By Dr. Samuel P. Martin – Vascular Surgeon & founder Vascular Vein Centers
With all the travel, shopping and cooking for the holidays, it’s easy to forget about the extra physical stress you’ll be under. You can expect to spend many extra hours on your feet, and it’s your legs that will take the brunt of this extra standing.
Gravity’s long-term strain on our bodies is one of the main reasons vein disease develops, and the holiday marathon doesn’t help. Veins are responsible for returning blood back to the heart, but our blood’s uphill path against gravity makes this tough, particularly with long periods of standing.
Many factors contribute to gravity’s pressure on your legs, which stretches vein walls causing them to become varicose and malfunction:
Prolonged standing or sitting
Travel often disrupts your exercise routine and forces you to stay in confined spaces like cars or airplanes. During flights, restricted movement, lower oxygen pressure and dehydration can cause blood to pool in your legs, increasing your chances of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)- blood clots. Traveling may expose certain risks, but a little forethought can prevent complications. Stay well hydrated, wear graduated compression stockings (20-30 mmHg), move your feet frequently, don’t wear constricting garments or drink significant amounts of alcohol on a long trip.
Don’t forget YOU this holiday season. Your continued health is one of the best gifts you could give your family this year. Here are our top 5 recommendations for Healthy Leg Gifts to give yourself or your loved ones with leg health issues:
Graduated compression stockings (20-30 mm Hg)
Walking Sticks rather than a cane if you are unstable or prone to falls
Stationary Bicycle for low impact cardio
Foot stool or recliner when sitting to decrease lower leg pressure
Doff n Donner – a gel sleeve to get compression stockings on and off easily
Vascular Vein Centers of Davenport / Haines City
121 Webb Dr Suite 300, Davenport, FL 33837
Next to Pichardo Clinic