What are compression socks, and how are they useful?
These days it isn’t uncommon to see runners running in colourful socks that display exciting patterns and designs. However, the purpose of these socks is not only to offer a sporty and fun element to an athlete’s activewear. Instead, they have been specifically designed to improve the blood flow around the legs and feet and offer muscle and joint support. Considering these benefits, it is no surprise that these socks have become very popular over the last few years. Well Heeled takes a closer look at compression socks and their usage.
What exactly are compression socks?
Compression socks are socks that podiatrists have specifically designed to assist athletes and those who have blood flow issues with compression therapy. Compression socks help to promote blood flow by gently applying pressure to the ankles and legs. This pressure makes a significant difference for those who run long distances or people who struggle with blood flow because they gently promote blood from the legs and feet to the heart.
People who wear compression socks regularly notice much less swelling in their ankles and lower legs. They also experience much less pain and discomfort.
What are the benefits of compression socks?
It isn’t uncommon for podiatrists to recommend compression socks to people who struggle with blood flow. The reason for this is the fact that compression socks offer a long list of incredible health benefits, including:
Improved blood circulation in the feet and legs
Preventing the pooling of blood in the feet or leg veins
Improving lymphatic drainage
Diminishing swelling of the ankles or lower legs
Reducing orthostatic hypotension, which usually leads to lightheadedness when standing
Reversing venous hypertension
Assists with preventing venous ulcers
Supporting the veins around the feet and lower legs
Preventing the development of thrombosis in the lower legs
Reducing and minimizing pain and discomfort in the feet and lower legs
What could compression socks mean for your health?
If you struggle with blood flow in your feet or ankles, or you are training for a long race, you can benefit significantly from compression socks because they:
help with preventing blood reflux to the ankles or feet
boost the flow of blood from the lower legs to the heart
help to increase the velocity and volume of the blood flow
What are the types of compression socks?
There are three kinds of compression socks, which are:
These socks have been designed to focus mainly on reducing any development of thrombosis within the deeper veins. Although they have been designed to provide people with gradient compression, their compression levels can differ. These socks have the best results with immobile people.
nonmedical support hosiery
These kinds of compression socks don’t require a prescription, and they can be bought over the counter at most pharmacies and health stores. They have been designed with elastic support to relieve uncomfortable, aching, and tired feet and legs. They make excellent options for those who plan to take a long flight. However, although their compression is uniform, it isn’t as robust as compression socks that require a prescription.
graduated compression socks
Graduated compression socks have been designed to apply most of their pressure at the ankle, and then they gradually decrease in compression as they move up the lower leg. The primary function of these socks is to boost mobility. Since these socks can have a robust fit, they usually require a fitting done by a professional.
People who struggle with peripheral edema with a fluid buildup in the lower leg will benefit significantly from graduated compression socks. They will notice much less swelling around the ankles after the first wear.
People who struggle with orthostatic hypotension benefit enormously from compression socks that extend past the knee. These socks can rise to the thigh or even the waist to help reduce the discomfort of orthostatic hypotension.
Do compression socks come with any side effects?
There won’t be any side effects in most cases when someone starts to wear compression socks. However, people with allergies or sensitivities to materials might encounter redness, irritation, or a rash.
People might find that they feel uncomfortable wearing their compression socks in these cases:
the compression socks aren’t the right size
the socks aren’t being put on correctly
there is an infection of the skin
there is an allergic reaction to the material of the compression sock
Although compression socks can offer incredible health benefits, they can also lead to discomfort if they haven’t been fitted correctly. Therefore, it has been recommended by the Canadian Medical Association that people only purchase compression socks that fit correctly and don’t cause any severe discomfort. This is because compression socks that are too small can lead to an improper oxygenated flow of the blood.
Who should consider compression socks?
With the development of compression socks, the list of people who can benefit from these outstanding medical stockings has grown to include:
People who are recovering from surgery
Those who are either partially or entirely immobile
People who struggle to move their feet or lower legs
Those who deal with circulation problems because of diabetes, varicose veins, or DVT
People with jobs that require them to stand for long periods
Pregnant women who find that their blood flow has become inadequate
People who fly for long periods, including air hostesses and pilots
Circulation problems in your feet and lower legs are no longer something you just need to accept. Instead, you can consider investing in good-quality compression socks that can boost your blood flow and decrease your discomfort.
If you are excited about getting your first pair of compression socks, speak to your podiatrist about which kind of compression socks would be most beneficial to you. Make sure always to get a pair that fits properly and keep an eye on your skin when you first try the socks. It is also advised to practice good foot care by keeping your feet clean and moisturized.
Compression socks have helped people worldwide feel alive and energized as they find that bounce in their step that they might have lost.