Edema

How Do Compression Socks Work for Swelling?

Edema is the medical term that refers to the swelling of your legs, feet, and ankles. In some cases, it can occur on other body parts like your face and hands. This condition happens when there is fluid retention in your body’s tissues. Although edema is treatable at home, it would be best to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and sustained recovery.
Treatment depends on the cause of your condition. Your healthcare provider may suggest you take or stop any medications, change your lifestyle, and watch out for your diet. Physicians can also advise you on how to prevent swelling, such as elevating your legs and wearing compression stockings.
Compression socks are specialized socks used to aid edema, varicose veins, and muscle pain. However, please keep in mind that not all compression stockings are the same. They differ in sizing, quality, and the amount of pressure they provide. Therefore, to maximize your benefits, it is essential to find the right compression socks for you.

1. How do compression stockings work for edema?

Your feet, legs, or ankles may swell when fluid is collected in your body’s tissues. This occurs when you stand, sit, or stay in one position for an extended period. However, muscle weakening, pregnancy, medications, and certain diseases like heart, kidney, and liver illnesses can also cause edema.
So, how do compression socks work for swelling? When you have poor circulation, your veins find it hard to transport your blood to and from the heart. This can cause lower leg swelling and pain; that’s where compression stockings come in. Compression socks improve blood circulation by providing pressure to your legs and ankles. The constriction applied by these stockings helps squeeze excessive fluid out of your lower extremities. Wearing compression socks regulate blood flow that helps prevent or lessen edema.

2. How to Choose the Best Compression Hose for Edema?

There are no law restrictions in purchasing compression socks. You can buy them in medical supply shops, drugstores, and online, even without a prescription. However, it would be helpful to consult your healthcare provider before deciding what compression hose to buy. Your doctor can provide you with the correct specifications needed to treat swelling.
When professional care is unavailable, you can look for these factors when selecting compression socks for edema:

a.) Compression Type

Graduated compression socks are ideal for swelling because it restricts blood from pooling in your lower legs. The tightness decreases as the socks reach your upper legs, starting from the ankle. This compression type allows blood to flow into the upper legs and heart easily.

b.) Amount of pressure

The amount of pressure of compression socks ranges from 15-20mmHg to 40-50mmHg. If you are self-prescribing, 15-20mmHg would be the safest choice. Ask your physician before using highly-pressured socks.

c.) Sizing

The best compression sock is snugly-fitted yet not too tight in the calf. Measure the circumference of your ankle, calf, and knee before swelling occurs. Use your measurements to find the right fit.

d.) Fabric

Choose a fabric that is comfortable to wear in any activity. If you have sensitive skin, go for hypoallergenic socks to prevent further inflammation.

e.) Length

Knee-length compression socks work best when you suffer from edema because blood can easily flow towards your upper legs.
In a nutshell, your feet, ankles, and legs won’t swell when you maintain proper blood circulation. Thus, ensure to find a suitable compression hose. These socks help prevent blood from pooling in your lower legs. While self-prescribing pressure socks is not a bad idea, it would be best to seek proper medical attention before purchasing one.

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