Holiday Travel and Importance of Circulation

November 10, 2018

 By Tracey Botazzi, APRN

We are yet again entering the holiday season and with that many people travel distances to either vacation or see family and loved ones. With that being said, I would like to talk briefly about the importance of circulation. When we are immobile for any length of time (typically greater than 4 hours), or sitting in cramped spaces such as in cars, buses, trains or airplanes it is difficult to move about and keep circulation flowing appropriately to our lower legs.

This can unfortunately increase a person’s risk for developing a blood clot in their lower leg, known as a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). To help prevent this from happening it is best when traveling to stop at least every 2 hours to walk and stretch your legs. If traveling via a transportation where you are unable to stop, and room is a bit more confined, even just standing in the aisle or walking to the restroom if permitted will help promote circulation.

Other ways to help improve circulation is to stretch legs straight out and/or flex and rotate your ankles. Another option if able, is to pull each knee up to your chest and hold for a few seconds and then repeat on the other side. Doing these will greatly reduce your risk. One of your best tools is to educate yourself on ways to reduce risk and be aware of symptoms.

Symptoms to be aware of; redness, swelling, warmth or any pain to the affected calf. Should you experience this you should seek immediate medical assistance. To end, millions of people travel long distances yearly and overall the risk is low of developing a blood clot. However, if you are concerned about the risk I would recommend speaking with your PCP before any upcoming travel.

Hearthside Family Health is a Nurse Practitioner owned Direct Primary Care model. This is a monthly subscription based model for primary care. Fees are low as payment is made directly from the patient to the provider and there is NO billing to the insurance company. We have 2 locations one in Bedford and one in Peterborough, NH. We are currently accepting new patients at both locations. Please visit our website to find out more about us and our exciting new alternative model. To contact Tracey directly, email her at:


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