A frequently asked question about compression socks is, “How long to wear compression socks for edema?” before we get into it. We should first have an overview of what Edema is.
What is Edema?
Edema is swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues. Although edema can affect any part of your body, you may notice it more in your hands, arms, feet, ankles, and legs. Edema occurs when tiny blood vessels in your body (capillaries) leak fluid. The fluid builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling.
Mild cases of edema may result from:
- Sitting or staying in one position for too long
- Eating too much salty food
- Having premenstrual signs and symptoms
- Being pregnant
Signs of edema include:
- Swelling or puffiness of the tissue directly under your skin, especially in your legs or arms
- Stretched or shiny skin
- Skin that retains a dimple (pits) after being pressed for several seconds
- Increased abdominal size
The following may help decrease edema and keep it from coming back. Before trying these self-care techniques, talk to your doctor about which ones are right for you.
- Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema, especially your legs, may help pump the excess fluid back toward your heart. Ask your doctor about exercises you can do that may reduce swelling.
- Elevation. Hold the swollen part of your body above the level of your heart several times a day. In some cases, elevating the affected body part while you sleep may be helpful.
- Massage. Stroking the affected area toward your heart using firm but not painful pressure may help move the excess fluid out of that area.
- Compression. Suppose one of your limbs is affected by edema. In that case, your doctor may recommend you wear compression stockings, sleeves, or gloves, usually worn after your swelling has gone down, to prevent further swelling from occurring. These garments keep pressure on your limbs to prevent fluid from collecting in the tissue.
Wearing Compression Stockings To Help With Edema
Compression stockings are specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. Compression stockings come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and colors. They’re also available with different strengths of compression. You may need to wear them on both legs or just on 1.
Compression socks generate pressure to decrease fluid retention in the body, especially in the legs and feet. Some come in graduated compression, which means they apply the greatest amount of pressure at the ankles and lesser pressure upwards.
Compression socks encourage more efficient circulation by increasing the pressure on the legs. This means that the blood does not pool in the ankles and feet but instead returns to the heart in a timely manner. Similarly, compression socks prevent other fluids from staying in the lower leg area.
Compression socks for edema can help relieve some of the pain caused by swelling almost immediately after you put them on. This means that you may be able to move around more easily, which can also help decrease swelling.
How Long To Wear Compression Socks For Edema?
You should wear your compression stockings during the day and take them off before going to bed. Put them on again first thing in the morning. If you take them off, elevate your legs for 30 minutes. This also helps reduce swelling and ensure the proper fit to prevent fluid build-up.
Compression socks can be helpful for many people, but you should still talk to your doctor before making them a part of your health care routine.
Do Compression Socks Get Rid of Edema?
Compression socks and custom compression wear are recognized as an effective treatment for Edema by increasing blood circulation from the legs back to the heart, reducing swelling.
How Long Do Compression Socks Take to Reduce Swelling?
It may take several days of regular use to enjoy a noticeable reduction in swelling. For best results, put on your compression garment first thing in the morning. This is when your limbs are the least swollen. Visible improvement in the appearance of your veins can take up to six weeks to see.