swelling feet after flight

  1. i just took a 19hrs flight and my feet has been swelled to a massive size!
    this freaks me out more than a little and i went to the doctors last nite.. he only advised me to eat half a tablet of dieuretics.
    does anyone else have this probl?
    how long does the swelling last?
    if my swelling doesnt resolve soon........... i am going to have to see another doctor.
    i am so worried now, worried that its mre than the typical economy class syndrome.
  2. The diuretic should help to pull the excess water out of your feet. Also, if your feet and legs don't hurt, you should try walking around a little. The reason your feet/legs can swell on a long plane flight is that your legs are inactive for so long, that the blood pools down there and fluid gets forced out of your little blood vessels into your muscles. Usually, when this happens, your muscles move and contract and push the fluid back into your circulation (hence walking around might help the swelling go down faster), but when your legs are still for so long the fluid will just accumulate.
    Next time you're on a long flight you can prevent this by walking around every hour or so, stretching your legs, and flexing your muscles while you sit. Or, you can get some "compression socks" from your doctor to wear during the flights (keeps pressure on your feet and legs so the fluid stays in your blood vessels--but they're sort of tight and uncomfortable).
    Hopefully it's just a matter of inactivity, so I wouldn't be too worried about this. Have you been on other flights as long as this/did you get swelling on those flights too?
    I hope your feet get better!
  3. its because you havent really moved in 19 hours! they recommend that you wear very loose shoes for long flights because this is common. move around and it should go away. no tight shoes for a day okay =)
  4. i took a 4 1/2 hour flight and feet were so swollen i could not put my shoes back on.. I had them off the entire flight..
    I don't recall that ever happening to me before on a flight....
    19 hours I would have been in tears...
  5. It happens to me when I fly, also. The longer the flight, the more they swell and the longer it takes to go back to normal. Mine have always lost the swelling when I am up and walking around normally after travel.

    I've read that it helps to move around during flight (hard sometimes, I know, when the plane is full or the seatbelt sign is on the entire time). I try to rotate my feet, stretching, etc. while in my seat.
  6. Some of the Travel supplies catalogs (Magellan's, Travelsmith 2 examples) have stockings/socks that supposedly help massage the legs and feet to help prevent this. Maybe try something like that on your next flights?
  7. hi everyone! thanks for the comments, so, its been like 3-4 days after i've landed and my feet is back to the same size already!
    on the 2nd day, after only having 2 hrs of sleep, i went out the entire day and the swelling seem to get worse.
    not to mention that the weather here in sg is really too hot and humid.... i am not sure if that is part of the reason why the swelling happened.
    i am back to adjusting myself to the climate here... its been more than 6 mths since i have been away....
    and yes, i put up my feet and that helps lots!
    walking helped too but i could not do without tight shoes because all shoes just became sooo tight when my feet swelled!
    i am sooo glad that it got better already =)))
  8. This is actually pretty common and can be prevented/decreased by drinking lots of fluids and moving around during the flight.

    I just wanted to bring up the point that leg swelling can sometimes be a symptom of a blood clot in the leg, so if your legs/feet are asymmetrically swollen or they hurt A LOT, you should be seen by a doctor ASAP. Blood clots are not uncommon after long flights.
  9. Also don't drink alcohol when flying
  10. Glad to hear your feet are feeling better!
    I've noticed that after a long day of walking around, my feet are the tiniest bit swollen also. That's why they always tell you not to buy things like shoes (or even rings!) after a long day out, because the next day they'll be too loose!
  11. Hi I am a flight attendant , and yes as everyone says this is common. I don't know how huge your feet got. But I do wear shoes on the plane larger than my regular shoes. We purposely buy them big. We all swell up there. We bloat. However mine have never been "massive size" as you described. So ot is good you went to a doctor.

    Drink lots of water. there is no water in airplane air so you get no water that way. On an 19 hour flight I would easily drink 3 to 4 lieter bottles. Remember once you pass through security you can buy all the water you want in the airport shops and take it on the plane. Don't drink any tomato juice drinks (high in salt). Try to stand up atleast once an hour. Even if it just beside your seat for a few minutes. Most inflight magazines have all sorts of exercises you can do in your seat. these are usually found in the back of the magazine.

    If you are on a plane that can go 19 hours then you are probably on a bigger/newer plane. Some of these planes have larger bathrooms. Like 3 or 4 reguular and then a large one that a wheelchair can fit in. I go in there sometimes and do jumping jacks.

    good luck on your next flight and hopefully this has helped others.