Long periods of sitting without movement can aggravate the symptoms of an untreated chronic vein condition, such as varicose veins. It can also leave you more susceptible to serious complications such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If your upcoming travel plans include a road trip—especially one longer than a couple of hours—it’s important to take steps to keep fresh blood (and therefore oxygen!) flowing through your legs.
Even if only for a couple of minutes, exit your car and walk in a safe place away from the roadway. The simple, low-impact act of walking can quickly boost your circulation and move fresh oxygen-rich blood through the body.
This is something you can do if your schedule doesn’t allow for a stop. Even without exiting the car, you can get fresh blood pumping through your legs with the simple act of flexing your foot. To do this, you simply point your toes up and hold for a moment, then flex your foot and point your toes downward and hold for a moment. Repeat multiple times with both feet. This simple movement engages and relaxes the lower leg muscles in a pattern that encourages the veins to pump fresh blood.
Like walking, this one will require a pitstop. If you have the time to pull over and exit the car, but not much time (or space) to briskly walk for a few minutes, try a set of 10 or more squats. Position your feet shoulder width apart, hold your hands to your chest, and straighten your legs while looking straight ahead. Hold this pose while periodically bending your knees and entering the squatting position momentarily before returning to the starting position. Repeat ten or more times to really get your leg muscles engaged and pumping fresh blood.
Believe it or not, something as simple as changing your breathing pattern can promote healthy circulation. By taking long, deep, mindful breaths, you are flooding your lungs and diaphragm with oxygen. This movement can push blood and encourage its flow towards the chest and into the heart, where it can then be pumped throughout the body.
Specially-designed graduated compression stockings can decrease the risk of developing DVT during travel by creating safe compression of the veins. Not only can they help prevent DVT during travel, they can also help make your legs feel good during those long periods of sitting.
We hope you find these tips for relief on the road helpful! If you are suffering from symptoms such as restlessness, throbbing, or pain in the legs it may be time to have your vein health evaluated. Call Miller Vein for a free vein evaluation.*
* Due to legal constraints, the free evaluation offer cannot be extended to Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries or other recipients of federal or state health care benefit programs.