Traveling is stressful and exciting to some people. Some people land at their travel destinations with swollen feet and ankles. And this could be a sign of a severe health problem.
Causes of Swollen Feet and Ankles When Traveling
Swollen feet and ankles can be due to fluid accumulation in the body for sitting down for long hours during a flight. Limited mobility during a flight can make blood flow to the limbs and joints sluggish. When your feet and legs don’t move normally, blood doesn’t flow to the feet and ankles correctly. And this encourages their swelling.
How to Avoid Swollen Feet and Ankles When Traveling
Most travelers get swollen feet and ankles after flying for long hours. However, you can do certain things to avoid having swollen feet and ankles when landing. For instance, you can put on support stockings during a long trip. That way, you can eliminate or reduce post-flight foot and ankle swelling. Also, try to stand up and walk inside the plane every half an hour. Additionally, try stretching and flexing your ankles, calves, and feet while seated.
Potential Risks and Problems
Medically, experts refer to swollen feet and ankles as gravitational edema. And this condition can make moving and fitting in your shoes painful. Although not always dangerous, this condition can be annoying. Therefore, start by ruling out any possible health hazard by visiting a doctor. Also, wear sandals or shoes with extra room.
Swollen limbs and joints can also be a sign of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis. Embolism can occur if the blood clot is lodged deep into the vein after flying for long hours and eventually breaks. If this happens, the condition can damage a vital organ or even cause death.
If you get swollen feet and ankles after air travel, talk to your doctor to rule out possible health hazards. Once sure that you don’t have a severe health condition, wear supportive stockings and walk around in the cabin every 30 minutes. Also, flex and stretch the ankles, calves, and feet while seated to enhance blood circulation.