Are Compression Socks Supposed To Be Tight?
The answer to this question depends on your goals. Are you looking to prevent spider veins during pregnancy, improve your athletic performance, or avoid the formation of blood clots in deep veins? Dozens of studies have shown that compression socks and stockings improve blood flow, promote circulatory health, and provide relief from uncomfortable health conditions.
How Tight Are Compression Supposed To Be?
No matter what level of compression you wear, you’ll probably notice that compression socks feel tighter than regular socks. You may even feel a slight tingling sensation as your blood circulation improves. Any warmth or tingling comes from the flow of blood returning from your feet to your heart.
When you wear compression socks, they should not cause pain or numbness. If you do experience adverse symptoms or circulation problems, take off the compression socks immediately and consult a doctor. Compression socks are not recommended for people with certain medical conditions—peripheral neuropathy, peripheral artery disease (PAD), skin infections, or dermatitis.
For the best results, put on your compression socks in the early morning, before you experience swelling in your legs and feet. Be sure that your socks lie smoothly against your skin without any bunching fabric.
Are compression socks supposed to be tight? One of the biggest complaints about compression socks is that they are too tight. People who wear compression socks often find them to be uncomfortable. Sometimes people who wear compression socks stop wearing them because they find them to be intolerable.
Compression socks don’t do any good unless you wear them. That’s why everyone who wears compression garments of any kind needs to know when compression socks are really too tight, and they need a bigger size, when you need a different compression level, and when there are other reasons for discomfort and what to do about them.
The following symptoms are actionable indications that your compression socks are too tight:
- Wearing compression socks leaves marks on your skin.
- Wearing compression socks changes the color of your skin.
- Wearing your compression socks hurts.
- You can’t get your compression socks on no matter how hard you try.
What do you do when compression socks leave marks on your skin?
It’s not unusual for socks to leave marks on your skin, even if you aren’t wearing compression socks. Socks have elastic bands on top to keep them from sliding down your legs. Pressure from the elastic leaves a mark on your skin.
If wearing compression socks leaves marks on your skin, chances are the marks are caused by a combination of two factors:
- The red circle around your leg left by the top of the sock is a sign that the sock is tight.
- The condition for which you are wearing compression socks, such as lymphedema or venous reflux disease, is making your legs swell.
Why does my leg swell sometimes?
If you consume too much sodium, your legs may swell, and you may have red marks on your skin. Hormonal changes and hot weather can cause your legs to swell. So can gaining weight, especially when you gain water weight due to congestive heart failure – you should consult your doctor.
What do you do when compression socks change the color of your skin?
Blanching of the skin isn’t unusual for wearers of thigh-highs or compression stockings. Your skin may look unusually pale when you take your compression garments off, and then return to its normal color in an hour or so.
This skin color change isn’t usually a sign that your compression stockings are too tight. It’s more likely to be a sign that you are a little dehydrated. It can also help to use a moisturizing cream when you aren’t wearing your compression stockings.
What do you do when wearing compression socks or compression stockings hurts?
Compression socks and compression stockings should never hurt. If they hurt, you are either wearing a size that is too small or your socks are compression levels that are too strong.
Compression socks come in a variety of sizes and compression levels
Compression socks are available in different styles such as knee-high compression socks, crew-cut compression socks, low-cut, and no-show compression socks. As well they come in a variety of compression levels. You can learn more about mmHg compression levels in a previous post.
Always try to use the compression level your doctor prescribes. But if the compression is just too much, wearing compression socks and compression stockings is still better than not. Let your doctor know there is a problem and shop here when you are ready for new compression socks.