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Answered: How Do Compression Socks Work for Swelling?

Last Updated February 3, 2021

Image showing normal and swelling in the leg

Compression stockings are worn by individuals to perform better at sports, become more comfortable and prevent the progression of severe health conditions.

Their primary function is to improve blood flow and reduce aching and swelling of your legs. They reduce the possibility of developing conditions associated with circulation such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a type of blood clot, among others.

These compression socks are available in various strengths and sizes. So, how do compression socks work for swelling? Read on to find out!

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ComproGear Compression Socks are designed to stop swelling instantly!

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What are Compression Socks?

image of compression socks for edema

If an individual defines Compression stockings as tight-fitting stretchy socks, he or she isn’t far from it. Simply put, they are close-fitting, tailor-made socks that squeeze your leg gently. Graduated stockings, otherwise referred to as pressure stockings give your ankle a tighter fit, but as it ascends your legs, it gets looser. Compression sleeves refer to the tubed part, excluding the foot.  They can be bought across the counter, but when prescribed by your physician, costs may be covered by your insurance.

One may ask, how do compression stockings work for swelling? They are designed to control swelling around such areas as the ankles, feet and lower extremities. Compression stockings have many advantages which include squeezing the aforementioned areas in order to avoid fluid buildup in the tissue. The effect of this fluid buildup is excruciating pain and discomfort. Compression stockings have different levels. It is left for your doctor to tell you which compression sock will suit you best. 

If you notice any of these, remove your stockings immediately and report to your wound center or emergency room:        

  • Pain around your feet or legs
  • A feeling of numbness around your feet or legs
  • A prickling sensation in your legs or feet
  • Change in your toe color or temperature
  • You notice a new wound

Who Uses Compression Socks?

  • People who have problems with circulation like diabetes or varicose or at risk of developing such
  • People who just underwent surgery
  • People who have difficulty moving or can’t get off their bed
  • People whose jobs require standing for long hours
  • Athletes
  • Pregnant women
  • People who sit for long hours in airplanes, like pilots for instance

What Does Compression Stockings Do?

These stockings put pressure on your legs thus boosting better functioning of your blood vessels. Your arteries, carrying blood rich in oxygen relaxes, thus, blood flows without obstruction. This also boosts the vein to push blood back to your heart. Compression stockings help ease stress on your legs and keep them from getting weary. They also prevent your feet and ankles from swelling and treat spider and varicose veins. They stop dizziness and lightheadedness when standing up.

The constant movement of blood makes pooling in your veins very difficult, therefore it can’t clot. If one is formed and it manages to break free, it may travel alongside your blood, causing damage to you when it gets stuck in a delicate place like the lungs. Blood clots make blood flow through the body very difficult, thus resulting in problems like swelling, skin discoloration, to mention but a few. 

Athletes, like basketball players, sprinters, triathletes, put on compression sleeves and socks for their arms and legs. The principle behind this is that while performing their activities, their muscles get more oxygen because of the improved blood flow, preventing damage to the tissues. The boost in circulation to the blood and lymph helps speedy muscle recovery. It also prevents soreness and cramps.   

A recent study has proven that the effect of the equipment used in athletics is almost negligible in performance, but, some people dispute this; probably because they feel they have an edge over others. The proof of speedy recovery is good, but almost not enough reason to differentiate for the weekend soldiers.            

What Kind of Compression Socks are Available?

image showing a compression sock worn on the leg

Usually, socks and sleeves can be gotten in a wide variety of lengths that cover various parts of the body. For patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the stockings extend just below the knee, however, you can also get tights or thighs highs for it. They are also available in different pressure or compression levels, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). It is ideal for stockings to give a tight-fitting, but not cause pain. Mild compression socks, having lower numbers, can keep your feet comfortable at work for as long as possible. You may require higher numbers to give a sturdier fit in order to prevent the progression of DVT. 

The reason for which you wear compression socks determines your choice. Such compression socks as anti-embolism stockings are made specifically for patients who have just undergone a surgery and require bed rest. But, if you stand more often and you’re mobile, your best option is graduated compression socks. If they are to be worn for medical reasons, it is required of your doctor to take measurements of your legs and make prescriptions of the most appropriate socks for you. 

Want to Stop Leg Swelling and Improve Athletic Performance?

ComproGear Compression Socks are designed to stop swelling instantly!

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks:

How to Wear Compression Stockings

Image showing open toe compression socks for swelling

Ensure to smooth the stockings on your skin so they become flat. Don’t bunch the socks. They shouldn’t be too long as well. When wearing it, ensure you don’t fold them or roll because it’ll only make them tight. It can also result in blocking circulation or more serious problems with blood flow, like wearing a tourniquet. In wearing stockings, they must be worn by pulling them up the heel, then the leg. You can wear Rubber kitchen gloves to help with gripping things better. Ensure your stockings aren’t wrinkled because it can harm your skin. However, you may need a special kind of equipment to help you wear them and get them off.  

Method of applying your stockings

  • Put your hand inside and turn your socks inside out, grabbing your heel and pulling out the stockings.     
  • Then, slide your foot into the stocking, putting your heel and toe in the right place. 
  • Pull the top of the stockings to your ankle and calf until properly fit. 
  • To prevent holes and wear in your stockings, ensure you don’t pull them or drag them. Also, while putting them on, take off any jewelry that may hook them and possibly tear them. 
  • You may decide to wear them often if it is recommended by your doctor, but remove them when you want to have your bath or shower. You can also wear shoes, socks, and slippers with the compression socks. Consult with your doctor on how often you need to wear them and the length of time to use it.  

