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Flight Socks

Has anyone purchased/used these for long flights to prevent the possibility of DVT? I want to get a pair for our trip to Italy at the beginning of June but not sure where to go for them. Any recommendations?

Posted by
2765 posts

I don't use them to prevent anything but "swollen feet" (I think that prevent DVT you may need the more costly prescription socks) However, I have a couple of pair I have purchased at travel stores and they do make my "toes" less uncomfortable by the end of the flight. Mine tend to swell and hurt.

Posted by
12040 posts

Ask your doctor if you need them. If you are fairly young, non-smoker, non-diabetic, with no history of heart failure, heart attack, prior DVT, stroke, pulmonary embolism or no family member that has a history of these at a young age, you probably don't need them.

Posted by
9363 posts

You can buy them at any large pharmacy. I've also seen them at Walmart.

Posted by
1874 posts

Magellan carries some nice women's trouser socks that look like lace, are lightweight, easy to wash and dry in the sink. They come in a couple styles and in black and beige. They really help my legs on overseas flights.

Posted by
12040 posts

Compression stockings sold at a travel store are probably not effective because they have to be individually fitted for each person to decrease the risk of a DVT.

I reviewed some of the literature on this topic. One article (from the British Journal of Haematology) stated that the risk of a DVT was highest in people with certain risk factors (obesity, diabetes, smoking, recent surgery, previous DVT, etc) who fly for greater than 8 hours, but that the routine use of compression stockings or medication in people without these risk factors was not recommended. The absolute risk of developing a confirmed pulmonary embolism (the worst outcome of a DVT) was 0.4 per million passengers in one French study.

Posted by
1874 posts

I'm not so concerned about DVT as swollen feet and ankles and comfort. The compression stockings really help with that on long flights.

Posted by
97 posts

I've never used them, being young and not a smoker or having the other typical added risks, but they sell them both at travel stores and websites and in pharmacies and medical supply stores. It's probably a good idea to get up and walk on long flights even if you do wear them, though, if only to avoid creaky joints!

Posted by
1136 posts

I'm an RN and I tell my patients on bedrest to "write" the alphabet with their feet once an hour. I try to remember to do this on airplane flights,too, it helps get the circulation going esp. if you're not able to get up and walk around, which isn't easy to do on a crowded plane sometimes.

Posted by
97 posts

Or be willing to sit in unusual positions (assuming you can do so safely), or be a small person. I grew up taking long road trips in the back of an old chevy station wagon with tons of stuff crammed around me, so I don't need much space to demand foot massages! Conversely, even if you're traveling solo, if you can get your foot up on the seat or sit with one leg laying across the other, you can massage your own foot and calf.

Posted by
97 posts

Potentially awkward but much nicer than travel socks: Have your partner give you a foot and (lower only to avoid total awkwardness) leg massages! If I was traveling with my honey, I'd totally have him massage my feet. But I'm shameless ;)