Are you starting to plan those summer vacations? Whether you travel by car, bus, or plane for 4 or more hours you are at risk of developing a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). A DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein. A DVT can be caused by sitting for a long time, potentially creating damage and slow blood flow in the veins of your legs.
The following are recommendations from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) for preventing a DVT: Get up occasionally and walk around.
- Select an aisle seat when possible so you can walk around every 2-3 hours.
- If traveling by car, include breaks in your travel schedule to stretch and walk around.
Exercise your calf muscles and stretch your legs while you're sitting.
Try these exercises next time you travel:
- Raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes on the floor.
- Raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels on the floor.
- Tighten and release your leg muscles.
If you are a long-distance traveler with additional factors that increase your chance of developing a DVT, talk to your doctor about taking extra precautions, such as
- Wearing properly fitted medical compression stockings and
- Taking medication before you travel to prevent blood clots.