All persons who are traveling for prolonged periods of time whether in a car or a plane should be well informed about the symptoms and discuss them with their physicians. To decrease the risk of DVT patients may be advised by their physicians to change positions regularly and periodically and move and stretch their legs and feet while seated for long periods of time.
Certain leg exercises described below should be performed at regular intervals at least every hour or so:
- If possible try to walk in the aisle of the a bus, plane or train
- If possible get isle seats or bulk head areas
- Avoid crossing legs at the ankles or knees
- Drink abundant non-diuretic fluids such as water, juice or milk and minimize alcohol and caffeine intake
- Wear loose fitting clothing
- Wear graduated compression stockings
In doing all the above suggested precautions may not guarantee that a blood clot will not form. Some of the measures mentioned above may not be recommended for some patients depending on their health situations.
- Ankle circles - draw circles in the air with your toes pointed in different directions and repeat for 30 seconds
- Foot pumps - point feet toward your head and push foot against the floor. Leave both heels high. Repeat for 30 seconds
- Knee lifts – while seated try to march in place by contracting the thigh muscles. Repeat for 30 seconds
- Knee to chest – lift your right and left knee alternatively and pull them to your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds for 10 times
None of these exercises should be performed if they cause discomfort or if they are not recommended by your physician.