What do you think of when you hear the word compression socks? Probably the first thing that comes to your mind is the unsightly hose that your grandmother used to wear. Good news! Things have improved a lot since then and compression socks are no longer the ugly old hose of the past. Today, compression socks and stockings are some of the most stylish products on the market and benefit everyone who wears them.
Advancements and medical textile technologies have allowed for products to be more sheer, more durable, and more effective in everyday use.
How Does Compression Socks Work?
The concept behind compression socks is simple and it results from the application of an elastic garment around the leg that exerts controlled graduated pressure to help blood flow and circulation against the pull of gravity. Knee high compression socks and stockings are great tools for keeping your legs healthy and nearly everyone can benefit by wearing them.
Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks
Wearing compression can help to prevent leg fatigue, swelling or fluid buildup in the feet and ankles caused by sitting or standing for long periods of time, lymphedema, pregnancy, and vascular disease, DVT, as well as varicose veins and spider veins. Wearing knee high compression socks or stockings can also greatly improve the health of individuals who travel a lot, sit or stand for extended periods of time or generally have tired achy legs at the end of the day. Even athletes use them today to improve performance and speed up recovery after intense physical activity.
Which Compression Level to Choose
Compression socks and stockings are available in different levels of pressure to suit different people's needs. According to experts, compression socks should feel snug, but not painfully tight. Mild compression socks, with lower numbers, are often enough to keep you comfortable on your feet at work. Compression socks with higher numbers offer a firmer fit and are usually recommended for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
If you've been recommended by your doctor to wear compression socks, you will want to keep them on most of the time. Put them on in the morning upon arising, before any significant swelling occurs, and them remove them at night. Wearing the socks through the day will help prevent blood from pooling in leg veins, which in return will improve your overall circulation and lessens or even eliminate and leg swelling you may have.
It is generally recommended to consult your health care provider to find out if compression socks are right for you. Your doctor will also tell you the pressure grade you should get for maximum benefit and relief.