Are Compression Socks Good For Diabetics?
Yes, compression therapy can benefit people with diabetes. It is a painless, easy and effective technology that helps replace traditional therapies that may be recommended for people with diabetes, like compression socks.
Compression socks can reduce swelling, but at the same time, they limit blood flow to the feet, slowing wound healing and even potentially making foot injuries worse. While compression offers many different benefits, diabetics should be careful when wearing compression. Remember to always consult your doctor before wearing compression socks.
Diabetic socks are specifically designed to be loose-fitting and non-binding. Compression is naturally fitted and is tighter where the level of compression is greatest.
It’s important to consider your specific health when deciding whether or not you should wear compression. If you can wear compression, it is best to stick to a compression level that is not above 15-20 mmHg.
The mmHg is the measure of the amount, or level of, compression. The higher the level, the more compression and tighter it will be. Anything over 15-20 should be doctor prescribed. For diabetics, sticking with a low compression level, such as 8-15 or 12-15 may be best.
Why Are Compression Socks Good For Diabetics?
The meticulous and intentional design of compression socks promotes the flow of oxygen-rich blood via the arteries to the muscles so that they can relax. At the same time, veins are pressured to push more blood flow back to the heart so that circulation can be moved along. The physics of this scientific, graduated pressure design can effectively promote blood flow to the limbs that have been suffering from diabetic complications.
Compression socks can help combat symptoms of the disease by reducing swelling, aches, pain, and fatigue in the legs and feet. They are a viable non-invasive treatment method for diabetic patients suffering from poor circulation and nerve damage to the feet and legs. Compression socks work to improve nerve sensitivity and continuously stop swelling from occurring.
Diabetics must also be more cautious of foot injuries, such as cuts or scrapes. When these go unnoticed, the combination of poor circulation and the body’s limited ability to repair these ulcers can result in life-threatening conditions. Extra padded, properly fitted compression socks that are resistant to wrinkling can help prevent cuts from shoes by reducing the chance of friction.
Diabetic Socks vs. Compression Socks: There Are Few Things To Consider
Compression socks are made to relieve the pain of your extremities using strong elastics. These socks allow blood to flow back to your heart.
Some diabetics experience uncomfortable swelling in their feet and legs as a result of poor circulation. Compression socks improve circulation, which reduces swelling and discomfort. Wearing compression throughout the day can help prevent swollen, achy legs and keep your legs and feet feeling energized and comfortable throughout the day.
While some compression socks have similar features as diabetic socks, they often have bands that start at the ankle and go all the way up to the knee. For diabetes patients, this can sometimes provide too much restriction — preventing blood from flowing freely.
Plus, some compression socks don’t have additional padding on the bottom, which can cause irritation and sores to develop during long walks and other physical activities.
Compression socks are most often used to help people with the following conditions:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Varicose veins
- Leg swelling
Are Compression Socks Good For Diabetics? Final Thoughts
Compression socks are made to relieve the pain of your extremities using strong elastics and allow blood to flow back to your heart. The main difference between compression socks and diabetic socks is that compression socks usually feature five bands that begin at the ankle and go all the way up to the knee (or higher), which put sufficient pressure on your lower legs to encourage proper blood flow and prevent blood from pooling.
On the other hand, diabetic socks usually only have two bands and are much more loose-fitting. For this reason, many diabetes patients find compression socks too tight and restrictive. And if your socks are too tight, you risk cutting off circulation to your lower legs and feet.
In addition, compression socks don’t commonly offer the same kind of cushioned padding that diabetic socks do. Without this added layer of comfort and protection, you risk injuring your feet which can lead to further complications.
When asking, are compression socks good for diabetics? Remember to consult with your health care provider to find the best option and most importantly the best fit for you.