Hopefully you have made all your travel plans and are almost done preparing for the upcoming holidays. While you may be focused on your destination or getting to spend time with family and friends, you should take a minute to think about staying healthy during your travels. One significant event you can easily avoid is that of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT’s occur when your blood forms a clot in your vein. This results in pain, redness, and swelling in the arm or leg that it occurred in. It can become quite serious if this clot then becomes lodged in your lung or heart. While this is most common in post-surgical or hospitalized patients, there are a number of other factors that can put you at risk for this occurring. Some of them, such as being overweight and smoking, are things your family doctor reminds you of at most visits. Other factors include advanced age, contraceptive use, travel…….wait? Travel? The immobility and dehydration that are common to traveling lend to a DVT that has become known as traveler’s thrombosis. Whether or not you have any of the risk factors we’ve mentioned, consider keeping yourself well hydrated as you travel. Walking around terminals and hauling luggage can be quite a workout and you can easily become dehydrated if you do not drink plenty of liquids. Staying hydrated is staying healthy whether you’re at risk for DVT or not.
If you do have some of the risk factors for DVT, consider other things you can do to keep them from occurring. Since staying seated for long periods of time is another part of traveler’s thrombosis, try to move around during your travels. If you are in a car, make occasional stops to walk around. If a plane or train, stand up and walk around from time to time if possible. You can also consider wearing compression stockings or flexing your leg muscles while you’re sitting. These ‘little’ things you can do during your travels can help avoid DVTs and the problems associated with them.
Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy, Austin!