Compression socks are used for many different medical reasons. They apply pressure on the ankles and legs to improve blood circulation to the heart. They are used to help reduce the additional fluids in your legs, reducing inflammation and eventually improving blood flow. These socks can also help with diabetic foot care by preventing swelling and discomfort in the feet and legs. Here is when you should wear compression socks:
For Medical Conditions
Some medical conditions like diabetes, edema, lymphedema, sports injuries, and pregnancy are better handled when patients wear compression socks. Individuals with these conditions can experience weight gain in the lower part of the body that may be caused by painful swelling, poor circulation, and inflammation, increasing the likelihood of blood clots or varicose veins.
Compression socks can act as a treatment, recovery, or preventative measure to avoid any symptoms. They help to increase blood flow, minimize swelling, and support any potentially damaged veins in the leg. Compression stockings are essential when providing diabetic foot care as they prevent poor circulation and swelling in the legs or feet.
Surgeries on the leg, hip, abdomen, or knee increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), so compression socks are often used as a prevention. DVT develops when blood clots form in a pelvis or leg vein. Surgeries requiring hours of general anesthesia also increase the risk of DVT. After surgery, you may be bedridden, increasing your risk of developing blood clots since you’re not as active as you should be.
Whether it’s the same day or outpatient surgery, compression socks are often prescribed for recovery. Compression socks can help with the swelling and pain while reducing the risk of developing pulmonary embolism due to DVT. Post-thrombotic syndrome may cause persistent pain in the area afflicted after experiencing DVT. Compression stockings can help with pain management when performing daily tasks.
Over Long Periods of Immobility or Mobility
Your occupation can force you to stay on your feet for long periods, which may cause aching and swelling due to your body’s immune response to overused tissues and muscles. Compression socks can help relieve pain from staying active and keep your legs and ankles from swelling.
The same swelling and aching can happen from immobility and underuse of muscles. Sitting for extended periods, such as on a plane or at a desk, can reduce blood circulation to the lower parts of the limbs. Lack of nutrient-dense and oxygen-rich blood to the lower part of the leg may also cause swelling and pain. Wearing compression socks helps to circulate blood from and to the legs, whether sitting or standing, for extended periods.
During and After Exercising
Wearing compression socks during and after exercise helps to combat lower body soreness. During workouts, your tissues, muscles, and joints demand more nutrients and oxygen to function at a higher rate. Wearing compression socks when exercising helps increase blood flow to and from the used areas. Added compression supports your limbs, reducing potential factors that may cause injuries. The socks protect the limbs against overextending and overstraining to help you recover faster after exercise. After exercising, allow your muscles to recover. The process helps reduce inflammation and rebuild muscle tissue.
Enhancing Diabetic Foot Care
Compression stockings are accessible in different compression levels to address specific conditions such as diabetic foot care. Before you start wearing compression, first consult a doctor if they are meant to treat a particular medical condition. When using compression stockings, check for abnormalities or irritation on your legs and inform your doctor. Choose compression socks that provide your legs with the support and comfort needed to function at maximum capacity.