Compression wear continues to be associated with myths, misconceptions, and reluctance. Over the past few decades, medical compression stockings have struggled with a dated image that is far from today’s reality. Let’s dispel some common myths about them. Don’t let misconceptions mislead you.

Understanding Compression Socks

A compression sock is explicitly designed to help with compression therapy. This is a tight-fitting, stretchy garment that wraps snugly around your legs to promote blood circulation. 

How does a compression sock work? As a result of wearing it, more oxygen-rich blood is transported from your veins to your heart, increasing blood flow to your heart. 

Perhaps you are wondering how you should wear long compression socks. You will probably have to wear them for several years, at least if your doctor has prescribed them. You may have to wear them throughout your life, depending on the situation.

9 Myths About Compression Socks

People who have never worn compression socks often misunderstand them. Many websites provide false information regarding them. Several myths need to be debunked.

Myth 1: Compression socks are only worn by people with medical conditions.

The use of these socks can prevent spider veins and varicose veins and treat edema and other chronic venous disorders. People who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, phlebitis, and venous leg ulcers have been prescribed these socks.

However, you can also wear them daily. Anyone should wear them to maintain healthy blood circulation. Compression is beneficial for people who stand or sit all day, travel by car for several hours, or exercise regularly.

Despite some people believing that compression socks can cut off circulation and therefore be dangerous, properly sized socks will not do so.

TRUTH: Compression socks are not just for medical conditions. They can be worn by anyone who wants to increase their circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots in their legs, or just for everyday usage.

Myth 2: Compression socks look unattractive.

A variety of fibers are available for fashionable socks and stockings, including cotton, wool, spandex, and nylon. These socks and stockings come in a variety of patterns and colors. Three lengths are available: knee-high, thigh-high, and pantyhose. Fabrics range from sheer to opaque. Since the options available are so stylish and elegant, it is difficult to tell whether they are medicated or regular socks. You will feel good all day long wearing them.

Today’s socks offer more performance features due to advancements in research and design. Moisture-wicking socks, socks with antibacterial and odor-reducing qualities, and socks with smooth toe seams are available.

TRUTH: In the past, they were considered to be unattractive. Nowadays, there are many different trendy styles available on the market that make them look fashionable and attractive.

Myth 3: They’re hard to wear and take off

Compression stockings are more comfortable and functional than ever before, thanks to new technology and materials. They are easy to put on and take off, and there are some standard techniques.

For example, don’t bunch them up. Instead, turn them inside out by pulling on the heel pocket. Slide them halfway onto your foot. Pull the top band of the sock over your heel and up your calf while holding both sides of the entire band. Make sure the heel pocket fits appropriately and smooth out any wrinkles. From the bend of your knee, the band should be about the width of two fingers.

Additionally, there is a variety of easy-to-use accessories like donning butlers, special gloves, and rolls of adhesive.

TRUTH: It is not difficult to put on and take off compression socks if you use the proper technique.

Myth 4: They Are Expensive

Since these socks are considered a medical product, they must also meet performance standards. Standards determine what materials are available, how fabrics are finished, how weavers weave, and the compression level. All these factors ultimately determine costs. Premium brands offer durability, ease of care, and quality assurance as well.  

TRUTH: They come in a wide selection at competitive prices.

Myth 5: They should not be worn during summertime

Healthy legs have no off-season. You’re likely putting yourself at risk if you believe these socks are too hot for summer wear. Warm or hot weather increases the possibility of weakening or damaging the veins in your legs, so wearing them in hot weather may be a bad idea.

Additionally, you can choose sheer, breathable socks that make your legs feel more relaxed and more comfortable.

TRUTH: Correct compression socks will be comfortable in warm weather.

Myth 6: Compression Stockings help you lose weight

People believe compression stockings can help them lose weight or get rid of cellulite. If you have, you have likely heard of “Japanese Slimming Socks?” They are just one example of an empty promise that socks and stockings, or any compression wear at all, will help you lose weight. There is no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. You cannot lose weight by wearing anything.

TRUTH: Wearing compression stockings won’t help you slim down.

Myth 7: Wearing compression socks will heal injuries

These socks are designed to prevent or slow the progression of venous disorders. They improve circulation and prevent blood clots in the lower legs. Despite providing therapeutic support, however, they cannot restore the body’s natural healing process.

TRUTH: They do not heal injuries.

Myth 8: You Wear Compression Socks When You’re Sick

The truth is that compression support socks are for everyone with any leg issue. When it comes to sports or working out, they may help relieve leg pain, spider veins, tired legs, and more. Compression hosiery is not just for people suffering from varicose veins, diabetes, or other conditions.

TRUTH: Compression socks can benefit everyone

Myth 9: Compression products reduce cellulite

Isn’t it great if cellulite could be removed by simply wearing them? It’s a type of marketing ploy used by scam companies to lure customers into buying compression hosiery, which does nothing to remove cellulite. If you exercise, eat right, train, and tone those areas, you can remove that cottage cheese appearance – but not with compression clothing.

Truth: Compression socks provide support, but they cannot remove cellulite.

Now that we have dispelled the myths about compression socks, we can move on to the facts!

4 Facts About Compression Socks

Fact 1: Grandmothers Wear Compression Stockings

Many people associate medical compression stockings with the “varicose vein stockings” their grandmothers wore. Thanks to advances in technology, these days’ compression stockings have become genuinely attractive. The socks have almost become fashionable. Despite still being practical, they are now more appropriate for modern hosiery. Compression stockings today are also comfortable, which is key to the success of the treatment.

  • Athletes and people who exercise intensely 
  • Women who are pregnant
  • Employees who spend most of their workday standing
  • patients who have just undergone surgery.
  • Pilots fly long distances most of the time.

Fact 2: Wearing Compression Socks May Make You Feel Hot.

The hot weather makes venous disorders worse. Many patients stop wearing compression stockings at the time when they are most in need of them. In addition to providing relief, medical compression stockings provide a sense of lightness immediately after wearing them.

Fact 3: They Are Easy To Wear

There are two words you need to remember: method and material.

  • Medical compression stockings should not be worn like regular stockings since they are made differently than traditional hosiery. Designed to be tightest at the ankle and gradually loosen at the top of the leg to promote upward blood flow, they offer maximum compression at the ankle. If you need extra assistance wearing and removing your stockings, there are donning aids available.
  • Materials: As a result of state-of-the-art knowledge in medical science, material science, and manufacturing, compression stockings are made with flexible and particularly stretchy materials, making them easier to wear.

Fact 3: Compression Stockings Are Usually Tight

Compression products are designed to ensure a comfortable fit and the compression strength recommended by physicians. An individual’s body shape and needs must be taken into consideration when selecting medical compression hosiery. For this reason, it is essential to consult a health professional to ensure that the correct hosiery size and compression level are chosen.

Fact 4: Compression Stockings May Require A Prescription From Doctors.

Compression stockings can be purchased over the counter without a prescription. You can easily find socks with relatively low compression levels in drugstores, online shops, and medical supply stores (around 15-20 mmHg). 

Some pharmacies won’t sell higher-level compression stockings without a doctor’s prescription. However, in general, high-level compression garments do not cause any risk to the wearer. Still, some individuals may be at risk for complications.

What level of compression socks do I need?

Compression levels deal with specific medical conditions, so you should consult your physician to determine which class is best for you. The guide below will tell you how tight should compression socks be.

30-40 mmHg (Extra Firm)

  • It is used in the treatment of phlebitis
  • Aids in the healing of active venous stasis ulcers
  • Provides relief from moderate and severe swelling and lymphedema
  • Used to treat DVT and post-thrombotic syndrome
  • Used after orthopedic and bone fracture surgeries
  • Treats skin changes caused by healed ulcerations
  • Relieves varicose veins and prevents more severe cases

20-30 mmHg (Firm)

  • Helpful in treating postural hypotension
  • Aids in the treatment of varicose veins
  • Provides treatment for mild to moderate medical conditions
  • Help treat tired, painful legs
  • Provides relief from mild edema-related swelling
  • Used in combination with surgical procedures such as phlebectomy and sclerotherapy

15-20 mmHg (Moderate)

  • Provides extra support for busy days and travel
  • Supports heavy, moderately swollen legs by providing slightly more support
  • Prevents varicose veins and spider veins during pregnancy
  • Enhances blood circulation, especially in the legs

8-15 mmHg (Light or Mild)

  • For mild aches and pains in the legs
  • Enhances health and energy by providing support
  • Provides comfort and support for long periods of sitting or standing