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What Is Economy Class Syndrome?

What Is Economy Class Syndrome?

Planning a trip? You could be at risk for "Economy Class Syndrome."

economy class syndrome

When traveling long distances, your movement is limited and blood circulation in your legs is restricted. This situation can lead to "Economy Class Syndrome," a condition that's been associated with leg pain, heavy legs, and swollen feet and ankles. Prolonged sitting is also a major risk factor for development of phlebitis and thrombosis (blood clot formation). In some cases, blood clots can migrate to the lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE).

The discomfort and risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) applies to other types of long distance travel such as car, train, or bus. When remaining seated without moving for over 4 hours, the risk of DVT could be 4 times higher. A DVT can happen to anyone during travel, regardless of age, weight, or lifestyle.

A simple and comfortable way to help relieve the symptoms of heavy legs, leg pain, and swollen feet and ankles during travel is to wear graduated compression stockings. Wearing compression stockings is also advised to reduce the risk of developing a more serious condition such as phlebitis, DVT, or pulmonary embolism.

SIGVARIS medical compression stockings have been proven to prevent symptoms including heavy, tired, and achy legs and swelling of feet and ankles. Ask your family physician for information regarding the prevention of DVT and other venous problems during travel.

Tips for Travelers:

  • Wear comfortable clothing.
  • Move your feet and ankles every 30 minutes -- try reps of 10 flexes and 10 circles.
  • Take a short walk every 2 hours.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Avoid alcohol.
  • Wear compression stockings to prevent symptoms and swelling.

Benefits of Compression Therapy

Wearing graduated compression hosiery is the most effective method of preventing edema or swelling. It also alleviates leg pain and heaviness and helps to prevent spider veins and varicose veins. It reduces the risk of acute conditions during long distance travel by increasing circulation and the function of the venous system. When you discover the benefits and comfort of compression stockings during travel, you may want to continue wearing them for years after. Your legs will thank you with their improved health.

SIGVARIS Travel Solutions

Available without a prescription, these SIGVARIS products are designed to improve the traveler’s leg health. These socks and stockings are available in several textures, fashionable colors, and styles to meet your needs. Consult your doctor to find the appropriate SIGVARIS product and compression strength for your condition.

To find an authorized SIGVARIS retailer near you, search our dealer locator.