How To Reduce Swollen Feet From Traveling? Preventive Techniques


Have you noticed you have slightly swollen feet or ankles on a long flight? If yes, then you are not alone. The “Jet lagged” is very apt when you are traveling for long long hours and without any break. Many times there are instances that indicate there is a shooting pain running up in your legs.

A numbing sensation in the legs or tightness of the shoes that you are wearing in the middle of a journey can cause serious problems. Like peripheral edema, or lymphedema, which is caused because of accumulation of fluids in one region of the body. In this blog, we are going to discuss simple ways to reduce the swelling of your feet while you are traveling.

Why Do Our Feet Swell During Travelling?

To answer the question in simple terms is that because of inactivity. When you are assigned a seat for a continuous 5-6 hours or longer, your legs are not at the level of your heart. The lack of motion in your legs and bent for a long period tend to slow down the blood circulation. That is why most of the time you feel numb in your legs.

Some studies conclude that sitting still for longer periods and with legs bent puts more pressure on the veins and increases swelling in your feet and ankles. There is also added pressure in the cabin. Here when the pressure changes in the cabin as you are flying, the balance of your body fluids also changes. This can affect multiple aspects, especially in the swelling of your feet.

Another study suggests that individuals consuming processed foods, and salty foods can also lead to swollen feet. When you are traveling, you may need to snack more to avoid feeling hungry on the flight. In the quest for that, you end up eating in a restaurant or taking a bag of chips for your flight.

Lastly, your health contributes to the swelling of your legs. Pregnancy, liver and heart complications and vein problems are the major factors that can affect the swelling of your legs.

Ways To Reduce Swelling From Your Feet

Swelling of feet can be reduced if you can take care of simple things. 

🔶 Keeping Yourself Hydrated

Drinking rough water when you are traveling may help to retain the fluids and stop the swelling process. Many individuals see drinking too much water as a bad idea as you will end up using public restrooms a lot. But it’s worth a try to avoid getting swollen feet and ankles which can further lead to a health condition like edema.

🔶 Wear Compression Socks

Wearing tight stockings or socks can help the balance of fluids in your legs and reduce swelling. You can get a lot of varieties and styles of compression socks, but remember to consult your physician first when and how to use compression socks. Some people may also use compression leggings when they are suffering from vein issues or pregnancy.

Wear Compression Socks

🔶 Do Some Stretches

Stretching or light movement in your body can help blood circulation and avoid swelling in the legs. Yes, there is limited leg space and a seat belt sign to restrict you from doing that. But you move your feet up and down or roll your ankles now and then to keep pumping the blood. You can also walk in the aisle when the seat belt sign is off to straighten up.

🔶 Add Magnesium To Your Diet

Studies have shown that adding magnesium to your meal can help your fluids move when you are traveling. The readily available magnesium foods that you can munch on are almonds, brown rice, cashews, spinach, and potatoes. You can also consider magnesium supplements if you have a deficiency.

Also Check:- How To Reduce Swelling After Lip Fillers? Causes Of Swelling After Lip Fillers

🔶 Reduce Salty Food

High-sodium diet often makes you feel dehydrated and adds a risk of swelling of your feet when you are traveling. Avoid chips, processed food, or pre-packed meals. This does not only affect your body weight but also gives way to swelling.


Having to deal with swollen feet and ankles can be a bit too much, but you can always avoid it. Elevating your feet whenever you get a chance can help reduce the swelling. So, remember to follow these simple tips that can help you with your next travel plan and avoid the risk of swollen feet.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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