There is no need to have recurring nightmares for a month before you travel anywhere about this admittedly worrying condition. Take the time when traveling to do some appropriate exercises and there should not be the remotest problem.

Deep Vein Thrombosis is exactly what it says, the clotting of blood in the deep vein. Contrary to opinion, the condition is rare in travelers. Considering the scale of air travel the small incidence of fatalities through DVT do not constitute an epidemic by any means. That is not to say, however, that it would not be quite nice to eradicate the risks as far as possible though.

Pregnant ladies, smokers and overweight passengers are more at risk than others. If you fall into any of these categories, ask your doctor about precautions to take against risk of DVT.

The inactivity which is necessarily a part of air travel is the main difficulty. Move around every so often, stretch your legs and try to do some simple exercises even while seated. Turn your ankles in circles, then reverse the exercise, and try to lift your knees up and down if the seat in front allows. You can stretch the arches of your feet by applying pressure to the floor on tip toes, and then touch your heels to the floor, pointing your toes back toward yourself. You will feel this has the effect of pulling at your calf muscles.

Try not to sleep in an upright position and try not to consume too much alcohol as it dehydrates your system.

It is tempting for ladies to wear high heels and look elegant while traveling but in fact heels are very bad for circulation during flight. Wear sensible shoes at least while you are traveling, preferably with a little room for expansion in case your feet should swell slightly, a common occurrence in pressurized aircraft cabins.

Finally, support stockings or socks are certainly effective and you can acquire them at all chemists. They do not look very sexy but then, neither does DVT.

Jan Gamm writes reflections on life with an emphasis on world travel. She has lived in many countries and traveled extensively in the Far East, the Middle East, America, South America and throughout the South Pacific. She writes for fun and for money whenever she can manage it.

By Jan Gamm

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