The Basics of Compression Socks
Compression socks eliminate leg fatigue, reduce blood flow problems, and help to increase blood circulation. With today’s information, you may wonder how do compression socks work. The compression socks are designed to apply pressure to the lower leg, which causes blood vessels to dilate and increases blood flow. In addition, the socks can provide support for the ankles, calves, and knees.
Compression socks or stockings are designed to promote better circulation in your feet, ankles, and legs by providing varying levels of pressure against your skin. This helps push blood back toward the heart and can prevent swelling and discomfort related to weakened or damaged vein walls and valves.
Doctors may also recommend them to reduce swelling in your legs during pregnancy, help prevent the formation of blood clots, and provide circulatory support after surgery. Athletes compression garments such as knee sleeves and elbow sleeves in hopes of improving performance by increasing blood flow to muscles and joints.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression stockings apply more pressure to your legs and ankles than standard socks, but they look just like socks. Some end at the ankle or the calf, and others go all the way up to the hips. They come in many styles, and they sometimes have open-toe areas. Prescription compression stockings that apply more pressure than over-the-counter versions are available, and battery-powered varieties can apply different amounts of pressure at different times. Socks with higher mmHg apply more pressure.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
The enhanced circulation of fresh oxygenated blood to your muscles, joints, and tendons enables them to operate more efficiently. meanwhile, lactic acid and other fluids are transported out of muscle tissue and into the bloodstream, which dramatically reduces muscle soreness and painful swelling.
But how do compression socks work? Compression socks also perform a vital function in the treatment of muscle and ligament strains and sprains, and actually speed up rehab from injury. as the gold standard for post-operative patients leaving hospitals, graduated compression socks are prescribed to reduce painful swelling, and to transport excess fluids into the bloodstream and away from the injured site of your leg. compression socks are also a great choice for people with varicose veins and other venous conditions.
In fact, compression hosiery is often prescribed by doctors to improve blood flow and reduce swelling in the legs. wearing compression socks on a regular basis can help prevent blood clots from forming in your legs.
What Do Compression Socks Do?
Compression socks increase blood flow by placing pressure on veins in your feet and legs. The arteries that take oxygenated blood to your feet and calves can relax and let blood flow freely, and your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to bring that blood back through the veins. This helps keep blood near the heart and head and prevents swelling in the feet. It can also keep people who stand or walk for most of the day from having achy feet.
Many doctors recommend compression socks for treating edema or lymphedema, swelling of the lower limbs that are common symptoms of diabetes. Compression stockings can also help reduce varicose veins and spider veins or keep them from getting worse. These blue or purple veins appear when the valves in blood vessels fail, letting blood pool in one place or flow towards your feet instead of towards your head.
Medical-grade compression stockings can help temporarily relieve symptoms related to poor circulation in your legs and feet but aren’t designed to address the underlying condition or improve the appearance of varicose veins.
Are There Different Types Of Compression Socks?
Generally, compression socks/stockings are broken into three types, which differ according to the level of compression they offer and the conditions they’re designed to treat.
Graduated Compression Stockings – These stockings offer the strongest level of compression at the ankle, which gradually decreases toward the top of the product. They often require custom fitting and are designed to meet certain medical specifications. Browse our selection of graduated compression socks.
Anti-embolism – Anti-embolism compression stockings help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots. They’re typically prescribed for patients who are sedentary for long periods, such as when convalescing after an illness or surgery and/or during long trips.
Non-medical support socks/stockings – These compression socks are available in stores and online and offer a minimal amount of uniform compression. They promise to help relieve aching and discomfort in your feet but don’t offer the compression benefits of medical-grade support stockings.
Who could benefit from wearing compression socks?
Compression socks can be beneficial for many conditions. Your doctor may recommend you wear compression socks for:
- Boosting circulation in the legs
- Decreasing swelling in the legs and ankles
- Improving lymphatic drainage
- Managing orthostatic hypotension, or low blood pressure when you stand up after a period of sitting down
- Preventing blood from pooling in the leg veins
- Preventing deep vein thrombosis in the legs
- Preventing venous ulcers
- Reducing pain related to varicose veins
- Reversing venous hypertension
Compression socks can be useful for other situations, too. Such as athletes, pregnant women, airplane passengers, airplane crew members, and people on their feet all day.
Tips for wearing compression socks
- Putting compression socks on – If you wear compression stockings, you should put on your compression socks or stockings just like any other socks – starting with pulling them over your foot and unrolling up your leg. If you have trouble sliding the compression sock on, try using a small amount of talcum powder on your feet or legs. Try to pull the compression sock all the way up, so that the compression is well dispersed across your feet and legs. Try not to let the sock bunch up in any certain place. Your compression socks should fit securely and tightly over your skin but should not be painful.
- Taking care of your compression socks – You can wear your compression socks all day by putting them on when getting dressed in the morning, and taking them off before bed (unless your doctor advises otherwise). You may need to get used to wearing compression socks but, if they fit correctly, they should not be painful or overly bothersome to wear for most or all of the day. You should buy at least two pairs of compression socks so that you can wash and dry them between each use, just like any other socks or stockings.