Compression socks are a type of hosiery that has been designed specially to help stop the occurrence of or prevent the increase of venous disorders like edema, thrombosis and phlebitis. Compression socks are designed out of elastic and are worn around the leg. The compression socks compress the limb, reducing its diameter. Compression socks use a type of elastic that is not the standard one used in athletic socks.
There are two types of compression socks that can be found in the market, gradient and anti-embolism. The idea of using compression to stop venous troubles is one that has been used for a long time. Compression socks are simply a development on the idea of treat venous diseases with compression. The socks have a specific shape by nature and thus reduce the diameter of the veins that are distended, thus increasing blood flow in the vein and making the valve more effective. All this in turn heal or prevent the occurrence of venous diseases.
What compression socks can do?
Now you might be wondering why should you invest in a pair of compression socks? Let us tell you about the various functions which compression socks can do. While treatment and prevention of diseases like thrombosis and edema are one of the primary functions of a compression sock, it’s function doesn’t end there. A compression sock can be used for far more purposes than just medical.
A lot of athletes prefer wearing compression socks while they are on the field rather than normal sports sock. Interestingly, sports socks have been quite replaced by compression socks in recent times. No one wants a scar from the game, and compression socks will ensure you don’t end up with one. Because of the thick material and their constricting capacity, they protect your leg from injury, like abrasions or scratches. Next time you go out for a football game don’t forget to put on a pair and save your skin.
Compression socks are also recommended by doctors if patients are experience swelling in the leg. In case of injury or cold causing swelling, compression socks have been proven to reduce them. People who have to spend a lot of time walking around or on their feet, prefer to use these socks to prevent excessive swelling of their legs. The compression technology limits the swelling.
Compression socks also keep the legs clean. If you’re used to working a lot in conditions where your legs might get dirty, compression socks can be the solution. Because of the material it is made of, compression socks don’t let dust or dirt stick on it. Your socks might get a bit dirty over time but nothing will happen to your skin. Players also use compression socks for this purpose, to prevent their legs getting dirty.
On account of its compressing property, these socks can accelerate your flow of blood. As we all know, the blood comes from the veins to the tip of our toes through arteries and goes back via the veins. The socks as they compress the vein, enhance the flow of blood back to the brain. Alternately they prevent cramping. Cramps are common occurrence if you’ve to sit in a position or stand in a position for long. Sports activities also causes muscular cramps. Usage of compression socks makes sure that none of these give you any cramps at the end of the day.
Medical uses of compression socks
Physicians all over the world prescribe compression socks for healing a number of medical venous problems.
- Aching legs are a common occurrence for all us, especially if you have an active lifestyle. Too much walking, exercising or playing some sport can result in aching legs. If you wear compression socks, it will ensure greater blood flow and dissipate the leg ache.
- Varicose veins are common occurrences which cause discomfort. As the veins distend and expand, they cause inflammation which can be quite painful. The socks compress the veins, preventing and reducing varicose veins.
- Spider veins is another venous disease. Often you will notice an intricate web of veins visible superficially on the skin. This is commonly known as spider veins. As the veins expand they push through the skin and become prominent. Wearing compression socks can cure this problem.
- Deep vein is a case in which the blood flow decreases and leads to accumulation of the blood in the leg region and causing a clot. Compression socks help the blood go back to the head and reduces such clotting.
- Compression socks can also heal phlebitis and economy class syndrome, both caused as a result of venous expansion. Pregnant women are also asked to use these socks to prevent blood pooling in the legs.
How to select compression socks?
Compression socks are categorized according to the degree of compression they provide. The regular categories are:
- 8-15 (Mild Compression):
Used mainly for providing relief to tired and aching legs. Also helps to reduce fatigue in legs after standing for a long time. Minor swelling of the legs or ankles as well as spider veins or swelling caused during pregnancy healed.
- 15-20 (Moderate Compression):
Moderate varicose and spider veins can be healed by these. Relieves swollen or tired legs. Spider veins and varicose veins that occur during pregnancy can be prevented by using socks of this range. Used by people with economy class syndrome. Recommended to people after sclerotherapy to prevent spider and varicose veins.
- 20-30 (Firm Compression):
Relieved and prevents severe to moderate varicose veins. Prevents reappearance of spider veins post treatment. Treatment of edema, relieves superficial thrombophlebitis. Prevents orthostatic hypotension and economy class syndrome.
- 4. 30-40 (Extra firm compression):
Relieves severe varicose veins, used in treatment of edema and lymphedema, prevents post-surgical appearance of spider veins, reduces symptoms of hypotension. Manages post thrombotic syndrome and prevents economy class syndrome.
Full compression therapy guide can be access here.
Types of fabric used in compression socks
Even though elastic is the most common, compression socks are also available with combination of other materials like, nylon, wool, polyester, acrylic, spandex, nylon, olefins, etc. However, copper compression socks are one of the most common form of powerful compression socks as they have various miraculous properties in them.