If you have recently seen your doctor after experiencing poor blood circulation to your feet, chances are you’ve been recommended to use compression socks.
If you’ve never used them before, you must be wondering how exactly they can benefit you. We are here to clear up your confusion so you can get the best results from your compression therapy.
Benefits of Compression Socks
Some of the benefits prescribed from compression socks are:
- Increase circulation in the legs
- Support veins
- Stop blood from pooling into the veins of the legs
- Reduce swelling of the legs
- Minimize orthostatic hypotension
- Prevent risks of venous ulcers
- Reverse venous hypertension
- Improve lymphatic drainage
- Keeps legs from feeling tired and achy
1. Boosting blood circulation in your legs
Whether you have pain or swelling in the legs, or are prone to having such a case, wearing compression socks can provide relief throughout the day as it promotes improved blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.
2. Supporting the veins
Compression socks support the veins on the legs in numerous ways.
The pressure applied from the socks reduces the diameter of the main veins, increasing the volume and speed of blood flow. They also help the veins defy gravity and pump blood up to the heart.
Another function is the prevention of blood from refluxing down to the foot, or laterally into the superficial veins.
3. Preventing blood from pooling in your leg veins
Some people are prone to a blood clotting condition known as Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. What this condition does is that they form clots out of pooled blood that can break off and reach the brain or the heart.
Compression stockings prevent such clots from forming, minimizing any risk of strokes.
4. Reducing leg swelling
A better blood circulation and drainage of the lymphatic nerves reduces fluid build ups in the legs. If your legs swell easily, these socks can provide ample relief when worn throughout the day.
5. Treating orthostatic hypotension
Those of you know can ignore the explanation but, Orthostatic hypotension is a condition where the blood pressure drastically falls when you stand from a seated or lying-down position, in turn making you dizzy or in some cases even faint.
Compression stockings in this case help reduce the pooling of blood in the legs, hence reducing the symptoms of orthostatic hypotension.
6. Tackling venous ulcers
Venous ulcers of the leg are typically caused because of blockages or breakdowns in the veins of the legs. Compression bandages are a savior in this condition as they help heal most of the ulcer and also prevent the ulcer from returning.
7. Preventing the development of deep vein thrombosis in your legs
Compression stockings exert graduated pressure on the legs, with the highest pressure being at the ankle. When this pressure is combined with muscular activity in the limb, it drives blood out of the superficial veins to the deep venous system.
8. Lessening pain caused by varicose veins
The socks won’t cure the varicose veins but they will certainly reduce the discomfort and aching to quite an extent. Blue bulging veins are a prominent trait of varicose veins.
Compression socks reduce this appearance besides other underlying conditions. This is particularly useful for nurses who have to be on their legs for prolonged hours. So, having varicose veins in this situation just makes things worse.
9. After surgery or when bedridden
Often after surgery in the knees, hips, abdomen or the legs, when patients are expected to be less mobile or stay in bed for longer hours, it becomes likely that they will develop DVT as hours/days of inactivity can lead to the formation of blood clots in the legs.
The pressure created on the veins after the surgery enhances blood flow and prevents any clot build up.
10. For traveling
If you travel a lot, you will know well how sometimes at the end of a long flight the legs start feeling rather achy.
For some people, there may even be distinguishable swelling in the feet and ankles. This happens due to sitting for extended periods of time where blood flow is slightly disrupted to and from the lower region of our bodies.
If there isn’t any scope to spare a few more bucks for a first class flight where you can comfortably stretch your legs and avoid this problem, then it’s a good idea to make compression socks your travel buddy.
Swelling, aches and clots should then no longer be problems for an avid traveler.
11. For running
It’s noteworthy that compression socks at no cost help runners and other athletes to run or jump faster.
What they really do and why they have become so preferable among athletes is because they effectively minimize those feelings of tiredness and fatigue in the legs, apart from inducing a better blood flow for a speedy recovery.
For athletes recovering from injuries, compression socks are particularly helpful as they prevent blood from pooling around the area of injury that could otherwise lead to terrible swelling and further pain.
12. For CrossFit
Compression levels are very important for adequate levels of compression. The main purpose of these socks is to increase blood flow and reduce vibration in the muscles.
You don’t want your compression socks to deteriorate quickly. So considering quality while purchasing a pair is crucial.
13. During pregnancy
During pregnancy, the legs, ankles and feet swell. This is due to the increased levels of fluid in the feet.Compression socks provide pressure to the lower legs to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling.
14. For diabetic patients
For patients with diabetes, foot care is vital. Diabetes can create poor circulation, causing swelling in the ankles, feet and legs. It can be disastrous as they can ultimately damage nerves in the feet.
These socks reduce any risk of blood clots and reduce nerve damage. Some even contain antibacterial properties that prevent the formation of any possible infections, sores, and infections.
Despite all the benefits, you should be sure whether they are safe or harmful for you before using compression socks.
- Do compression stockings speed up recovery?
Ans. During exercises, it’s not uncommon for the body’s oxygen levels to drop during intense workouts. Compression of medical grade penetrates the deep veins and flushes out any lactic acid in the muscles and veins, ultimately re-circulating it back into the heart. Ideally, it ensures that it doesn’t sit on the muscles overnight, helping quicker recovery.
- Who should wear compression stockings?
Ans. Compression socks are recommended by prescription for people with certain medical conditions and family histories. They are more popular for people who stand for long hours in daytime, for people above age 65 and for those who fly frequently.
- Do compression socks boost athletic performance?
Ans. To improve blood flow during physical activity. Athletes find it important to wear compression socks to enhance blood flow during physical activity. Theoretically, they deliver oxygen faster to the muscle cells for greater athletic endurance.