How to Keep Feet from Swelling on Airplane – 10 Effective Tips

When you travel by plane, most of the time you have been stuck in a cramped place for hours on end. This results in some pretty uncomfortable situations. None more so than swollen feet.

Keeping your feet from swelling is very important as it can cause some serious health hazards down the line. There are a lot of ways you can prevent your feet from swelling, such as foot massages and using footrests among others.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can keep your feet from swelling. While we are at it, we will also get to know why your feet keep swelling up on long flights.

How to Keep Your Feet Swelling on an Airplane

A passenger's swelling feet inside the airplane

Air travel includes a lot of leg work. You have to stand in a long line, then have to walk or sometimes run to the right terminal and then have to sit in a cramped space for a long amount of time. These activities put a lot of stress on your legs.

As a result, they tend to swell up.  A swollen foot is not only a bothersome matter to deal with, but a painful one as well. So, you have to make sure that they don’t swell up as soon as you get on the plane.

How Can I Stop My Feet from Swelling on A Flight

No problem in this world has no solution. As for how to avoid feet swelling on a plane, thankfully there are a lot of solutions to this particular problem. Let us go through each of them.

1. Taking Care of Your Diet

The first solution of how to keep your feet from swelling on a plane is to take care of what you eat. Try to have a little salt as possible on the day of the trip and the day before that. Salt makes your body retain fluid, which is a major cause of foot swelling.

2. Drinking Water

You don’t want to start a long journey dehydrated. So drink as much water as possible the day before the trip and the day of. Also, keep a big water bottle with you and keep it refilled regularly. The advantage of staying hydrated is not limited to the prevention of dehydration only. It also helps in your feet being moved as you have to visit the toilet after drinking a large amount of water.

3. Walking Around

If your flight is longer than a couple of hours, get up from your seat after every hour and walk around a bit. You don’t have to do much, just pace around the aisle for a few minutes. This ensures proper blood flow in your feet which is imperative to avoid swollen feet.

4. Storing Luggage Overhead

The seats on the planes are cramped in the first place. If you have bags between them on top of that, there will be hardly any place left for you to even keep your feet. So keep all carry-on bags in overhead carriers.

5. Asking for Aisle Seats

Try to get aisle seats when buying tickets. Not only do these seats offer you more legroom, but you can also easily get up from your seat to walk about. You don’t want to disturb the passenger next to you every hour, especially not when the flight is 10+ hours. The seats which offer you the most legroom are the bulkhead and emergency row seats.

6. Having A Foot Massage

If you ask anyone about how to prevent feet from swelling when flying, chances are that most of them will immediately suggest you a foot massage.  It is one of the best ways to make the blood flow in your feet and prevent them from swelling.

7. Exercising the Feet

Exercising is mandatory even if you are on a plane. Sometimes you will not be able to get up and walk up and down the aisle, especially if your seat is a window one. So, move your toes in all four directions to ensure proper blood flow.

8. Using Footrests

We all have probably heard the phrase ‘Put your feet up as a way to indicate relaxation. This is indeed a very effective way to prevent your feet from swelling while on a plane. To do this, you can use footrests such as foot hammocks and inflated pillows.

9. Not Crossing Your Legs

Crossing your feet cut off blood circulation in your feet. As your feet are already devoid of blood, that’s the last thing you need.

10. Wearing the Right Clothes and Footwear

Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes when traveling via air. Also, don’t wear socks that are too tight and can restrict blood flow to the feet. In the case of shoes, wear slip-on ones as they are easy to take off, making foot massages easier.

Also Read: How to Pick A Perfect Travel Neck Pillow for Airplane.

Why Do My Feet Swell When I Fly?

There are a lot of reasons why your feet may swell up when flying. The most common reason for swollen feet during flights is a condition named gravitational edema, which is caused by the blood and other fluids being drawn to your feet due to gravity. This is a quite harmless condition that goes away after walking for a bit.

The other reasons for your feet swelling up can be anywhere from pregnancy, obesity, and excess intake of salt to heart failure, diseases to the kidney and liver.

How to Reduce Ankle Swelling After Flying

How to reduce ankle swelling after flying

In case you couldn’t follow any of the steps mentioned above, you will most likely have a swollen ankle. To reduce the swelling, you have to follow the following steps :

1. Taking Rest

Usually, the swelling goes away just by resting your body and your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. After that, the swelling should automatically go down.

2. Applying Ice

Another way to reduce the swelling on your ankle is to apply ice on the swollen area for 15-20 minutes. Do it for 3 or 4 hours and you will be good to go.

3. Compressing the Ankle

Wrap a support stocking around the swollen ankle. This will make the swelling go away. But don’t wrap it too tight as it will prove to be counterproductive.

4. Elevating Your Feet

Make sure to elevate both your feet as far above your heart as possible. As a result, the fluid will flow away from the feet. The best way to do so is to use a couple of pillows.

Read Also: How to Choose A Comfortable Sleep Mask for Air Travel.

Final Thoughts

Swelling of feet during air travel is a very common occurrence. The usual reasons for this are pretty simple and so are the remedies. But if you notice that even after following the methods of preventing and reducing the swelling of the feet, the swelling is not going away, it is better to visit a doctor as soon as possible.

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