Do Compression Socks Help With Back Pain?

Do you have stubborn back pain that is interfering with your daily activities? If you have been on your feet or sitting down all day long, chances are, it can strain your lower back and cause back pain. Another possibility that can cause back pain for women is either pregnancy or monthly period.
There are, of course, other causes of back pain other than what was mentioned, and these are:
  • Spine Issues: Bulging or ruptured discs
  • Injuries: sports, work-related, low-grade mattresses, overstretching
  • Strain: muscle tension or spasm, strained ligaments or muscles
  • Medical Conditions: irregular arch at the spine, kidney issues, arthritis, osteoporosis, sciatica
  • Others: shingles, infection or cancer of the spine, sleep disorders

1. How Compression Socks Help

Compression socks, based on the name itself, are compression, or pressure, applied on the muscles. When blood vessels expand, blood flow gets muddled up. Since blood circulates in one direction from the heart to the extremities (arms and legs), the veins then enlarge, resulting in blood pooling in that area. Blood pooling can cause swelling, pain, and discomfort.
Compression socks apply compression for muscle tissues to press on the blood vessels. Blood vessels, or veins, will then return to their usual size, and blood circulation will flow back to normal.

2. Types of Compression Socks

There are three types of compression socks or stockings that you can choose from. And depending on your need, you can either buy it, or it can be prescribed to you by a health professional.
The three types of compression socks are:
  • Non-medical hosiery
  • Graduated compression stockings
  • Anti-embolism stockings
Non-medical hosiery is over-the-counter compression socks, stockings, or sleeves. This means that you don’t need a doctor’s prescription to buy this type of compression socks. Wearing non-medical hosiery is ideal for daily activities such as running and jogging, sitting and standing for long periods,
It includes flight socks and an elastic support hose which gives consistent pressure throughout the stockings. Non-medical hosiery is suitable for pain relief, swelling, discomfort, and muscle fatigue.
Graduated compression stockings, on the other hand, have a graduated pressure. This means that graduated compression stockings are tightest at the ankle and gradually decrease in pressure upwards. This type of compression socks is typically prescribed as per medical need for proper fitting.
The length and strength of the compression stockings will depend on the medical condition. For instance, the length is below the knee if it’s peripheral edema. If you are suffering from orthostatic hypotension, you will need to use thigh-high or full stockings that go up to the waist.
Anti-embolism stockings are specific for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A class of anti-embolism stocking is called a TED (thrombo-embolism deterrent) hose. The pressure of this type of compression socks is similar to graduated compression stockings, although the difference is the level of pressure.
This is specific for immobile patients that had undergone surgery and are likely to develop DVT. For this reason, the level of compression has to be lighter than graduated compression socks.

3. Using Compression Socks for Back Pain Relief

For a back pain solution, compression socks can be recommended. But a disclaimer, you need to make sure that you don’t have an underlying medical condition that can put you at risk when wearing compression socks. Always check with your doctor first.
However, if you’re sure that you don’t have a severe condition, wearing compression socks can be of great use for you. If your back is strained due to sitting or standing for long periods, compression socks can help alleviate the pain if it is a minor blood circulation problem.
How can this be? Since the legs and lower back are closer to each other, the muscles, joints, and blood vessels can have an indirect effect on those areas when there is fatigue, stress, or pain.
When your legs feel heavy and tired, your back can feel the strain or vice versa. SO when you wear compression socks, relief can also be felt in the lower back. But there are also other compression garments, such as compression shorts, that you can use together with compression socks for more effective relief.
In conclusion, compression socks can help you with back pain as long as you know you do not have any serious medical condition. Whatever relief compression socks can bring to your legs can also be felt towards your back.

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