Thanks to JOBST®, find out how to keep your legs healthy during times of isolation, less physical activity or travel. Plus learn about different vein problems, risk factors and how to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) while travelling or spending long periods of time sitting in cramped spaces (cars, desks, planes ect).
HOW VEIN PROBLEMS OCCUR
When a valve no longer closes properly or fully, problems can develop. Weak or damaged valves cannot support the blood when the muscle relaxes. This allows blood to flow backwards in the vein, creating pressure on the valves. These valves can also weaken. Blood return to the heart is reduced and other complications can develop.
Sitting in tight, cramped quarters for long periods of time does not allow you to stretch or exercise your muscles. These muscles are responsible for assisting the venous blood flow back to your heart. As the hours of inactivity add up, your circulation slows down. Working from home or increased levels of inactivity may also lead to an increase of swelling.
A damaged or poorly closing valve in a vein allows blood to flow backwards. This can cause blood to back up and collect in the veins of the lower leg. Pooling of blood in the veins of the lower leg causes swelling, especially near the ankles and calves.
When blood cells stick together near a valve, a clot may form which may partially or completely block the flow of blood through the vein. Slowly moving/poorly flowing blood in the veins is more likely to clot. Clots may be caused by sluggish blood flow, injury to a vein or abnormal blood clotting factors.
When a valve is damaged or missing, the backup of blood results in higher pressure in the veins. This higher pressure, which directly affects the superficial veins (those closest to the skin) may strain the walls of the vein, causing them to enlarge and even twist. As the veins enlarge, the valves within them can no longer close fully. Enlarged superficial veins are visible bulges under the skin of the leg. These “ropy” veins are called varicose veins.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS
• Lack of exercise
• Tight fitting clothing
• High heeled shoes
• Alcohol consumption during air travel
• Hot baths and excessive exposure to the sun
Different kinds of Venous disorders
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
CVI results from the damaged valves in the veins, causing blood to pool in the legs. This can lead to swelling, discomfort, skin damage and leg ulcers. Although there is no cure for this chronic condition, CVI can be effectively managed. Symptoms include: inflammation and or swelling of the leg, leg pain, varicose veins, discolouration of the skin, hardening of the skin or leg ulcers.
Swelling, also known as oedema, occurs due to a build up of fluid I the body’s tissues, often in the lower leg and ankle. Prolonged swelling should not be ignored as it may be a sign of serious disease or chronic venous insufficiency. Consult your physician if swelling persists. Symptoms include: enlarged ankles and calves, discomfort or tired legs, decreased mobility (legs may feel heavy), decreases skin elasticity.
Varicose veins, which can be mild to severe, are caused from a backflow or pooling of blood in a damaged vein. This may also occur as a result of heredity or may develop during pregnancy. Symptoms include: bulging veins, leg heaviness and fatigue, aching and discomfort, inflammation
Venous leg ulcers (VLU)
The chronic backup of blood due to damaged valves allows blood to pool in the lower leg, causing swelling. Chronic swelling interferes with the nutrition and oxygen supply to the skin. The skin becomes dry, flaky and dark in color. The skin is fragile and easily breaks with minor trauma, forming an open wound which is slow to heal. Symptoms include: swelling of the lower leg, dermatitis, purple/brown discoloration of the skin around and above the ankles, open wound which may have drainage or discharge.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
A DVT is a blood clot (thrombosis) that forms in a deep vein, partially or completely blocking the flow of blood due to prolonged inactivity. A serious, potentially fatal complication of DVT is that a clot can detach from the wall of the vein, travel through the blood stream and lodge in the lungs where they can block major vessels and cause a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism Symptoms include: sudden swelling in leg, painful/tender leg, skin that is warm to the touch.
The first signs of impaired blood circulation that may become apparent are swelling and shooting pain the legs. However these warning signs are not always present before the thrombosis occurs. It can develop unnoticed and, in rare cases even apparently healthy people may suffer a DVT.
Who is at risk?
Those who have travelled. There is growing evidence that everyone who takes a trip of 5 hours or more can suffer from these effects.
Management: Depending on the location of your DVT, your doctor may prescribe a blood thinner. This type of medication may help prevent further blood clotting while your body dissolves the clot. Your doctor may prescribe compression stockings for you to wear while you recover and may also encourage you to walk.
HOW TO MAINTAIN GOOD LEG HEALTH
ELEVATE FEET AND LEGS
1. When resting, elevate your feet above your heart, keeping your knees bent slightly so as not to inhibit blood flow.
2. Avoid crossing your legs, since this interferes with circulation and constricts the veins and hinders the return flow of the blood.
MOVE YOUR FEET
1. When sitting or standing for long periods of time, especially during travel, wiggle your toes, flex your feet or tighten your calf muscles to improve blood flow.
2. Improve your circulation by starting a regimen of walking, swimming or other aerobic activity. If you are currently working from home or in an office, try to get up from your desk every hour and walk a few laps of your house or office every hour to improve circulation.
WEAR JOBST COMPRESSION LEG WEAR
Keep at least 2 pairs on hand – one to wear and one to wash
JOBST® Gradient Compression
Gradient compression therapy can help manage and prevent the progression of vein related disorders. Gradient compression technology is what makes JOBST® Travel Socks special. They are specially designed to counteract the effects of inactivity during travel. However can also be used for any time – both travelling and inactivity.
JOBST® Travel Socks apply gradient compression to your legs. Gradient compression is highest at the ankle and tapers off up the calf. This helps promote the venous blood flow in your legs, prevent leg swelling and discomfort, and reduces the likelihood of blood clot formation.
In addition, JOBST® Travel Socks help make the trip comfortable, energize the legs, and leave travellers refreshed when they reach their destination.
JOBST® Travel Socks are high-quality knee socks. The soft cotton blend and stylish dress pattern make JOBST® Travel Socks perfect for anytime – on the plane and off; any attire – business and casual; anybody – men and women.
BENEFITS OF JOBST® TRAVEL SOCKS
STYLISH DRESS SOCK APPEARANCE
• Ideal for men and women
• Ribbed pattern complements both business and casual attire
• Helps promote venous blood flow in your legs
• Helps prevent leg swelling and discomfort
• Helps reduce the likelihood of blood clot formation in a DVT
SOFT COTTON BLEND
• Excellent breathability
• Softness next to the skin for optimum wearing comfort
CONTRAINDICATATIONS AND CAUTIONS
Do NOT wear compression legwear if you have any of the following conditions:
Server arterial insufficiency, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, skin infections, red sensitive skin, hardening of the skin or untreated leg ulcers. Consults your physician for advice if you are or have any of the following: bedridden(non-ambulatory), impaired sensitivity of the limb, sensitivity to the garment material.