6 Quick Hacks for Pain and Swelling in Your Feet and Ankles

Images showing swollen legs with the need for compression socks

Have you witnessed a situation where you look down at your feet, and you barely recognize them because they look swollen? It may be because of a long trip, sitting for long, standing on your feet or even surgery. Whatever the case may be, it happens often. It is almost inevitable for pregnant women. 

Swelling around the feet and ankle can cause discomfort, and can often hinder free movement. Nevertheless, this can be relieved and also prevented. The condition known as Edema, or swelling as it is fondly called, occurs when there is fluid retention in the ankles, feet and lower extremities. It can occur in the body on both sides, but it is not a cause for alarm.           

A doctor once said that swelling only requires proper management and pulling through the day. No need for curative measures.

Want to Stop Leg Swelling and Improve Athletic Performance?

ComproGear Compression Socks are designed to stop swelling instantly!

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks:

Relieving painful swollen ankles and feet

reasons why you need compression socks to reduce swelling

Treating swelling on both sides of your body is often very easy; you can even do it yourself. Here are a few tips to help you:        

Compression socks

These can be bought easily; they can be gotten online, at any local shoe store or drug store close to you. They help relieve pain and prevent fluid buildup in your ankles, feet, and legs. They are available in different weights, light, medium, and heavyweight. Ensure to get one that is comfortable and fitting on your body. You can begin with Lightweight compression socks that measure between 12-15mm or 15-2mmHg, and wear them as long as you want, first thing in the morning. 


Raise up your legs up on a footstool or Ottoman to reduce swelling in your legs and ankles. Taking on different yoga poses, which include raising your legs while lying on the floor and pressing them against the wall also helps.        


Maintaining a particular posture, either standing or sitting for a long period increases swelling in the legs and lower extremities. Moving your knee and thighs, extending your ankles and flexing your muscles helps relieve them. Also, participating in exercises like swimming is good as it is an exercise that doesn’t involve bearing weights and it soothes the skin.  

Weight loss

Weight loss can also help relieve swelling and improve general health.  

Epsom salt

Get a cool bath and fill with Epsom salt. Soak your leg in this for about 15 to 20 minutes. This relieves you of pain and swelling, and other related problems. If you experience diabetic neuropathy on your feet, use your hands to check the water to avoid exposure of your feet to harsh temperatures.  

Magnesium supplements

 There’s every possibility that including about 200 to 400 mg of magnesium in your daily diet helps limit your water retention, thus reducing pain. Consult with your doctor before you start any supplement. Avoid using it if you have a history of kidney or heart conditions.    

If you want to get the best results, try different therapies at once. For instance, you can exercise by walking and then use compression socks afterward. If you can swim, try adding yoga to the routine. It works effectively.          

Simple changes to reduce or prevent swelling

images showing changes to reduce or prevent swelling
  • Making some minor adjustments to your lifestyle can help reduce swelling:
  • Stroll every hour or take short walks.
  • Drink water regularly, about 8 to 10 glasses per day. Less water consumption encourages swelling.    
  • Limit consumption of carbohydrates and salt.
  • Elevate your feet and legs at night by putting bricks or phone books below the feet of your bed.

You can as well try on essential oils like eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil lavender or chamomile as they have been proven to give soothing relief to this uncomfortable problem. Some people looking for relief.

Types of compression stockings

The three major types of compression stockings are:

  • Graduated compression stockings
  • Anti-embolism stockings
  • Non-Medical support hosiery

Graduated compression stockings

Compression levels are strongest around the ankle in graduated compression socks, and it reduces as it gets to the top. They are made to enable easy movement and satisfy some specifications as to length and strength in treating medical conditions. Typically, they require fitting by a professional.  

Stockings that stop below the knee prevent edema at the periphery as well as reduce swelling in the lower leg as a result of fluid accumulation.  Stockings extending to the waist or thighs reduce blood pooling in such areas and prevent the condition known as orthostatic hypotension. Special personalized features are often included like color and the choice of it being closed or open-toed. 

Anti-embolism stockings

This helps reduces the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Just like graduated stockings, anti-embolism stockings provide gradient compression as well, but compression levels differ. They are made specifically for people who are immobile.  

Non-Medical support hosiery

This type of compression socks doesn’t require any prescription. They include flight socks and elastic support socks sold to individuals as a relief for worn, aching legs. They also deliver uniform compression, exerting less pressure on the legs than prescription compression stockings. Most non-medical compression stockings can be gotten online or at pharmacies.

Side effects of compression socks

If compression stockings are prescribed for you by your doctor, ensure you observe your body closely to check for any notable skin changes, like irritation, sores or redness. These could be indicators of:

  • Poor-fitting of your stockings
  • Wrong method of wearing or removing your stockings  
  • Possibility of an infection
  • An allergy to the stocking material

Getting a proper prescription is very important in using compression socks. Ensure to use them properly as well.

Want to Stop Leg Swelling and Improve Athletic Performance?

ComproGear Compression Socks are designed to stop swelling instantly!

Click the button below to see the lineup of ComproGear Compression Socks: