What are Compression socks?
Compression socks are created for compression therapy. They are a great source of comfort for your tired and achy legs and ankles. Just by applying gentle pressure to the lower body, they can improve blood flow from your legs to your heart. Typically, they work by boosting the volume and velocity of blood that prevent the pooling of blood in the lower limb and flowing up to the heart.
Read the complete article to know about the benefits of compression socks and many other things.
Types of compression socks
Compression socks can be worn by both men and women. They come in varying strengths and sizes. Some common types of compression socks are:
· Graduated compression socks
Graduated compression socks provide the strongest compression over the ankle, which gradually decrease towards the top.
· Anti-embolism compression socks
These socks lessen the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in bed-ridden patients. They are also known as TED hoses.
· Nonmedical support hosiery
Nonmedical support hosiery delivers uniform compression. But the pressure is normally less than other types of compression socks.
What are the benefits of compression socks?
Based on the clinical evidence, compression socks have been found beneficial, especially in diseases of the veins in the legs. They are designed to relieve the pain and swelling in the legs and ankles by gently squeezing them. Compression socks improve the blood circulation in the legs and prevent clot formation in the veins of the lower limbs. As the blood keeps flowing, it is harder for it to pool in your veins and develop a clot. Moreover, they may even save you from feeling light-headed or dizzy when you stand up.
Compression socks have benefits in the following conditions of the lower limbs:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Venous insufficiency
- Venous hypertension
- Varicose veins
- Leg ulcers
- Orthostatic hypotension
Many athletes, including triathletes, runners, and basketball players, also use compression socks on their legs. It is believed that, during sports, better blood circulation benefits in providing more oxygen to the muscles, and additionally, the support help prevent any damage to tissues. Also, after the game, it aids in recovering the muscles quickly, and they won’t be much sore. However, there is no proven evidence of their effectiveness in athletic performance.
How to wash compression socks?
Compression socks can last a long time if maintained properly. Their compression ability declines when they are not cleaned regularly, which can also lead to ripping the socks. Washing brings back the elasticity to the compression socks and removes accumulated oils and dirt. That’s why it is recommended to wash compression socks after each wearing. Moreover, replace the pair after every three months. Because after that, they begin to lose their elasticity even if they look fine.
Here is a simple way to wash compression socks:
Take cool water in a small tub and dip compression socks in it. Avoid washing with hot water as the heat might affect the elasticity of compression socks. Now, remove the socks, add detergent or soap to the water, and mix it. Dip the socks again and let them stay in the tub for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, gently rub the compression socks to wipe off dirt and oil. Now take them out of the water and squeeze or rinse them to remove the soap. But make sure not to squeeze or pull the socks so hard because it can result in an imperfect fit.
Rinse compression socks until water squeeze out clear and all soap is removed. After this, allow them to dry in a flat warm place. Beware of placing them too close to the heat.
How to choose the right compression socks?
Compression socks come in an extensive range of types and lengths. Hence, choosing the right one is so important to get the benefit you want. We have put together a mini buying guide to make it easy for you to buy the perfect compression socks for your needs.
The first thing you need to do is to choose the desired compression for your condition. Compression socks come in various pressures ratings, each for the specific need. 15-20 mmHg compression is great for daily wear, travel, and sports without being too tight on legs. If you have varicose veins, spider veins, oedema or have undergone surgery, 20-30 mmHg is ideal for you. However, for blood clots and severe legs condition stronger level of compression (30-40 mmHg) is recommended.
Type of fabric
The second factor you should consider is what type of fabric do you want. These socks are made from different types of materials. Such as compression socks made from sheer fabrics are lightweight, stylish and transparent. They are mostly loved by women. Furthermore, the opaque compression socks are more durable and comfortable. Usually, these kinds of socks are high compression garments and ideal for after surgery, swelling and varicose veins. For sports and running, high-end cotton or wool is used to withstand more wear and tear. Moreover, you can also use them for casual use, post-surgery and spider veins.
Once you figure out the compression level and fabric of socks, now it’s time to check the fitting. Compression socks are meant to promote blood flow, and for that, they need to fit you properly over the legs. A comfortable sock must fit so that toes line up with the toe cap and heel fits into the heel cup. There should not be any bundling or sagging. Besides, the cuff of the sock should fit snugly around the leg, but not so tightly that it cuts off circulation.
Where can you buy compression socks?
Compression socks are an over-the-counter product. You can easily get it from most of the pharmacies and even superstores near you. They are also available at medical supply companies, online retailers, and in many drug stores. However, the cost can be varying depending on many factors. They can cost from around $10 to as much as $100 per pair.