Who We Help: Travelers
Orthosleeve’s medical-grade Compression Sleeves can benefit people from all walks of life – but especially those whose professions make them prone to painful leg and foot injuries. Truck drivers, commuters, and frequent flyers are all especially susceptible to foot and leg pain, because they spend long hours behind the wheel, sitting at desks, or scrunched up in airplane cabins.
Our bodies were designed to move, and when we are immobile for long periods of time, they stop working as they should. Our muscle tissues cramp, our blood clots, and our heartbeats become slow. Fortunately, compression sleeves can help ease some of the swelling and discomfort caused by prolonged immobility. Here are some of the people who can benefit most from wearing compression sleeves.
Many truckers have experienced what has become known as “Trucker’s Leg”, a condition characterized by swollen legs, swollen feet, red calves, and nausea. The term “trucker’ leg” can actually refer to several different conditions, but it is most often associated with Peripheral Arterial Disease, or any blockage or reduction in blood flow in the blood vessels surrounding the heart. The term can also refer to Peripheral Venous Disease, which is very similar. Whichever term one chooses to use, Trucker’s Leg is a serious and painful condition that affects over 10 million people. If left untreated, it can lead to ulcers, blood clots, and even bone loss.
The biggest symptom of Trucker’s Leg is dependent edema, which is formed when fluid collects at the body’s lowest point. For truck drivers who sit for multiple hours a day, it is easy for the legs and feet to become swollen in this way. Extended periods of sitting can also cause clogged arteries, or arteriosclerosis.
If you are a truck driver who is suffering from swollen legs or swollen feet, compression sleeves can help guide your circulation back to your heart as you drive. Compression also reduces swelling and helps to improve the blood flow through the arteries and veins. In addition to wearing compression sleeves, you may also try installing seat that is sufficiently far from the dashboard; eating as many fruits and vegetables as possible, and incorporate as much activity into your daily routine as you can.
According to a report by USA Today, the average American commute is 25.5 minutes each way. That means that the average American spends 51 minutes a day, or 204 hours a year, simply getting to and from work.
Needless to say, all this sitting takes a huge toll on our bodies. Research has found that those who spend so many hours dodging traffic have higher blood pressure, lower thresholds for frustration, more headaches, more chest pain, and darker moods than those who don’t. Traffic-related tension can cause soreness in the back, shoulders, and legs, while poor driving posture can cause the feet and calves to become swollen. In addition, the constant road vibrations can put pressure on the bottom disc in the lower spine. In extreme cases, this disc can deteriorate over time.
If your daily commute is causing your legs, feet, and calves to become swollen and sore, compression sleeves can help you find relief. Compression sleeves improve circulation throughout the muscle tissues, improve blood oxygenation, and reduce swelling and soreness. You may also try performing exercises that release neck tension, seeking the help of a chiropractor, or—if you can—biking to work each day.
If you have ever been on a long flight and felt a sharp, sudden pain in your leg or calf, it could have been a simple muscle cramp—or it could have been what is colloquially referred to as “Economy Class Syndrome.” Economy Class Syndrome is really just another term for Deep Vein Thrombosis, which is caused when blood clots form deep in the legs due to prolonged lack of movement. For frequent flyers, Economy Class Syndrome (or “air Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a serious, but preventable, hazard of spending hours in a cramped cabin.
Economy Class Syndrome can be difficult to diagnose. The most common symptom is prolonged pain in the calf muscles caused by the blood sludging and forming a clot. Most travelers never know that they have experienced Economy Class Syndrome, because the clot will dissolve after they have reached their destinations and walked around for a bit. In some cases, however, the clot will worsen, occasionally reaching the lungs and causing pulmatory embolism. Symptoms that this is happening include coughing, congestion, and chest pain—causing it to often be misdiagnosed as the flu or a heart attack.
If you fly frequently for business or leisure, compression sleeves can help your blood circulate and reduce your leg swelling. In addition to wearing a compression sleeve, you may also try reserving a seat in the bulkhead or aisle, so as to have more room to stretch; drinking plenty of water and non-caffeinated fluids, and periodically walking up and down the aisle.
To learn more about Orthosleeve products that can help relieve your wrist, foot, ankle, or leg pain, see the rest of our products here.