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Compression Sleeves for Legs – Healthy Legs Are Happy Legs! (with Best 2020 Pictures)

a female athlete wearing support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee
cute legs compression leg sleeves for runners

It is said that in the morning, a man walks with his whole body, but in the evening, only with his legs. The mobility of man has necessitated the invention of trendy and profitable devices, such as legs compression sleeves. In fact, support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee.

what is the best compression sleeve

Who Can Use Legs Compression Leg Sleeves?

  • Recreational Runners
  • Professional Athletes
  • Marathoners
  • Nurses
  • Pregnant Women
  • People who Stand a lot at Work
  • People who Sit a lot at Work
  • People Prone to Leg Swelling

While to most observers, the compression sleeves may seem extra, they would be surprised at the science backing the sleeves’ working mechanism. The benefits of wearing compression sleeves and hoses for legs are innumerable.

18 - 24 mmHg support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee for maternity
15 - 20 mmHg medical legs compression leg sleeves

You may have noticed people in races running with compression sleeves on. And we know that you may be wondering if they do work. Well the best news you can hear today is that these compression sleeves help in reducing injury to your muscles and also help in a speedy recovery, but that will be discussed in-depth in this article.

calf legs compression leg sleeves for running
20 - 30 mmHg support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee

You may also ask if compression sleeves and compression socks are the same. These garments are the same except for one major difference. Compression sleeves start at the top of your ankle while compression socks start at the bottom of your feet.

true graduated legs compression leg sleeves
good quality legs compression leg sleeves for running

Both these stockings help in improving blood flow from your feet to your leg to your heart. By this, it helps in preventing pooling of the blood in your feet and thus avoiding straining your muscles, varicose veins and DVT.

sporty sleeve
Blue compression sleeve

To understand how compression sleeves work and how support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee, it is important to have a basic understanding of how blood flows through your body. The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the body’s extremities through arteries.

wide calf legs compression leg sleeves

Once the cells use the oxygen in the blood and other nutrients, the deoxygenated blood along with lactic acid and other waste products enter the veins to be transported back to the heart. Once it reaches the heart it is oxygenated from the lungs and the whole process is repeated.

The body needs oxygenated blood for performance. the more oxygen the cells have, the better they function. During exercises, the body produces lactic acid as a waste product and if the lactic acid is not removed, then it can contribute to soreness and also decrease the ability to perform.

Another factor which decreases performance is muscle fatigue and this can be avoided by using compression socks or sleeves. Soreness and muscular fatigue are contributed by physical activity. The shock and vibration going through your leg muscle as you pound the pavement while running, over time, adds up and become fatigued and sore. Support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee.

Working mechanism of Knee & Calf Hosiery

colorful compression sleeves for your legs
Calf high sleeve

Overview

  1. Corrects Venous Incompetence
  2. Boost Circulation to the Limbs

The blood’s circulatory system forms the basis behind compression. Oxygenated blood is pumped from the heart, through the arteries to the muscle cells where oxygen and nutrients are taken up.

how legs compression leg sleeves work
how medical legs compression leg sleeves work

The deoxygenated blood is then pumped back to the heart from cells through the capillaries and veins. This reoccurs to form the circulation cycle. The leg’s compression sleeves increase a gentle pressure to the calves gradually, in order to counter the effects of gravity in the same manner support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee.

legs compression leg sleeves improve blood flow
legs compression leg sleeves have high pressure at the ankle

Now that you understand the workings of the body, let’s talk about what compression sleeves do to help the body. Compression socks or sleeves provide graduated compression meaning the compression pressure is higher at the ankle and foot and loses pressure as you move up the calf and lower leg. This type of compression helps to fight the effects of gravity and assist in the venous return of deoxygenated blood back to the heart. Basically, support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee.

graduated medical legs compression leg sleeves improve blood flow
graduated compression of legs compression leg sleeves improve blood flow

Scientific studies indicate that the optimal level of consistent compression to the feet, the walls of the arteries will dilate thus increasing blood circulation. Arterial blood circulation has been shown to increase up to 40% during any activity and by 30% during muscle recovery.

support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee

This means that more oxygenated blood will reach your body parts, on the other hand, the walls of the veins will constrict under the compression which helps to increase the velocity of the blood circulation through the veins. This means that deoxygenated blood and lactic acid will be transported back to the heart quicker and thus help increase the rate of recovery and also decrease muscle soreness.

Compression sleeves will also assist in stabilizing the muscle and decrease the amount of muscle vibration which in turn decrease muscle fatigue. To sum it all up, the benefits of compression sleeves include enhanced performance through increased blood circulation and speedy recovery. Compression stockings will also decrease muscle fatigue and soreness.

What Knee & Calf Support Socks and Leg Sleeves Do?

  • Improve Circulation to the Limbs
  • Boost Running Performance
  • Boost Recovery after Workout
  • Pain Relief
  • Improve Lymphatic Drainage
  • Alleviate Varicose Veins
  • Provide Symptomatic Treatment for DVT
  • Support Shins and Calves
  • Neutralizes Calf Vibration
  • Stabilizes Achilles
  • Offers Ligament Support
compression sleeves for your legs
Effects of compression sleeves on legs

Benefits of wearing Legs Hoses

benefits of compression leg sleeves

Scientific researches show that wearing compression sleeves and support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf by dilating the arteries. This radically increases the amount of blood that is flowing into your muscle cells. The more the rate of oxygenated blood flow, the higher the replenishing rate of nutrients and oxygen into the muscle cells. That means more power for higher endurance and stamina levels to walk or run through the day.

Compression sleeves offer a variety of benefits to users. It provides pressure to the ankles and calves thus reducing swelling and aching of the legs. The compression pressure applied helps improve blood circulation in your legs back to your heart. Below are some of the benefits offered by compression tights.

Comfort

Lack of mobility when travelling or working may cause low blood flow and puts you at risk of dangerous blood clots. This is highly reduced when using support sleeves.

People in occupations such as nursing or athletes may experience muscle fatigue due to the long and strenuous activity involved. These people are at a higher risk of developing leg swelling, or pooling of the blood at the feet. Compression sleeves help in preventing this through the compression pressure offered by the sleeves. Generally, the support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf.

However, not everybody is engineered in the same way and some of us do have medical conditions which can hinder us from performing optimally. So, make sure that you get your doctors advice before selecting your compression sleeve. This is because using compression stockings while diagnosed with these conditions can do more harm than good.

Compression sleeves are used as a preventative measure and not to harm you in the long run. Lower compression levels can be purchased online or in your local pharmacy but stronger compression strengths need a doctors prescription. When wearing these sleeves, it should feel like a tiny hug on your legs which will result in better blood flow.

gradient sleeves for your legs

Gradient compression sleeve

Unique Comfort Features of Knee & Calf Support

  1. Keeps your Limbs Fatigue Free
  2. Keeps your Limbs Warm in Cold Weather

Athletic performance

recover faster with support socks help boost blood flow to heal injury to the calf and knee
legs compression leg sleeves are perfect for gym

Wearing compression stockings during and post workouts will improve muscle recovery. Also, support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf. Wearing the sleeves will naturally alleviate lactic acid from building up and reduce wear and tear on the muscle.

long-lasting comfort legs compression leg sleeves

The science behind compression sleeves ensures that the blood circulation is optimum when using these socks. As stated earlier, the compression pressure at the ankle is high and gradually reduces as you move up your leg. Using compression sleeves help in reducing pooling of the blood and the vibration to the muscles as you go on your sporting activity.

Through compression stockings, athletes can complete sporting activities with reduced muscle fatigue and soreness. You can recover effectively by wearing support socks to improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf. Although all these facts are based on how compression stockings work and not backed up by scientists, many athletes claim that compression stockings work by improving athletic performance.

support sleeves for your legs

Maternity relief

Pregnant women will find immediate relief from aching and swollen feet when they use compression hosiery. The compression stockings and sleeves offer a comfortable, cooling effect and are easy to put on.

Speedy Injury recovery

Doctors recommend using compression socks to naturally stimulate the healing of the body. Compression stockings are helpful after a patient has undergone surgery and when managing chronic illnesses and pain. But be sure to consult your healthcare provider as compression socks are not recommended for some medical conditions.

The compression pressure applied to the feet and calves ensure that the blood circulates smoothly. Therefore, support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf. Compression stockings will reduce the chances of blood pooling at the feet and reducing the chances of developing Varicose veins. Another condition which can result from the pooling of the blood in the feet includes DVT.

This is why doctors will recommend using compression stockings whenever you suffer from varicose veins and DVT. But as warned earlier, make sure that you check with your doctor if the compression stocking you want to purchase is perfect for you. You do not want to suffer the consequences of wrong compression strengths.

