Are you in search of solutions for persistent leg swelling and aching? Are you interested in gaining a competitive sports advantage? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. Compression legwear has become a popular and effective option both for those with chronic leg disease and for athletes.
Though compression gear comes in a variety of styles, in this article, we will specifically discuss how ankle compression socks can impact your health and fitness.
What are Ankle Compression Socks?
Compression stockings and socks are different from the average CrossFit socks found in your dresser drawer. They are medical equipment used to enhance blood flow in the legs. Some people also refer to them as circulation stockings and socks.
Whenever someone is in an upright position, the blood in the feet and legs must work against gravity to flow back to the heart. In healthy individuals, this is not a problem. For folks with some health issues, however, this fact puts them at risk of developing blood clots in the leg.
Circulation stockings and socks work by squeezing the tissue of the lower legs and feet to stop the pooling of blood. This also efficiently prevents other conditions like swelling, edema, and excess fluid buildup in tissues. In addition, ankle compression socks can provide support for the foot and shin pain as long as they are worn correctly. But there’s so much more to them than that!
What Do Compression Ankle Socks Do?
How Do They Impact Your Health?
Compression ankle gear is designed to provide pressure on all parts of the lower leg including the calf, foot, ankle, and shin.
They also support the arch, minimizing the chances of ankle injuries. Not only do they improve circulation, but they are also warm and incredibly comfortable!
Using Compression for Enhanced Blood Circulation
Compression gear allows oxygen-depleted blood to be pushed away so that it can be replaced with oxygen-rich blood. This process prevents swelling when the correct amount of pressure is applied. It is important to remember, however, that individuals must choose their compression level wisely as too much pressure can cause damage while too little can be ineffective. It is generally advised that healthy individuals not go above a compression level of 30 mmHg without a prescription from a doctor.
The Incredible Benefits of Ankle Compression Socks
Even healthy individuals can benefit from compression socks. Some of their advantages include:
The right compression socks help to stabilize muscles by limiting vibration during activity. This also helps to decrease muscle fatigue.
Studies have shown that wearing compression socks causes the arteries in the legs to dilate by 40% during activity and 30% otherwise. This increases blood flow, which helps with many other health problems.
Quick Recovery Time
Another great advantage of wearing compression stockings is that they can help to decrease your recovery time after an injury. They can help you get back to the activities you love even sooner!
Reduced Swelling and Aching
Compression socks were traditionally used to treat edema. They work wonders to help reduce swelling of the ankles and feet by improving blood flow.
Prevention of Varicose Problems
Varicose veins are not only unsightly, but they can be incredibly painful. One of the easiest ways to reduce their visibility and pain is wearing compression gear. Additionally, circulation socks can help prevent the formation of varicose veins in the first place!
Accelerate Wound and Injury Healing
After an injury or surgery, compression stockings and socks can aid in recovery by limiting muscle vibration and improving circulation.
Prevent Leg Swelling When Traveling
Many people preemptively put on loose shoes before traveling by plane. They know that long periods of time sitting combined with changes in elevation will not be good for their circulation! Wearing compression stockings and socks is an effective way to prevent the potential foot swelling and blood clots that could result.
Thus, anyone from sports enthusiasts to those with diagnosable medical conditions can benefit from wearing compression gear. They are a quick and easy way to reduce swelling in the foot, ankle, and shin and heal more quickly after an injury. They can also help prevent injury in the first place by providing ankle, shin, and arch support.
Things You Need to Consider Before Making a Purchase
Read the Product Details and the Customer Feedback if you are Purchasing Online
Before making a purchase, make sure to check out the socks:
- Material: Circulation stockings and socks are made of a variety of different materials. The most common is a blend of cotton and microfiber with spandex and lycra woven in.
- Durability: Do not invest in a pair of socks that will fall apart the first time you wear them. Check for compression socks that are designed to be durable and come with reinforced toes and heels for additional support. You can usually get a good idea of durability by reading product reviews.
- Size: Proper sizing is important if you want to get results to form your compression socks. Be sure to check the website’s sizing charts and beware of any socks advertised as “One Size Fits All.”
- Compression Rating: Socks and stockings are available in a wide variety of different compression levels. Ensure that you are selecting one that is appropriate for your goals. Generally, you will want to begin with the lowest rating and work your way up if you find you need more compression. Most over-the-counter socks will provide 15-20 mmHg, while medical-grade socks will range from 20-50+ mmHg.
- Moisture Wicking: If you are wearing circulation stockings or socks for an extended period, you need to make sure that they are moisture-wicking. This will ensure your feet stay dry and comfortable.
- Breathable: You want to make sure that your feet can breathe in your compression socks! Breathability is directly related to the material. In general, cotton is pretty breathable. However, it can sometimes become less-so if it is blended with too many synthetic fabrics.
- Style: There is no shortage of styles and colors when it comes to compression gear! Choose something that works for you.
- Price: The range of medical compression could range from $10-$100. The prices depend on the style and the level of compression required. Beware of anything that seems insanely cheap. Wearing low-quality compression socks or stockings can lead to skin infections and diseases.
Can Compression Gear be Harmful to Your Ankles or Your Health?
While the majority of people would find it beneficial to wear circulation stockings and socks, some individuals should not wear them without first talking to their doctor. The most common scenarios where wearing circulation legwear is harmful are:
When someone is suffering from peripheral neuropathy, peripheral artery disease, or other conditions that can lead to dermatitis or skin lesions should avoid the wearing of compression stockings/socks.
Healthy individuals must be sure that they are wearing socks correctly if they want to see results. Make sure the sock lies flat against the skin with no wrinkles. They should also never be folded, as that much pressure in one could cause injury.
Even if you are healthy, however, it is always a good idea to keep your doctor up to date if you plan to start wearing compression socks or change your compression level. Additionally, if your leg or foot problems continue even after applying compression, you may need to combine circulation socks with other forms of treatment.
Ankle compression socks are a highly comfortable way to improve blood flow, reduce swelling, and enhance performance. As long as they are properly fitted, most people will see results. If you are not sure if compression gear is for you, talk to your doctor first. Also, make sure to do your research before buying because not all compression socks are created equal.