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Compression socks have gain popularity due to the beneficial health effects that they have shown when used by people suffering from spider veins and varicose veins. You might have seen plenty of people wearing them these days, irrespective of the lifestyle, age or a disease. Read on to know more about compression socks, when and how to use them.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are worn for comfort by many. These are also used for medical purposes and sometimes to perform better in sports. They are socks that come in different sizes and strengths. A doctor is the best to suggest the most appropriate compression socks for you depending on the reason why you wish to or need to use one. They work by improving the blood flow in the area where they are worn.
These are stretchy socks that squeeze your leg gently giving a snug fitting. Pressure socks are available which are tight near the ankle and loosen as you move up the leg. Compression sleeves are also available. This is just the tube part without the foot region of the socks.
When To Use Compression Socks?
People who have certain leg problems are medically advised the use of compression socks. People who are at the risk of suffering from blood clots in the legs (ailment referred to as deep vein thrombosis) would benefit from the use of compression socks. Risks of these clots increase when one sits for long hours at a stretch, uses birth control pills, is on hormone replacement therapy, is on bed rest after a surgery, etc.
Compression socks should also be used when the deep vein thrombosis becomes acute. This would prevent leg pain and swelling.
People who have leg ulcers, varicose veins, oedema and other circulatory problems should also be able to benefit from the use of compression socks. Other people who might benefit with the use of these socks are people who have a job where they need to stand all day, pregnant women, athletes, etc.
How To Use Them?
Using a measuring tape is the best way to determine the appropriate size of compression socks required. The reason behind why you need to use the compression socks would help you decide how high the stockings should go on your leg.
Knee-highs are more comfortable to wear than thigh-highs. However, thigh-high socks might be recommended post a surgery for deep vein thrombosis. If wearing the socks appears difficult, put on some cornstarch on your legs to dry up the excess moisture and reduce friction. Remove the socks when taking a shower.
These socks are available in different compression levels. These levels are an indication of the amount of pressure that would be applied to the leg when the socks are worn. The higher the level, the more is the compression. Healthy people should opt for mild compression, say below 15 mmHg.
Moderate compression (between 15 to 20 mmHg) can prevent deep vein thrombosis when travelling by air and also if there is minor swelling in the leg. Medical grade or higher compression levels are to be used by varicose veins patient or people who face blood clotting issues post surgery.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Compression Socks?
The following are the benefits of using compression socks:
Improves venous blood flow:
Compression socks are designed to aid in the process of the venous blood flowing back from the feet towards the heart by overcoming the effect of gravity. Pressure is applied to the lower legs that helps in maintaining proper blood flow and thus reduces swelling and discomfort in the legs.
Decreases the risk of blood clots:
Graduated compression socks when used by patients who suffer from an ailment such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the leg) can reduce the chances of developing the post-thrombotic syndrome. The risk of having another deep vein thrombosis is also significantly reduced.
Lessens leg swelling:
To lessen the swelling in the legs, compression socks that reach just below the knee should be preferred. These help in preventing swelling in the lower leg due to fluid build-up. Compression stockings are great to reduce the pain associated with varicose veins.
Prevents venous blood from pooling in the legs:
Compression therapy is widely recommended to decrease venous pressure. These socks also help in preventing venous stasis and impairments of the venous walls. These socks relieve aching and heavy legs. They improve circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots in the lower legs.
Improves symptoms of vein disease:
Compression socks are widely sued to relieve the painful symptoms of varicose veins. They are capable of slowing the progression of the vein disease.
Can You Wear Compression Socks All Day?
Ideally, you should wear your compression socks throughout the day and remove them before going to bed. Also, remove them before taking bath.