There isn’t anything more awful than having cramps, pain, and swelling in your legs. In contrast, you have expanded hours of standing/sitting position, or you are on a plane for over 9 hours. In the interim, you are excited to make the best out of your experience, but your swollen, painful feet and edematous ankles end up being an imaginable block.
Fortunately, the issue has been addressed beautifully by the manufacturing of compression socks. These specified socks improve blood circulation and make sure that the fluid may not accumulate around the ankles, leading to edema and pain.
What are The Benefits of Compression Socks?
Compression socks (or stockings) are made of comfortable fitted stretchy spandex that exerts pressure on the skin and muscles underneath it for not merely clinical but also for athletic purposes.
These are specially designed socks that are destined to provide compression therapy. The compression therapy consists of compressive forces over the calf muscles and ankles to promote venous return back towards the heart. These elastic and stretchable stockings prevent blood clot formation in the legs and reduce pain and cramp’s chances due to low blood flow.
These compression stockings are highly advantageous for the management of many medical conditions in people of any age.
Types of Compression Socks
There are three types of compression socks currently available in the market:
- Graduated Compression Socks
- Anti-Embolism Compression Socks
- Non-Medical Compression Socks
Graduated Compression Socks
In such type of compression, the compressive forces are highest around the ankle and feet while gradually lessens when moving towards the calf muscles. They are specifically aimed at mobility and to satisfy certain medical conditions.
The graduated socks usually have a non-manual fitting. These stockings either extend up to thigh length or end up below the knee. The pair of graduated socks that end up below the knee is designed to reduce distal edema and swelling and fluid accumulation in the feet.
The graduated socks that extend up to the thighs are designed to prevent orthostatic hypotension and boost blood flow in the legs.
- Mild compression ranges from 15-20mmHg for relieving mild varicose veins, achy legs, and mild swelling and edema of legs and feet.
- Moderate compressive forces ranging from 20-30 mmHg to relieve moderate varicose veins, lymphedema, and DVT.
- Firm Compressive forces 30-40mmHg for treating severe DVT, clots, and Post-surgical and Thrombotic Syndrome
Anti-Embolism Compression Socks
These compression type exert compressive forces to prevent deep vein thrombosis. They do have a compression-gradient that differs in various zones. Anti-embolism compression socks are destined for those patients who are bedridden.
Non-medical Compression Socks
You do not need a medical prescription to purchase these compression socks. These socks can be utilized for long flights and prolong standing and sitting jobs. These compression gears exert even compressive forces and are milder as compared to prescribed socks.
What do Compression Socks do?
With extended hours of sitting/standing, the veins of your legs and feet, being remote from the heart, fail to pump the blood back towards the heart. This blood begins accumulating around the feet and ankle making them swollen and excruciating. The condition worsens when you feel spider veins and varicose veins showing up on the skin. To dodge this disturbing circumstance, pressure socks are in effect medicinally recommended.
Compression socks prevent your legs and feet from developing edema and diffused pain. Legs usually become achy and tired with long hours of standing. They are excellent in boosting blood circulation that will nourish your leg tissues with plentiful oxygen. This is good for maintaining a long-standing position without getting dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting.
Without the utilization of these socks, the blood thickens in the feet and may lead to clot formation. This clot can be dislodged and may travel within the blood, stuck in vital organs like lungs and heart giving life-threatening conditions. These clots also make it difficult for the blood to maintain a smooth flow and lead to the bluish coloration of the skin.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks?
People with any medical condition given below should seek compression stockings either over-the-counter or by proper prescription from a physician.
- Swelling and edema in the legs and feet.
- Deep venous thrombosis due to lack of mobility or surgery, long hours of flight may cause blood clotting in the legs and pain.
- Venous Insufficiency; the veins are unable to pump the blood back towards the heart. This deoxygenated blood pools up in the legs.
- Varicose veins and spider veins.
- Veins having bluish or purple discoloration. The valves of the veins become incompetent and do not promote the backflow of blood.
- Failure of proper lymphatic drainage that causes lymphedema.
- Inflammatory veins are known as phlebitis.
- In pregnancy, the fetus’s excess weight causes compression of the inferior vena cava and large veins, ultimately leading to edema, pain, and cramps.
Who Should not Use Compression Socks?
Compression stockings are not recommended for all patients with ankle edema and excruciating leg pain. According to experts, you should not get compression socks if you are a victim of peripheral vascular disease that affects your legs as compressive devices may cause ischemia worsening.
Diabetic patients are usually lagging in the sensations known as peripheral neuropathy. So if these patients use compression stockings, they will not sense changes in the feet, leading to severe consequences.
If the utilization of compression socks make your skin bluish or purple or the color of the toes changes. In that case, this means that your average circulation has been interrupted. Remove the stockings and report your physician.
Notice any change in color, temperature, sensations, and edema before putting on your compression stockings. Open-toe hose socks are comfortable in monitoring the gross signs of your legs.
Report your physician if you have;
- Arterial disease
- Heart disease
- Inflammation of veins that are getting spread in all parts of the body
- If your skin gets infected
How to Use Compression Socks?
Compression stockings are put on when you awaken and before you get up. These stockings are worn most of the day to shield your legs from getting edematous.
Take them off before you hit the bed or before you wash up or shower. You should scrub down or shower around the evening time just before you hit the bed. Ideally, you lay down with your feet over the degree of your heart to shield your legs from swelling up while you are resting.
If you do these things, you will prevent your legs from getting swollen and painful over the entire day.
Side Effects of Using Compression Socks
If you are medically suggested to use the compression socks, you should avoid unwanted effects. Your skin may get red, rash, or irritated each time you wear them. This is indicative of:
- Your socks are poorly fitted.
- Your feet are infected already.
- You are not wearing the socks properly.
- You are hypersensitive to the fabric type.
Nerve and vascular damage are also reported with improper use of these socks.
Read More About Compression Socks!
If found this guide helpful, and willing to invest in a pair, then don’t do check our buying guides to choose the best compression socks pair according to your requirements: