4 Tips to Avoid Lower Leg & Ankle Swelling on Airplanes

4 Tips to Avoid Lower Leg & Ankle Swelling on Airplanes

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If you recently had surgery on your hip, knee, foot or ankle and have an upcoming Spring Break trip planned, you’re probably worried about managing your leg and ankle swelling. As you know even long car rides can make this an issue, let alone walking through airports and sitting through a flight on an airplane. Here are 4 simple tips to help you avoid excessive ankle/lower leg swelling while you travel by airplane:

  1. Get up and move – Try to get up out of your seat (when the pilot gives the ok) every half-hour. By doing this you are using your muscles as pumps to keep fluid moving in your legs.
  2. Perform the “ankle alphabet” . You can do these when you are seated, and it’s simple – just spell the alphabet once every 15-20 minutes with your feet. Try to make as big of letters as possible with your ankle, don’t cheat and just move your toes.
  3. Do heel raises – Get up and go to the bathroom (if you are trying to avoid embarrassment) and just lift your heels off the ground repeated for 15-20 reps, try to do this every hour if it is a long flight. If you are in a turbulent flight, perform this at your seat. Again, this will help your “muscle pumps” to keep fluid moving throughout your legs.
  4. Wear compression stockings – simple over the counter compression stockings may be just fine unless you have been prescribed a pair from your MD/surgeon.

 

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4 Tips to Avoid Lower Leg & Ankle Swelling on Airplanes

 

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Greg Bailen

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