Travel and Varicose Veins

If you have venous disease and spend a lot of time traveling in a car, airplane or train, you need to be sure to get out of your seat and move. When we sit too long in one place, so does our blood. Long hours of sitting relatively immobile in any vehicle lead to poor blood flow in the leg veins and, in turn, elevate the risk of blood clots. Five percent of all travelers end up with a blood clot.


As you plan your summer travel, keep in mind these simple steps to make traveling safer and more comfortable. This is good advice for everyone, not just those with varicose veins.


  • Drink lots of water and don’t drink caffeine or alcohol.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothes.
  • When the flight attendant says, “Please remain seated” don’t take it too seriously. As soon as the seatbelt light goes out, get up and walk around every couple of hours. Do the same on a train.
  • While flying or riding, exercise your legs in your seat. Exercises that use the calf muscles are best, such as toe and heel lifts for several minutes every hour. Rotate your ankles, draw circles on the ground with your toes, and raise your legs slightly and hold them in the air for a few seconds.
  • If you are driving a car, stop in a safe place every hour or two to walk around for a few minutes.
  • Wear compression stockings while traveling. This will significantly reduce your risk for complications of varicose veins. Only purchase medical grade stockings, fitted by a trained professional.


If you experience leg pain or swelling after a long plane, car or train trip, see your doctor for an ultrasound of the legs to be sure no blood clot is present.

Call now to get your legs evaluated by The VEIN Specialists, LLC at 309-862-4000 or visit the website at with locations in Bloomington, Eureka, Peru, Springfield and Streator.