The human body has 60,000 miles long veins that carry blood to the heart from different parts of the body. Sometimes, due to abnormal pressure or decompression, the veins are unable to transport blood to the heart in time or the precise quantity. This is when veins in the body start swelling up or aching in mild conditions. Whereas, some common severe conditions include diabetes, lymphedema, varicose veins, orthostatic hypotension.
For this purpose, medical experts suggest using compression stockings that not only control the blood circulation but also improves it. The doctor analyzes and determines the significant and measured pressure of compression socks mmHg compression usually has five levels:
mmHg level guide
Both compression socks and stockings serve the same purpose because buying either one depends on the buyer’s comfort. They are one of the best answers to a problem as common as pain in periods to as severe as varicose veins.
This is why the level of pressure in the stockings deeply concerns the outcome because when the desired pressure is not there, there is no point in buying either. The pressure of compression stockings is always in mmHG, so the following list of compression levels in numbers is estimated using the same parameter.
The minimum level of pressure in compression stockings is around 8-15 mmHg. It serves several everyday purposes like:
- It provides energy to your legs when you are used to excess walking on a daily or regular bases like walking your way to work, park, or school.
- It becomes a great source of giving ease to legs that ache a lot due to tiredness.
- It provides relief to swollen legs due to exertion of any sort. The light mmHg compression in the socks regulates the blood circulation that helps leg/foot get back to its reasonable condition.
The mild level of mmHg compression in the stockings is somewhere around 15-20 mmHg. This pressure is a bit more than the minimum, which is why it is excellent for treating less severe medical conditions caused by irregular blood flow.
- The most common use of mild compression stockings is during pregnancy when the feet and legs start swelling up or ache due to fatigue. This level, 15-20 mmHG, is harmless and can be used without a doctor’s advice.
- Varicose veins are also treated in this mmHg compression if they’re not that serious.
- Deep vein clots that form in the lower leg are also normalized with the regular use of compression stockings when the blood circulation gets back to normal and treats and prevents swelling.
- It is suitable for traveling when there are long hours of sitting or standing.
The moderate level of pressure in compression socks is the most commonly preferred because it does not cause any harm. The doctors also usually prescribe this moderate mmHg compression because it is the best possible treatment without any side-effects.
- This moderate pressure greatly benefits a slightly serious condition of varicose veins.
- Edema, commonly known as swelling that often occurs in pregnancy and allergic reactions, is treated with the help of moderate mmHg compression.
- It also gives great relief to the body’s post-surgery response to medications and anesthesia, which results in some severe swelling and numbness.
This might not be the maximum compression level in compressions socks but requires supervision from an expert. The pressure in mmHg is somewhere between 30-40. The doctor prescribes firm pressure in compression stockings in conditions like:
- After sclerotherapy, which is a medical procedure. That the specialists perform for the treatment of varicose veins. This level of pressure controls the blood circulation into the lower leg, which not only improves the condition but also prevents adverse reactions.
The maximum level of compression in socks is used only after a doctor’s prescription. Although it is one of the most commonly prescribed mmHg compression, medical experts advise its usage is only in severe conditions. Where there is no other feasible and affordable solutions left.
- Chronic venous insufficiency when the valves in the veins of the legs are not performing well.
- When a blood clot occurs in the lower leg or thigh, that results in post-thrombotic syndrome.
Benefits of using compression stockings
One of the best things about compression stockings is that they are comfortable to buy and wear. The socks don’t feel like something extra on the skin because they’re too light to irritate. Other than that, the doctor prescribes the best suitable mm HG level of the socks. This is why it does not feel any additional burden. Some of the other benefits of using compression stockings include:
The compression stockings are not only for people with specific medical conditions but for everyone. A lot of people without any problems like varicose veins or edema also wear socks to prevent aching and swelling.
If you have a work routine that requires sitting or standing a lot, but there is no aching or tiredness; still, it is best to wear compression stockings because it helps prevent leg cramps and numbness. Also, best compression stockings not only regulate blood flow but also relax veins, arteries, and foot/leg muscles to the extent that you don’t need any other medication or treatment for smaller issues.
The level of compression toward the socks is never below or more than the requirement. As mentioned earlier, the doctor first performs a test on the patient and then prescribes the mmHg compression. However, if the condition is not very serious like pregnancy or leg aches due to tiredness, then it is okay to wear compression with minimum compression, i.e., 8-15 mm Hg. All of these factors make the socks comfortable enough so you can quickly wear them daily for 12-15 hours a day.
