Sick of your legs ache?
You’ve probably heard about compression socks by now, but may not know what they are exactly. They’re those tight socks that you wear for a long time to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling in your legs. As more erythrocytes (red blood cells) pass more quickly through the veins and arteries, the risk of clotting is reduced which can help lower your leg pain or discomfort.
What are compression socks made of?
Compression socks are not like the bright and colorful compression hose that doctors wear. They’re typically made of a synthetic blend that contains lycra or spandex. This fabric provides strong elasticity while at the same time being breathable, lightweight and comfortable to wear. They also have reinforced toes that provide additional durability. If you have diabetes or neuropathy, you can get special socks that will keep your feet extra warm during the winter months.
How do they work?
In the case of compression socks, they are designed to fit snugly around your feet and calves. They have a high level of compression that forces blood back into your veins to help your legs and feet stay warm. In general, levels of compression between 20%-30% are best for reducing swelling in your legs. It also helps to reduce pain, discomfort and improve circulation. The more pain you have, the greater level of compression is needed to improve circulation in your legs.
What are the benefits of compression socks?
If applied correctly, you can experience significant relief from leg pain by wearing compression socks. They may also help to prevent and treat leg cramps, as well as improve foot circulation, and reduce swelling. You’re not likely to see immediate results since it can take several weeks of regular use before you begin to see improvements. However, with consistent usage they can help improve your overall circulation and reduce your overall fatigue.
Who should use compression socks?
Compression socks are recommended for those with swollen legs, lower leg pain and swelling, varicose veins, claudication (leg pain during walking), spider veins on the legs, swollen ankles and feet, edema in general. They can also help improve your circulation if you have diabetes or neuropathy. However, they aren’t a substitute for medical treatment so you should consult a doctor before trying them out.
Compression socks or stockings?
If you have swelling in your leg veins, it’s best to wear both a compression sock and regular stocking. Why? Regular stockings have been shown to reduce clotting in leg veins which reduces leg swelling. However, wearing the sock along with the stocking will increase the amount of compression over time and provide extra pain relief to your legs. It’s best to start by wearing the sock first, then the stockings over top of it. This way your circulation improves faster and you won’t have as much pain.
Compression socks are generally made of a synthetic blend that contains lycra or spandex. They fit on your legs with a snug but comfortable fit (similar to a legging). To determine your size, you should measure around the ankle and calf. It’s best to start off with the correct size for your dress size, and then adjust from there. As you wear the socks more frequently, they will stretch out a bit and become even more comfortable. Compression socks are generally made of a synthetic blend that contains lycra or spandex. They fit on your legs with a snug but comfortable fit (similar to a legging).
How long should you wear compression socks?
Duration of use is based on the severity of your symptoms. Those with mild leg pain may only need to wear them for a few hours during activities that can cause swelling such as walking, dancing or sitting for lengthy periods of time. Those with severe leg pain may need to wear them at home and while they sleep. Those with diabetes or neuropathy should consult a doctor first as these conditions require more intense compression.
So, if you are looking for a painkiller for your calves and legs, the compression socks are your best choice. Definently give them a go! Make sure to use the tips we included in this blog to get the full potential of them.
Thank you for reading! See you on the next one!