What You Should Know About Compression Socks. The Basics:
What are compression socks?
Compression socks are basically tall, tight socks that go to just below the knee cap, or thigh-high or full-length pantyhose.
What do compression socks do?
They stimulate circulation from the ankle up to help the venous system with its oxygen return.
How long does it take for compression socks to work?
You will notice the impact of compression socks on your first wear.
Can wearing compression socks be harmful?
You should always check with your doctor because compression socks are not right for everyone. If you have peripheral arterial disease or neuropathy, you should NOT be wearing compression socks. Some people have an allergy to the compression material in which case it would be uncomfortable to wear.
Benefits of Compression Socks:
What are compression socks good for?
Rich oxygenated blood is pumped from the heart via the arteries to the rest of the body. The veins then carry the blood back to the heart seeking oxygen. Some people have narrower veins or a weaker muscle pump, so the deoxygenated blood has a hard time making it back to the heart quickly. The compression sock stimulates the muscle pump and gets the blood back to the heart quicker to get re-oxygenated.
Do compression socks help osteoarthritis?
Wearing compression socks helps tremendously with arthritis by keeping the muscles and joints compressed to reduce swelling and pain caused by arthritis. By stimulating the muscle pump and increasing pressure bottom-up from the ankle, the circulation is improved and the blood flows smoothly against gravity. This enhanced circulation is especially critical in people who suffer from blood clots.
Do compression socks help during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the head of the baby puts pressure on the inguinal vein creating varicosities down the leg. Special maternity compression hose are a big help in reducing pain from these varicose veins in pregnant women.
Why wear compression socks?
I like wearing compression socks on days when I am going to be sitting a lot (flying) or standing in one place (at tradeshows). The feeling of compression is soothing for my achy tired legs. Furthermore, I find them particularly helpful when exercising to prevent shin splints. For the best effect, keep them on for 20 mins after your activity so that it can help get rid of the lactic acid buildup in your legs.
Choosing the Right Compression Socks
How to choose the right compression socks?
Compression socks come in various different strengths all measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). Prescription-strength is over 20 mmHg and must be recommended by your MD. You must be custom measured for compression socks as they come in a variety of configurations to fit ankle, calf and leg length. Make an appointment at Mobility on Mainway to get custom measured for compression socks for a perfect fit. These socks come in a variety of fabrics and colours from sporty to dressy to casual.
How To Wear Compression Socks?
Ideally you should wear compression socks directly over the bare leg to get the most benefit out of them. Compression socks should not be worn over leggings or clothes.
Yes, they should be tight and that is ok! If they are well measured by a certified fitter you will get used to them. To care for compression socks you can hand wash or put them in the gentle cycle, but you must air dry them. Putting them in the dryer will ruin them!
Best compression socks recommendations
Best compression socks for …Men
Best compression socks for…Women
Depending on the fabric, Bauerfiend makes a nice dressy version called the micro that is a nice light hose type of material. The performance and training collection are also great thinner everyday socks.
Best compression socks for…Nurses
Most of our nurses wear compression socks as they are on their feet for several hours on concrete floors and we need them to feel their best! The CSX brand has a great pattern around the ankle that helps support the foot and look stylish.
Best compression socks for…Runners
It is not uncommon to see runners running in tall socks! These can be quite colourful and sometimes come in crazy and fun patterns. Bauerfeind makes a sports line that is perfect for running.
Best ankle compression socks
There are not many versions of ankle compression socks that are in the prescription strength so we do not recommend them for everyday wear. If you suffer from poor circulation, swollen ankles and varicose veins, you should wear a knee-high compression sock.