If you are an elegant person and hesitating to buy compression socks, then there is no need to worry because the stockings come in different colors and attractive designs. From plain black to colorful check and special editions like Christmas-themed, mmHg compression socks look great with every outfit while perfectly complementing your sense of style.
It is a misconception that compression stockings cause sweating because of additional pressure. The fabric of compression stockings is breathable enough to make you feel relaxed all the time. It is thin and made with comfortable material that neither causes allergies nor any sort of skin irritation.
Whether you are wearing compression stockings or compression socks, they look like any other regular pair of knee-high or normal length socks. The socks are comfortable to wear and take off, so there is no extra struggle. Plus, you can get the mmHG compression stockings/socks in any form like knee-length, thigh-high, and pantyhose, etc.
Compression Socks are Hygienic
The compression socks have an anti-bacterial fabric like lycra, which makes it clean enough not to cause allergies. Even if you’re wearing it all day long. This is also a reason why your legs don’t sweat in compression stockings.
Uses of compression socks
Mmhg compression socks have a lot of great applications that people, especially women, avail with or without any severe/mild medical conditions. However, some of the common uses of compression stockings include:
- Edema in which the leg/foot swells because of pregnancy, irregular blood flow, or post-surgery reaction.
- Leg cramps that a person might have due to common reasons like exertion or periods.
- Lymphedema in which the tissues swell because of irregular blood circulation.
- Spider and varicose veins are when the veins do not allow blood to flow in a regular motion.
Compression stockings for everyone
The name compression stockings sure are different from the ones commonly known as socks, hosiery, or knee-high socks. However, this does not mean that the medicated pair of socks is only for people with mild/severe conditions like edema or varicose veins.
The routine that we follow in this era is very tough and hectic. It makes you tired and causes fatigue to the extent that you might have constant leg ache. For this purpose, compression socks are the best way to deal with small/big issues related to irregular blood flow without any side-effects. Other than this, even if you don’t feel pain in legs or tiredness, then also it is the best prevention. Plus, it makes you feel relaxed, which significantly helps in performing tasks with excellence.
How to choose compression stockings?
Compression stockings look like regular socks, but they have specifications that require keeping in mind before buying. Firstly, one needs to decide which style suits best like knee-length or normal-length. After that, a doctor analyzes the condition and suggest the level of compression. The tip is to do it before swelling occurs, i.e., when the day starts. The reason for this is that if you do it with the swelling, then the size will be bigger, and the socks will not be able to show results with less pressure due to the bigger size.
How do compression socks work?
Compression socks have pressure measured in mm HG that applies to the veins and arteries, which transfer blood to the heart without any hindrance. Moreover, they become a source of relaxation for the veins, which is why the blood flow remains normal, which ultimately prevents varicose veins, leg aches, and edema.
Types of compressions stockings
Compression stockings are for everyone to use without causing difficulty in adjusting to it. From knee-high to thigh-high, pantyhose, full-length, and maternity pantyhose, mmHg compression socks come in all forms.
What causes irregular blood flow?
There are specific reasons that cause irregular blood flow in the body. Some of them include diabetes, obesity, smoking, and atherosclerosis. There are other reasons, too, but doctor checks and diagnosis after performing some tests. However, if someone has swollen feet, continuous leg cramps, or severe pain while walking/standing, then make sure to look into the causes mentioned before.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do not fold socks before wearing as it might affect the mmHg pressure.
- Do not roll down while taking off because then it will make it difficult.
- Try to wear socks most of the time while awake.
- Make sure to take them off before taking a bath.
- It is all right to wear regular socks and slippers over the compression stockings.
- Consult a doctor if the socks stop showing desired results.
Can wearing it be harmful?
Compression socks are the safest method to treat mild and severe medical conditions related to the lower leg, thigh, and foot. However, sometimes they can be harmful only if the person has some vascular disease because the pressure applied by the socks might cause the condition to get worse. It only happens in rare cases because the primary purpose of compression stockings is to regulate blood flow and not cause any harm.
Should you wear them to bed?
No, you should not wear compression socks at night for some obvious medical reasons. The main reason for this is that the blood flows against gravity to travel to the heart. However, when you are lying down for long hours like sleeping, the blood flow is mostly regular and does not have to go against gravity. As a result, the pressure might affect adversely, causing some severe conditions like the formation of blood clots.