Five Reasons To Start Wearing Compression Socks

woman sitting down wearing compression socks

Guide to Wearing Compression Socks For Leg Support

Two pairs of knee-high compression socks being worn

It seems that more and more people are looking into wearing compression socks or compression stockings. While they are often recommended for seniors with certain medical conditions that affect the feet and legs, adults in all age groups can and do wear these therapeutic socks. This informative guide explains why you may want to begin wearing support socks and when to wear them.

Common Reasons for Wearing Compression Socks

  • Here are five common reasons for wearing these specialty socks.
  • Boost blood circulation in the legs
  • Reduce swelling in the ankles and legs
  • Improve lymphatic drainage
  • Prevent deep vein thrombosis in the legs
  • Reduce discomfort from varicose veins

Generally, if you’re wondering why anyone would wear compression socks, it’s because they’re designed to address specific issues that involve the veins in the legs.

When blood doesn’t adequately circulate in the legs, it can lead to pooling, which is dangerous for health. Compression socks gently squeeze the legs to increase pressure on the vessel system, making it easier for tissue fluids to be absorbed, while preventing pooling and swelling.

When Should Support Socks Be Worn?

Typically, someone considering wearing compression socks does so because there of urgent need or desire to address poor leg circulation. Usually, the reason is due to medical conditions, mobility, immobility or strenuous exercise.

Medical Reasons You may not even be aware that you need to start wearing medical-grade compression stockings until a doctor makes a recommendation. After giving the doctor a description of symptoms, the diagnosis may be edema, lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins. They can also be a temporary treatment solution for alleviating leg discomfort during pregnancy or sports-related injuries.

Being Too Mobile or Immobile

There are some situations that can cause individuals to be on their feet all day long or remain seated for long periods. These two extremes are equally troublesome for different reasons.

A job that requires employees to stand for most of the day can lead to leg pain and swelling. In this scenario, the muscles and tissues surrounding the leg veins become overworked.

Sitting in the same position for hours on end, for instance, sitting at a desk, or in an airplane seat, may cause blood circulation in the legs and feet to decrease to the point of depriving the lower limbs of oxygen-rich blood. This may lead to aches, swelling, or in a worst-case scenario, blood clots.

Woman on a run wearing compression socks

Physical Exercise

Some physically active people like to wear compression socks during their exercise routines or afterward. Sporty support socks are particularly popular among runners. Some athletes wear them as a post-workout therapeutic aid to help with muscle recovery.

What Length of Time Can They Be Worn?

How long you wear your compression socks, or support stockings, during the day depends on the level of compression and individual circumstances. Doctors who prescribe high-level compression styles for those with severe medical conditions usually provide time recommendations to patients. For instance, it may or may not be okay to wear them overnight.

Lower-level compression socks are often worn all day, but again, comfort and safety vary from person to person. For these socks, it’s best to limit the time they are worn in the beginning, and gradually increase the time to find a good balance. A good rule of thumb is to take them off at the first sign of discomfort.

Can Diabetics Wear Compression Socks?

Because the circulatory problems associated with diabetes, anyone who is diabetic and contemplating wearing compression socks should consult their physician. Basically, doctors recommend this treatment on a case-by-case basis.

The facts show that most diabetics don’t need compression socks. For those living with diabetes, it’s essential to wear socks that do not impede blood flow in the legs too much. Any diabetic person who desires to wear support socks may want to look into wearing comfortable diabetic compression socks.

Main Types of Compression Socks

Nonmedical hosiery. These are socks and stockings that offer a mild to medium level of compression throughout. You can find these at a variety of shops, and there is no prescription required to purchase them. These support socks and stockings can help alleviate achy, tired legs.

Anti-embolism hosiery. This hosiery includes graduated compression high at the foot and gradually decreases at the ankle and moving on up the leg. These are prescribed by a doctor to aid in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis. They require a customized fit.

Graduated compression stockings. These may be prescribed by a doctor for patients with medical conditions such as orthostatic hypotension or peripheral edema. Compression is strong at the ankle, and gradually decreases upwards.

What’s the Deal With Copper Socks?

When you think of copper, you normally think it is being used to make shiny pots and pans, pennies or beautiful jewelry. And thanks to technology, this metal is also a material that is used to make copper compression socks.

So, why put copper in socks?

Its main reason for being added to woven material is that it can help make socks more hygienic due to its antimicrobial properties. Additionally, copper helps prevent foot odor, and that’s always a plus when wearing socks that may cause the feet to sweat.

woman sitting down wearing compression socks

Common Styles

When it comes time to find compression hosiery to wear daily, or occasionally, you have plenty of style choices.

Closed-Toe Knee High. These resemble regular knee-high socks and come in a variety of fashion styles.

Open-Toe Knee High. These can be worn with open-toe shoes.

Zippered Knee High. Zippered compression socks are easier to put on and take off.

Knee High Stirrup. Get good support without covering most of the foot.

Pantyhose. They provide maximum leg coverage.

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