In real life, I walk about 50 miles a week, so maybe that takes care of my potential foot/swelling problems.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Yes, I do, and they certainly work for me.
For the record... I'm pretty fit, am average weight and am vegetarian but since hitting the 50's my feet started to swell miserably on overseas flights.
The compression socks are a blessing!
Walking on the flight every few hours helps too... very little alcohol and no caffeine and TONS of water and orange juice...
It all adds up.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 09:01 PM
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Hi jelane, personally I would discuss this with your doctor.
LoveItaly is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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This is one of those things that are quite individualized - sort of like "Does Airborne prevent colds?"

If you do decide to use compression hose, PLEASE be certain they are well fitted and you use them properly. If not, the can actually increase the risk of the very problems you seek to prevent. Make sure they are not banding or bunching up anywhere, and apply them completely unrolled, never rolled down.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 09:48 PM
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My doctor told me to do the asprin and not because I am in bad health...A friend of mine several years ago suffered DVT on a flight from the Middle East to LA...she almost died, was in her forties, didn't drink and in good health....there is a part of me that thinks, gosh you think about packing all the clothes to look really good and may not hurt to put on a pair of those ugly socks...
jelane is offline  
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Apr 25th, 2008, 10:28 PM
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Last night's experience, thus very fresh and vivid, I'm just back from Australia...

We boarded the flight from Perth in the afternoon, so I was wearing normal short socks for the day and planned to put on my knee-high compression socks at the airport - but I forgot. After several hours on the plane I remembered because my calves felt somehow balloon-like. I then changed, it was such a relief and settled the problem almost immediately. Yes I'm a believer! These things do make a big difference for me (early 40s, no obvious health problems).

I got my pair in a (German) department store in the sock department for around 10-12 Euros, if I remember correctly.
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Apr 25th, 2008, 10:43 PM
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For us, the better bet is to just avoid the airline food, which tends to be very salty. I'm convinced that salty airline food signficantly increases your discomfort so signficantly as to decreases the chance that you will be able to get any sleep.

We get ourselves to the airport at least three hours early, then enjoy a meal I've packed or one at the airport, once we've cleared security.

We tend to be much more drowsy and able to sleep after a nice meal, but waiting for beverage/food service on the plane takes two hours or more...

I, personally, believe that those compression socks just sent the swelling elsewhere...
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Apr 25th, 2008, 11:40 PM
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jelane - this trip will be the first time I will be wearing "elastic stockings'.
The previous two flights not only made my feet swell but my ankles turned bright red!
I had to elevate my legs every night by sticking a pillow under the end of my matress. That works wonderfully too.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 12:49 AM
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I don't wear them, though I perhaps should. I am not convinced that they are really helpful. I discussed it once with my GP and he said not to bother, that unless they fit properly they could actually add to the problems, nor to bother with aspirin. If I was really worried he would prescribe me a very low dose of heparin to take the night before the flight. Since I didn't fancy taking rat poison unnecessarily I turned it down.
My SIL on the other hand even wears them for the hour flight from London to Amsterdam! She will quite happily sit in the back of a small car, with probably less leg room than on a plane, for several hours without them though.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 07:52 AM
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I am another compression sock/stocking wearer, especially for long flights.

Forgot to put them on before flying from Melbourne to London(20+ hours) last year and my ankles/calves were swollen for 24 hours.

Bought a pair in a Boots pharmacy in London and wore them on the flight home and my legs were fine.

I am an active 40 something who drinks lots of water on the plane, tries to move around on board etc.,etc.

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Apr 26th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Our routine is very similar to djkbooks'. No compression socks; in fact, just the opposite. I can't sleep if my feet aren't comfy. On the long flight I remove my shoes, discretely apply lotion, and slip on supersoft chenile slipper socks (the ones with the light rubber soles).

No salty airline food or carbonates. Like djk we pack a picnic for our layover in Atlanta. Cheese, roasted almonds, apples, wine, water. Before we go to the gate we find somewhere to get a big bowl of hot soup. By the time we board I'm yawning like mad. One wine on the plane, then the slippers, and zzzzzzzzz. No jet lag since we started this routine.

I take an aspirin a day anyway. And I do walk around the cabin (when I'm awake). We're so sold on this routine that, on our last trip, we paid $18 more to get the longer layover in Atlanta rather than one which would have had us rushing to catch the overseas flight.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 09:24 AM
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Yes,on my doctor's orders. No swollen fet after a 22 hour journey.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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A friend's mother (in her 60s) had had such badly swollen feet on her previous trip to Italy that she couldn't walk for three days. I suggested the compression socks, and they worked like a charm. She was extremely grateful! Since she is visiting family when she goes and her visits are short, it was wonderful for her not to lose half her time due to swelling.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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I had read somewhere that there is no evidence that aspirin reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis(DVT). That said, the frequently prescribed Heparin and warfarin act as blood thinners, so I am unclear why would a simple aspirin, also a blood thinner, would not help. Makes you wonder about the lobbying going on behind close doors...

I also read to abstain from too much coffee and cranberry juice before a long flight....

Also, if you are not already doing this, get on a 30-min walking routine weeks before a long flight. You will be conditioning your lower body to improve circulation.

A simple exercise I learned from a stewardress a while back was to use your toes, ankles and legs as a "pumping" mechanism; bend and release all sporadically on a rotational basis and this will extra pump the blood in your lower body. Definitely get up and walk.

I have to say this is serious stuff; not a month ago a friend of mine just lost his sister to DVT. She was taken from the airport to the hospital where she passed away. She was in her 40's. Very sad.
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Apr 26th, 2008, 10:12 AM
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viajero - the difference between aspirin and warfarin (coumadin, oral drug) or heparin (injected drug) is how they work, how quickly they exert the effect, and how long the effect lasts. There is debate about the efficacy of a preflight aspirin in preventing DVT.
Some people are more prone to swelling than others - excess weight being a biggie.
Seamus is online now  
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Apr 26th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Good point; thanks Seamus, it does makes more sense now.
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