Wearing support socks is a necessity for various conditions. It can be for work, sports, pregnancy, and for different medical interventions. Compression socks, we can all agree, is a clever piece of garment even with just a single function; to apply pressure.
This specific function provides tremendous help to the person wearing it. Here are ways how compression socks help the body:
- Venous problems
- Lymphatic drainage
- Discomfort and Fatigue
- Blood circulation
1. How Do Compression Socks Help Circulation
The human body has a circulatory system composed of blood vessels that transport blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Our blood vessels, or veins, extend all the way to our arms and legs, to our toes and fingers.
Blood travels in a single direction, but there are times that it gets disrupted. It happens when irregularities occur on the veins, such as getting dilated. When veins dilate, blood pools in, and disrupts the blood flow, venous problems arise.
Compression socks apply pressure which involuntarily induces the muscle tissues to constrict the blood vessels. As the blood vessels return to their average size, blood circulation returns to normal flow.
Applying compression actually addresses many issues at the lower extremities. It reduces pain and discomfort, swelling, and fatigue. It helps with the lymphatic drainage, which, when obstructed, causes lymphedema and edema.
For expectant mothers, wearing compression socks is a great help significantly to help circulation in feet. Pregnancy increases discomfort in the body as it progresses due to hormonal changes. Added weight also escalates the pressure at the lower back down to the legs, making pregnant women vulnerable to spider and varicose veins. This is the reason why wearing compression stockings provides excellent relief for pregnant women.
On the other hand, pressure level plays a significant role because this is the curative or therapeutic factor that is applied to the legs. However, compression level depends on the severity of the medical condition.
2. Types of Compression Socks
There are three kinds of compression socks available in the market and prescription. These are:
Non-medical support hosiery is non-prescription support socks that are readily available in pharmacies, medical supply stores, and even online. They can be worn by individuals who spend long hours on their feet or even sitting down. It is recommended to be worn by:
Given that you do not have a medical condition, that is a contraindication with wearing non-medical support hosiery.
Under this type of compression socks include
Graduated compression stockings have the tightest pressure level at the ankles and gradually decrease upwards. It can either be prescribed or an over-the-counter item.
Prescribed graduated compression socks are for ambulatory individuals who have undergone chronic edema and venous disease treatment. It requires strict technical and medical specifications given by a medical specialist or a doctor because of specific ankle pressure and graduated compression, particularly for the condition.
Anti-embolism stockings, or TED hose (Thrombo-Embolus Deterrent), are designed explicitly for immobile and bedridden patients. These support socks prevent DVT development (deep vein thrombosis) and the progression of severe venous problems while in a recovery state.
The compression level starts at the ankle at 18 mmHg, 14 mmHg at the mid area, and eight mmHg at the upper part. It is not advisable to treat varicose veins and treat venous problems.
3. Do Compression Socks Prevent Blood Clots
Since the primary effect of compression socks is to help with blood circulation, it means that this prevents blood pooling that may result in a blood clot.
In the case of bedridden individuals, they are prone to blood clotting due to immobility. The use of a TED hose helps prevent blood pooling since compression encourages proper blood circulation.
4. Key Takeaway
Needless to say, how helpful compression socks or stockings are on so many levels. But always keep in mind that for every medical intervention, one should always consider researching about items or products because it may cause health issues.
Even if compression socks can actually prevent blood clots, they can also cause other medical risks if not used properly. Always read the packaging and follow the doctor’s advice in wearing support socks.