The Struggle of Swollen Feet: Causes and Solutions for Travel-Related Swelling

Extended periods of sitting while driving or flying necessitate a static body posture, which reduces blood flow and other bodily fluids and causes swelling.

What Causes Swollen Feet?

Lower leg swelling when traveling might happen for a variety of causes. It can be due to medical conditions, but there are other reasons.

The stationary sitting position is one of them. Our major arteries and veins have restricted blood flow when we are seated. Your muscles are also less active when you are sitting still. They don’t contract regularly, which prevents veins from promoting blood flow.

Stay Hydrated

Adding extra fluids to a body that is already holding fluid may seem contradictory, but increasing your water intake can help flush your body with excess salt, which is a factor in the retention of fluids. To avoid dehydration, drink lots of fluids throughout the day before and on travel day.


Engaging in physical activity is essential for maintaining and improving one’s health. To activate your calf muscles, you can perform ankle joint circles, heel and toe raises, and foot pumps while traveling for an extended period. Keep your lower legs engaged and in motion as frequently as possible. Working out facilitates the removal of fluids using muscle contractions and can enhance the flexibility of the calf muscles. The utilization of compression clothing can effectively minimize the swelling in both the feet and ankles.

Avoid High Sodium Foods

Be cautious with your food selection and avoid foods with high sodium content. Try to minimize your salt intake on the day preceding and the day of the travel. Excess salt intake can lead to fluid retention, further exacerbating swelling in your feet.


The muscles in your calf are at rest when you travel long distances; therefore, stretching is essential. Flex your foot upwards to stretch your calf muscles. Lean forward slightly and stretch out your leg if there’s more room available. This also aids in putting pressure on the muscles in the hamstring region.

Travel Socks

Leg swelling can be aggravated by extended flights lasting over four hours. Additionally, the likelihood of leg swelling grows with aging as younger individuals experience fewer symptoms. Wearing compression socks can be beneficial in alleviating leg swelling and discomfort that may occur during extended air travel.

If you are concerned about your or your loved one’s foot health, contact us at Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists.

The foot experts at  Desert Podiatric Medical Specialists in the Tucson, Oro Valley, and Green Valley areas of Pima County, Arizona, have unparalleled experience treating all aspects of foot and ankle care. If you have any questions or concerns or want to make an appointment, please call (520) 575-0800.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply