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Sitting for long periods of time: why support stockings protect our veins


Prevention of signs of vein problems is important - at any age
The suitcase is packed, finally it starts. Carefree to the airport or in the car - anticipation increases. But it suffocates quickly when long travel times and little movement when sitting make your legs heavy and tired. “The veins are very stressed by standing or sitting for a long time. The blood can build up and lead to swelling, increasing pain or cramps in the legs, ”says Dr. med. Michael Offermann, surgeon and phlebologist at the interdisciplinary Vascular Center for Rhine-Ruhr Vascular Diseases, based in Essen, Mühlheim and Bochum.

The expert advises young people in particular to actively prevent venous insufficiency: “Even with healthy veins, the return transport of the blood can be disturbed by legs that are immobile for a long time. Special support stockings can help maintain blood circulation in the leg through mechanical pressure on the veins and prevent the blood from sagging, ”says Dr. Offermann. What is venous insufficiency and how can you travel lightly by active prevention?

When the legs complain
The veins below the heart have to constantly work against gravity so that the blood flows back to the heart. Small venous valves help prevent blood from sagging in the feet. The calf muscles also support the blood flow, because the muscles slightly compress the veins and open them again when you relax. "If you have to sit for a long time on long trips, this natural 'vein pump' is not used. The blood transport is disrupted, the blood sags in the legs. The resulting pressure causes the vein walls to expand and the legs feel heavy and tired, ”explains Dr. With long-term impaired blood transport, it can be too
Spider veins, varicose veins and painful swellings in the ankles and legs come up.

Be passive and actively prevent - is that possible?
That's fine. Special travel support stockings (for example from provital, from the pharmacy) improve the blood circulation by decreasing the pressure curve. As a result, they cause a reduction in the venous diameter. The venous valves close better and the blood flows faster. Support stockings passively take over the active vein pump, so to speak. "Of course, the combination of passive support and active muscle work and movement of the legs is the optimum," advises Dr. “Try to take every opportunity to move or put your legs up relaxed during your trip. If you are traveling by car, you should take breaks and take a walk. If, as is often the case on a plane, you are unable to get up in between, at least try to keep your feet moving, ”says the phlebologist.

Prevention through travel stockings - you should pay attention to that
Comfort is important. A high proportion of cotton (over 60%) testifies to the high quality of the support stockings and ensures a comfortable fit. Similarly, the stockings should not constrict the skin. A wide cuff and flat, soft seams are comfortable. A decreasing strong support force of 14 to 16 mmHg (unit of measurement millimeter of mercury; physical indication of pressure) ensures the special effect. Youthful plus: There is absolutely no difference in shape and color to normal stockings in modern support stockings. (pm)

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