Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Preventing Foot Discomfort during Air Travel: Five Simple Ideas

You love air travel but hate one thing about it. You get too limited space to relax and sit comfortably. Sometimes it gives you a trapped feeling and can lead to several health problems, the most common being swollen foot.

When you sit for hours at a stretch in the same position, the muscles pumping blood to your feet tend to become inactive, causing inflammation and pain. Low cabin pressure along with dry air circulating in the plane could also lead to swollen foot. Furthermore, dehydration during the flight may worsen foot problems.

Given below are five simple ideas for you to keep in mind to ensure sound foot health during air travel.

1. Reduce salt intake before travel

Daily intake of salt is necessary to enhance your ability to perform. However, it has its downside too. Salt retains fluid, which could lead to swollen foot. Therefore, medical advice for you is to reduce salt intake on the day or even a day before the travel.

2. Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated before and throughout your travel is a good precautionary step to avoid swollen foot. Better, carry your own bottle of water, if you can take it past security. If you can’t, buy one after security clearance in one of the stalls there. Do not hesitate to get it refilled inside the aircraft. A well-hydrated body can forestall the chances of swollen foot. In addition, it keeps you active with frequent bathroom visits!

3. Stroll around in the aircraft

You do not have to sit tight keeping your seat belt fastened after the take off: stroll around in the aircraft when allowed. It keeps blood flowing as you pace along the aisle.

Your movement will be easier, if you can have an aisle seat. If you can’t get one, carry out frequent foot exercises. Rotate the feet and point your toes up, down and sideways. You can even prop your feet up and then down, if the seats next to you are unoccupied.

4. Pamper yourself with foot massage

Another way to avoid swollen foot and ensure blood flow is pampering your feet with a foot massage. Get rid of those shoes, simply put your foot on the lap and give it and the toes a good rub, and some gentle twists. This will reduce the strain, help you feel relaxed and will keep the blood circulating.

5. Place your feet properly

A huge baggage near your feet can be a bothersome obstruction, which prevents you from stretching your feet. If you place your feet in awkward positions, blood flow is affected and it adds to your swollen foot woes. What you should do, therefore, is to keep all your hand luggage in the overhead storage bin, so that you have ample legroom – in airline parlance ‘seat pitch’ – to place your feet comfortably.

You may not be able to avoid taking flights; but you can definitely avoid swollen foot during and after the journey. Wearing proper and comfortable footwear, making enough legroom to stretch and a dose of quick exercise can offer great relief even when you are in mid air. However, if the problem persists after the journey, you should consult an expert podiatrist for timely treatment.