Prevention of DVT’s with Compression Wear When Flying

What is a DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis in the legs is basically a blood clot often caused by poor circulation causing the blood to form a clot. Often they are caused in hospital patients post operatively as they are resting in bed and not mobilising as much as normal. The other common time is with flying especially on long haul flights where people don’t get up and move about.

Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms can vary from none to pain and swelling in the legs. They are most common in the calf, which often presents as a tight, hot, painful and swollen calf. The risk with DVT’s is that they can dislodge and travel to the lungs, which can cause a pulmonary embolism leading to death.

Can Compression wear reduce the risk of DVT?
It has been thought that compression wear is good for reducing DVT’s but what does the evidence actually say?

YES - IT IS EFFECTIVE!

A systematic review study from 2006 compared all the results of 10 smaller studies which looked specifically at compression socks in reducing DVT’s in long haul flights over 7 hours. It was concluded that airline passengers can expect a substantial reduction in the incidence of DVT and leg oedema (swelling) if wearing compression socks. Now this study and another reviewing the effect of preventing DVT’s in hospitals both used compression socks but it can be assumed that full length compressive leggings would have the same effect as long as the pressure is relatively similar. 

My Experience with Six30
I have recently been travelling a lot as team physio with elite netballers this year and I have found my SIX30 compression tights to come in handy on these trips. It is compulsory for the athletes to wear their compression tights on our interstate flights so I have found myself getting into a routine to wear my tights even when they are not long haul flights. I have found the Six30 compression tights to be perfect with a good amount of compression and good comfort in a cramped flight next to athletes much bigger than me!! 

For further information on this topic and more physiotherapy injury prevention tips head to www.athleteadvantage.com.au