Twelve things you need to know about swollen ankles caused by flying...

Posted on November 22, 2017 in Travelers Experience

Twelve things you need to know about swollen ankles caused by flying...

Often this is due to inactivity on a flight, especially long haul.  It is simply the natural process of blood pooling in your feet.  As well as inactivity, it can also be caused by the cabin pressure and dehydration, so here are some ideas that can help prevent or reduce the swelling on your next trip.

  • Before - In the days leading up to your flight, try and reduce the amount of salt intake in your diet.
  • Before and During - Keep fluid levels up, keeping topped up with water leading up to the flight and ensuring you have some with you on the plane will help or at very least always saying yes to the water when stewards offer it on a flight. (A lot of airports do have water fountains now, so if you are in transit don't throw your empty bottle away, fill it up again and keep drinking!)
  • During - Do try and get up and move about, or if there is no chance of disturbing the person next to you, doing simple stretches and moving the ankles as much as possible while in your seat will help too. Try pointing your toes or rotating your ankles.
  • During. Storing your bag in the overhead locker will give you room to move your ankles as well as needing to get up and down to get anything you need.
  • During - Compression socks can help, again at very least ensure you are not wearing normal socks that can dig in at the ankle.
  • During -  Foods rich in Vitamin E can help, maybe think about packing some olives or peanuts with you, but don't forget you may need to declare them the other end if you haven't eaten them all!
  • After - Elevate your ankles when possible, maybe not on the plane itself, the person in front may have something to say!
  • After - Massaging your feet or treating yourself to a massage again can help circulation and get the fluids moving.
  • After - Are you staying somewhere or near a swimming pool? Allowing you to get off your feet, as well as increasing the heart rate through exercise can help get things moving again
  • After - Soaking your feet in a bucket/spa with Epsom salts or simply cool water can again make a difference.
  • After - Lemon juice with warm water helps with reducing swelling. Also great for the digestive tract first thing in the morning if you are feeling a bit uncomfortable after a long flight.
  • After - Yoga can help with circulation, so if you are already a fan, it may be worth doing some when you arrive on holiday or getting back to class as soon as possible on your return.

Please note if the swelling is just in one leg or is inflamed and/or painful please seek medical attention immediately.


Tags: Health, Tips, Flying
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