EL AL Health Tips
Sitting erect without physical activity for long periods of time may trigger a number of physiological processes in the body:
- Muscles may get tensed, causing back pains and a feeling of excessive fatigue during and after the flight.
- Pressure on leg veins may disrupt the return flow of blood to the heart.
- Disruption of the normal blood return mechanism to the heart, together with the effects of gravity, may cause legs to swell after a long flight, because fluids accumulate in the tissues.
- There is a theory that extended lack of movement, for any reason, may hasten the formation of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs, in the presence of certain medications or specific medical risk factors.
According to medical studies, the list of factors heightening the risk of thrombosis formation in the legs includes:
- A personal or family history of DVT.
- Recent surgery or injury, especially in the lower limbs or abdomen.
- Disturbances in the circulatory system that cause excessive clotting.
- Lack of activity for a day or more.
- Age – above age 40.
- Hormonal treatment with estrogen, including contraceptives Pregnancy.
- Tobacco smoking.
- Past or present malignant diseases.
- Varicose veins in the legs.
- If you belong to one of the above risk groups or have any concern about your health in relation to the flight, we recommend that you seek medical consultation before the flight.
- "Stretch stockings" (elastic stockings) may help prevent ankle and foot swelling and may also improve blood return from lower limbs. It is recommended to consult with your physician. These stockings can be purchased from medical or surgical supply companies and should be fitted to your leg size.
- During the flight, move your legs and feet for three or four minutes every hour while seated and also try to walk around the passenger cabin once in a while.
- Do the easy exercises recommended below, in the section on "Inflight Physical Activity."
Please note that the information provided here is general and is not intended to replace consultation with a certified doctor.
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