How Do Compression Socks Work? Made of special fibers that help this process like wool or cotton wool are woven tightly together with elastic threads, they are designed to improve blood flow and promote better circulation in your feet, legs, and ankles.
Why Wear Compression Socks?
- Reduce swelling in the legs
If you suffer from varicose veins or are amid a deep vein thrombosis, compression socks will help reduce swelling. It takes the pressure off the veins, which keeps blood from collecting in your legs. This helps to keep your skin healthy and lessens the fatigue you feel when you are swollen.
- Stop blood clots from travelling
If you are at a higher risk of developing a blood clot, or you have already had one, compression socks work by preventing blood clots from travelling further into your body. This is especially important if you are on an airplane or sitting for extended periods. For example, hematology.org has noted that flying for more than 8 hours can cause you to become more prone to blood clots.
- Make varicose veins less noticeable
While it won’t cure them, compression socks can help make the symptoms of varicose veins less prominent forwomen and men. This is especially helpful if you risk having these veins removed surgically or want to minimize their appearance.
- Prevent venous insufficiency
If you have ever had a deep vein thrombosis or are at higher risk, compression socks can help reduce symptoms of venous insufficiency. Prevent leg pain/reduce discomfort: More than 10% of people experience leg pain during the day, and these socks can help prevent that issue from occurring when worn correctly. For most people, it takes about 30 to 90 days for the socks to take effect and attach to your skin for maximum results.
- Increase the circulation
Compression socks work by improving circulation and reduced leg swelling over time. This is very important for people who work on their feet all day or suffer from congestive heart failure.
Choosing Compression Socks to Wear
- Use the right socks
Neoprene, or fabric socks will not offer adequate compression and can cause skin irritation or blistering. Purchase graduated compression for the best results, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). These are also known as medical-grade compression socks.
- When to wear compression socks
Compression socks work best when worn during the day for people on their feet or those at risk of developing a blood clot. Most wear them when they know they will be up and about for long periods.
- Follow medical advice
Talk with your doctor before purchasing any compression garment and follow their advice.
Benefits for those experiencing
- Circulatory issues
People with circulatory problems, mainly those with thrombosis issues) can benefit significantly from compression to boost blood return from the legs to the rest of the body.
- Age-related arterial disease
Compression socks are great for anybody suffering from arterial disease, also known as hardening of the arteries. They can help reduce the swelling in the legs and lower back, which can help improve circulation and make it easier to walk and move around.
- Heart disease
Most people who suffer from heart failure or coronary artery disease can benefit from wearing compression socks for relief from swelling in their legs from sitting and standing for long periods of time each day.
Diabetics may experience leg pain if they spend a lot of time sitting down, and wearing compression socks can help ease some of the pain throughout their day.
- Varicose veins
Compression socks work to reduce the pain associated with varicose veins and help improve leg circulation.
- Significant surgery
Compression garments are used in hospitals and nursing homes for many years, especially after surgery, to reduce swelling and speed up patient recovery time.
People with lymphedema (excess fluid in the legs) can experience discomfort and swelling of the legs if they spend long periods seated, especially after weight loss. Compression socks can help to relieve this pain, as well as prevent future swelling.
- Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless Leg Syndrome is characterized by the sudden, repeated urge to move their legs or walk. It is also known as a periodic limb movement disorder and is more common in bedridden people than in those with healthy circulation. If you suffer from RLS, you may want to consider wearing compression socks at night to relieve discomfort while sleeping.
Athletes also can benefit significantly from wearing compression socks during training when running or doing intense exercises. If you are a runner and experience shin splint pain during long running sessions, compression socks can help reduce pain and make running much more enjoyable.
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