If you are trying out compression socks for the first time, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Compression socks will make your feet feel better after a long day than you can imagine. Do your ankles swell? Not in compression socks. Compression socks will give you a second wind that you didn’t realize you had in you.
How Can Compression Socks Help Me?
Who benefits most from compression socks? The people who stand to lose the most are postoperative patients or people on bed rest. Because of blood pooling in the calves, they are at a greater risk of blood clots without compression stockings. Because of compression stockings, countless people have not developed blood clots after surgery or while on bed rest.
People who have a family history of varicose veins, or who have varicose veins. This is a condition that becomes more unsightly and painful as time goes on. Compression stockings help a great deal, and also prevent spider veins.
Diabetics benefit greatly from compression stockings and socks. They have problems with loss of sensation to the toes, and also develop sores that don’t heal well. Because of compression socks, diabetics have improved circulation to the feet and toes, which keeps them from losing toes and feet to gangrene after developing stasis ulcers and other diabetic sores. A small study in 2017 tested diabetics with a history of leg swelling and found that the use of low-compression knee-high compression socks relieved swelling significantly.
Ulcer prevention: Venous ulcers are leg ulcers caused by disruption of blood flow. Compression socks are recommended to increase flow and prevent blood pooling, which speeds up ulcer healing and prevents recurrence.
Reduced orthostatic hypotension: Orthostatic hypotension is a condition where your blood pressure drops dramatically when moving from sitting or lying down to standing up. Doctors suggest waist-high compression stockings might help improve blood flow and reduce symptoms.
People with CHF (congestive heart failure) benefit from compression hose because they improve lymphatic drainage, improve swelling, and have a better quality of life, overall.
Pregnant women experience less foot and leg swelling, varicose veins, and spider veins with compression socks.
Athletes benefit from compression socks, they have improved outcomes from workouts, less swelling, pain, and fewer injuries. A small study in 2009 tested below-the-knee compression socks on athletes and found that performance improved significantly in male runners. The study also found that the same group experienced reduced soreness in leg muscles after exercise.
People who fly a lot benefit from compression socks because they experience fewer blood clots from sitting for long periods of time. Swelling in the feet and legs from flying is greatly improved.
Aren’t They Kind of… Ugly?
If you saw the compression stockings that they put on post-operative patients at the hospital, and sometimes on nursing home patients who suffer from edema, you likely saw clinical compression stockings. They are usually white, elastic thigh-high stockings with an open toe. Compression socks look just like other socks. They come in knee-high, crew socks, ankle socks, and other regular sock styles. They come in a multitude of colors and patterns, as well.
Easy Ways To Put Them On
Compression socks can be a little snug, especially if they are knee-high. If you use a little talcum powder to help you get them on, it will be a lot easier. Don’t attempt to put them on if your skin is wet, even a little bit. It will be a huge struggle to get them on unless you dry off your legs as much as possible. The best time to try it is in the morning after you just woke when swelling is at its lowest to your lower legs and feet. Some people like to roll the socks down, kind of like nylon stockings. Get the toe on, then roll the rest up to your leg.
If you have serious trouble, they make devices to help get them on. If it’s a huge struggle, you might want to get a less compressed style or a larger size.