Be careful with the traveler syndrome when travelling.

11-30-2015

Thinking of travelling on vacation? If taking an extended 10 to 12 hours trip, either by car or by airplane, not to moving the legs for many hours could cause the traveler's syndrome - also called deep venous thrombosis - a condition related to the formation of clots in the veins affecting the circulation in the legs.

The traveler’s syndrome affects mostly older people. "There are also some pathologies that might lead to the emergence of these nuisances, as it is the case of coagulation diseases, overweight, varicose veins, those who suffer from cholesterol or high triglycerides, having family with thrombosis and vascular accidents history, those who have had recent injuries or surgical interventions, cancer patients and even women taking oral contraceptives."
Prevention in these cases is quite simple:
Get well hydrated and avoid alcohol and caffeine-containing beverages
The use of socks and compression graduated socks (custom sizes) are an excellent and simple preventive measure since, while still remaining seated, stimulate blood circulation and help to prevent a possible event of venous thrombosis; In addition, its consistent use helps to prevent or eliminate symptoms of heaviness, pain and tiredness and swelling of legs and ankles during a trip.
Make simple and practical exercises as moving the legs, especially the calves, and stretch them: walking down the aisle of the plane, and take advantage of all the bus or car stops to move. If this is not possible, anyway the legs must need to be moved. Every 2 or 3 hours it is important to leave stiff and uncomfortable position to allow the circulation of the blood in a more fluid way. Here we suggest some exercises that can be performed without getting out of your seat:
Ankles: Separate a foot from the ground and in the air, draw circles on one side and the other. Alternate between stretching the tip of the foot and bend the ankle upward. Repeat each motion 10 times with each foot.
Shoulders: With the elbows close to the body, raise the shoulders (as if you would like to touch your ears with them), keep them up 5 seconds and lower them to a comfortable position. Repeat 10 times to relax the upper part of your back.
Neck: This is one of the areas of the body that suffers most in long journeys, since we can fall asleep in awkward postures that cause strain or contractures. We recommend that you move the neck from time to time, draw circles slowly to one side and the other.
Breathing: this exercise is to be relaxed. Take all the air as you can through your nose and hold for a few seconds in your lungs. Out slowly through the mouth. Make 5 deep inspirations. Stop if you feel dizzy.
Abdominal: Yes it is possible, while you're sitting all you have to do is raise slightly both feet from the ground at the same time, trying to bring your knees towards your chest. Hold for 10 seconds and slowly return to rest the feet on the ground. The force must come from the abdomen, the back should be upright (resting completely on the back of the seat) and your arms and shoulders relaxed.