Navigation Links
APTA Supports Surgeon General's 'Call to Action' to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism
Date:9/25/2008

Physical Therapists Offer Tips on Preventing Possibly Life-Threatening Condition During Air Travel

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) supports the recent "Call to Action" by Acting Surgeon General Steven K Galson, MD, MPH to reduce the number of cases of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism in the United States.

According to Susan Scherer, PT, PhD, associate professor of physical therapy at Regis University in Denver and member of APTA's Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Section, blood clots, called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), can occur after periods of being immobile, such as on long plane flights.

Scherer notes that the risk of DVT increases during travel of 8 hours or more(1) and that an estimated 10 percent of passengers on long flights may develop a DVT(2). A clot in the legs may dislodge and travel to the lungs, called pulmonary embolus. The symptoms of leg DVT include swelling in one or both legs and tenderness in the calf. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolus include shortness of breath and a high heart rate. "People who experience any of these symptoms should always see the doctor, especially if they occur following a long period of immobilization," she says.

Compression stockings(2) are recommended to help reduce the risk of DVT. "The compression helps keep excess blood from remaining in the leg veins, helping to prevent clot formation," says Scherer. Physical therapists also suggest that when you have little room to move and stretch, do some simple, seated exercises to keep the blood flowing, the joints mobile, and the muscles relaxed while en route. The APTA "In Flight Fitness Guide," featuring a selection of recommended exercises, can be found on APTA's Consumer Web page at http://www.apta.org/consumer.

"Simple exercise can help prevent other typical symptoms experienced by people who fly, including leg cramping, toe cramping, and general lower-body aching," says former APTA President Marilyn Moffat, PT, PhD, DPT. "Sitting still for long periods may lead to swelling of the feet, which becomes obvious to many passengers when they try to put their shoes back on at the end of their flight," Moffat says.

APTA suggests that passengers not stay seated for the duration of the flight and recommends that passengers walk up and down the aisle of the plane every hour or so to work the leg muscles and ease the back -- that is, if the captain has turned off the "Fasten Seat Belt" sign.

"Performing these exercises will keep the leg muscles from contracting and will help relieve stiffness during the flight. The exercises also will help prevent fluid build-up in the legs, and stretching the back and the muscles around the torso will prevent stiffening," says Moffat. Moffat notes that if you have an existing back problem, appropriate guidance should be given to you by your physical therapist before any extensive flying.

"Sitting in such a cramped position also puts a lot of stress on the lower back, especially for people who have pre-existing back problems. If you have brought along hand luggage or a rolling case that fits under the seat, use them as foot rests to elevate your feet so that your knees are slightly higher than your hips when you are sitting," suggests Moffat.

Another consideration while flying is the dehydration that occurs from the high altitudes at which planes fly and the dry, pressurized cabin air. These conditions may lead to muscle cramping and aching, so APTA advises passengers to drink plenty of water before and during the flight.

For people who are post-operative, physical therapists can help patients return to physical activity as soon as possible in order to help prevent occurrence of a DVT.

Physical therapists are health care professionals who diagnose and manage individuals of all ages, from newborns to elders, who have medical problems or other health-related conditions that limit their abilities to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Physical therapists examine each individual and develop a plan of care using treatment techniques to promote the ability to move, reduce pain, restore function, and prevent disability. Physical therapists also work with individuals to prevent the loss of mobility by developing fitness- and wellness-oriented programs for healthier and more active lifestyles.

APTA (http://www.apta.org) is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit http://www.findapt.us to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as http://www.apta.org/consumer for physical therapy news and information.

Notes:

1) Aryal KR, Al-Khaffaf H. Venous thromboembolic complications following air travel: what's the quantitative risk? A literature review. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2006;31:187-99.

2) Scurr JH, Machin SJ, Bailey-King S, Mackie IJ, McDonald S, Smith PD. Frequency and prevention of symptomless deep-vein thrombosis in long-haul flights: a randomised trial. Lancet. 2001;357:1485-9.


'/>"/>
SOURCE American Physical Therapy Association
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. New Study Supports Efficacy of Vagus Nerve Stimulation for Treatment-Resistant Depression
2. Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (CTI) Supports Panel Discussion on Women and Lung Cancer on Capitol Hill
3. Survival Data in FDA Approval for ERBITUX(R) (Cetuximab) Supports use as a Single Agent in Patients with Advanced Colorectal Cancer
4. Cost-Effectiveness Study Supports Use of EUFLEXXA(TM) by Rheumatologists for Pain Relief in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis
5. New Data from the Framingham Heart Study Supports PAT Technology to Diagnose Early Cardiovascular Disease
6. Powerful New Efficacy Data in Moderate and Severe Hypertensive Patients Supports FDA Approval of AVALIDE(R) (Irbesartan-Hydrochlorothiazide) as the First Combination Therapy for Initial Use in Patients Likely to Need Multiple Drugs to Achieve Their Blood
7. Interim Safety Analysis Supports Continuation of Allos Therapeutics Pivotal Phase 2 PROPEL Trial of PDX in Patients with Peripheral T-cell Lymphoma
8. Interim Analysis Supports Continuation of Cell Genesys VITAL-1 Phase 3 Clinical Trial of GVAX Immunotherapy for Prostate Cancer
9. FDA Advisory Committee Supports Efficacy and Safety of Zyprexa(R) Long-Acting Injection (LAI) for Schizophrenia Treatment
10. HUYA Bioscience Intl Announces Clinical Trial Milestones in China for Promising New Anti-Arrhythmic Compound; Data Supports Desirable Safety Profile
11. New Clinical Data Further Supports Chromium Picolinates Role in Enhancing Brain Activity in Older Adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research ... MEMS Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data ... analysis. Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the ... analysis of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Key Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... need in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for ... and growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable ... flu vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 ... CST on Thursday, July 7, 2016 , , , , ... ) , , , , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , ... Naik; Senior Industry Analyst, Christi Bird; Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar ... The global pharmaceutical industry is witnessing an exceptional ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a ... they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 ... their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ... and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his ... David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps ... in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental ... exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards took place ... BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to receive an ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):