Compression socks are special socks designed to improve the flow of blood in the veins of the legs, and also prevents blood build-up in the area. These are specifically made to be tight in the foot area, gradually turning loose as it reaches the leg. Its purpose is to help squeeze the legs steadily, thus enhancing blood flow into the heart. These types of specialized socks are used to relieve symptoms of varicose veins and other related chronic vein diseases. Its use is also recommended to prevent deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks?
Compression socks aren’t only for old individuals or those suffering from health issues. As a matter of fact, anyone can wear them. With all the benefits they provide, many people have made these socks a part of their wardrobe. Listed below are individuals who especially need them the most.
Compression socks are very beneficial for travellers taking long flights or road trips, approximately 8 hours or longer. Blood clots tend to form in the legs from sitting for long periods due to insufficient movement. This could become extremely uncomfortable, in addition to cramped plane or car spaces. Blood clots that you get from travelling usually disappear over time. Still, there is the possibility of a person developing adverse medical conditions if the clot travels through the body. To keep this from happening, wear compression socks before embarking on a long trip.
Compression socks play a vital role in the life of most athletes nowadays. They help muscles recover after long hours of practice or game; shin splints are also prevented effectively. When worn while resting, even before bedtime, muscles are sufficiently supplied with fresh oxygen even if inactive.
Athletes tend to put a lot of strain on their muscles. According to studies, lactic acid build-up tends to develop in the muscles due to cellular respiration and hard breathing. Lactic build-up usually results to muscle soreness, common among athletes. This is the primary reason why most athletes nowadays make it a point to wear compression socks to supply the muscles with fresh oxygen and enhance blood flow.
Nurses usually spend most of their time standing or walking around. Working long shifts this way could put a lot of strain on the legs, thus resulting to foot and leg pain. Due to the nature of their job, nurses commonly develop varicose veins over time. Compression socks are the perfect solution to this problem. To keep unsightly spider veins and varicose veins away, nurses are recommended to wear these specialized socks. There are full-length and knee high types to choose from.
Individuals who suffer the following medical conditions are recommended to wear compression socks:
Lymphedema is a condition where the lymph fluid is not properly drained due to a certain blockage. As a result, the legs or arms start to swell. Individuals who experience lymphedema are recommended to wear compression socks at night. Legs must also be elevated when lying down or sleeping.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency happens when the veins in the legs fail to supply sufficient blood back to the heart. Legs and ankles may start to swell as a result. Swelling can be effectively reduced with the use of the specialized socks.
Post Phlebitic Syndrome
Post phlebitic syndrome is a condition resulting from blood clots that have formed in the legs and damaged its valves when it started to eventually set into the veins. This condition is painful and causes continuous swelling in the leg. Wearing compression socks could help drive blood back to the heart, thus reducing swell in the process.
Blood Clots Prevention
Blood clots can be fatal, known to lead to pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attack. Compression socks, used especially after a surgical procedure, can keep blood clots from forming.
Varicose veins are swollen/enlarged veins resulting from too much pressure. Individuals get this from constant walking or too much standing. These can be quite painful, uncomfortable and unsightly. Varicose veins may also be a sign of even more severe blood circulation problems. For this condition, it is advisable to wear compression socks during the day.
Compression socks serve two purposes for people with diabetes – as a preventive measure and treatment. They work by keeping arterial or venous ulcers from developing in the lower legs.
If you are not familiar with these specialized socks, you might think they are too uncomfortable to wear for being too tight. It is advisable to seek a doctor’s advice first before deciding to wear one and/or discontinuing its use.
How to Choose the Right Compression Socks
To be able to get the maximum benefits of the socks, you need to make sure that you get the one that suits your needs best. This is not the one-size-fits-all type, which is why it is important to know how to choose the right one for you.
- Using a measuring tape, measure you’re calf’s circumference. This will help you identify the right compression socks size for you. These socks are available in small to XXX large sizes. There are healthcare professionals trained to get the right fit and measure of compression socks.
- Know the amount of support you need for your legs. Check with your physician regarding the type you need, which should be supportive and comfortable at the same time. These are available in low to extra-high compression levels as well.
- These socks can be bought in your local pharmacies, healthcare suppliers or online. Compare different types and brands from different sources to help you get the best price, brand, style, color and length.
- Buy two pairs of socks. This way, you will have a clean extra pair when the other pair needs to be washed.
- For sanitary purposes and maximum benefit, it is advisable to replace the socks every 4-6 months.
- Follow your physician’s instructions on how to properly wear and use the socks. Call him immediately if you start feeling any form of leg discomfort, swelling, fatigue or unusual pain.