Compare Different Dimensions

open toe compression Hoses

The calf size is the primary consideration in choosing a compression sleeve, since the correct size support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf. The calf size ranges proportionately with height, hence for those who don’t know their calf sizes, they my use their height estimates. When a considered compression sleeve is in between sizes, it is advisable to size down.

Characteristics of Best Compression Sleeves

Fitting

size chart for legs compression leg sleeves
how to determine the size of your legs compression leg sleeves

For comfortably moving around, a pair of perfectly fitting calf compression sleeves are necessary to provide the needed support, and also good fitting support socks improve blood flow to prevent injury to the knee and calf. There are diverse options from which to chose from.

upper calf thickness of legs compression leg sleeves

Based on gender; there are some for males, some for females and others are unisex. Based on support; there are some for prescription strength, while others are light support leg compression sleeves. The ultimate selection should meet your needs and what you plan to use them for.

Recommended Calf-Size

SmallMediumLargeExtra-Large
10 to 13 inches12 to 15 inches14 to 17 inches16 to 19 inches

Upper Calf-Size Recommendations

SmallMediumLarge
13.7 to 15 inches15.7 to 17 inches17.3 to 19 inches

Design Material

unique features of legs compression leg sleeves

Leg compression sleeves come in different material varieties depending on the intended purpose. While some compression sleeves are made to treat varicose veins, some are used for training by athletes, while others are used in gyms for muscle recovery after workout.

great features of legs compression leg sleeves

For prescription strength compression sleeves, silicon tapping is built into them to provide more support. On the other hand, light support compression sleeves offer less strength support due to lower levels of silicon tapping in their structure.

special features of legs compression leg sleeves

For those who plan to exercise in one, it is advisable to consider those with anti odor and moisture absorbent properties. There are compression sleeves made from more technical materials for prospective users who may have troubling conditions, such as shin splints.

Style

Manners make a man, so much more the compression sleeves they have on. Varied options, prints and patterns exist, all dependent on your vogue and choice of style. From simpler, stealth types, to elaborate, outstanding types.

When selecting a compression sleeve, you should first check to see if it fits your style. You should go for sleeves which will blend in with your attire. Compression sleeves come in various styles which include ankle socks, knee-high and thigh-high. Many retailers will offer choices when you go to buy your compression stocking.

Compression strength

different gradient levels
Gradient levels in a compression sock

Another characteristic of the best compression sleeve is the compression strength chosen. There are different levels of compression pressure applied to the ankle and all depends on your need. Many retailers will stock all these grades and you need to find the right compression pressure to benefit from these sleeves.

The level of compression you need will depend on your need for compression socks. the standard levels as mentioned include:

  • Light-moderate compression, 15-20 mmHg – these are perfect for travelling. If your work entails standing all day, pregnant or experiencing mild leg swelling, these types of socks will come in handy.

  • A moderate compression, 20-30 mmHg – these are great for legs which experience moderate swelling and varicose veins because of pregnancy or another condition. You can also wear them when your legs feel tired and heavy.

  • Firm compression, 30-40 mmHg – these are usually required when you have moderate to severe varicose veins, moderate oedema, or after vein treatment such as vein stripping. They also come in handy for combating lymphedema.

  • Extra firm compression, 40-50 mmHg – they help with severe oedema, or varicose veins, chronic venous diseases or severe post-thrombotic syndrome.

  • Heavy compression, 50-60 mmHg – this is the strongest standard compression level and is primarily used in relieving Post Thrombotic Syndrome and lymphedema.

Make sure that you get the right compression strength. For the low compression levels, you do not need a doctors prescription, However, the stronger the compression pressure make sure that you get advice from your health facility. Stronger strengths can do more harm than good if not used properly. They can constrict the veins and increase the chances of developing DVT, pooling of blood, swelling or Varicose veins.

compression sleeves for your legs

Are they good for your health?

the effectiveness of legs compression leg sleeves

Long walks and running exercises lead to build up of lactic acid. Accumulated lactic acid leads to pain in the muscles. However, when a leg compression sleeve is worn, it slows down the rate of lactic acid build up.

The enhanced circulation reduces the pain resulting from intense movement activities. Other health benefits from leg compression sleeves include; reduction of inflammation that may have been caused through injuries, compression sleeves reduce cramps on muscles, and checks tendinitis and shin splints.

Though compression sleeves do not totally do away with the need for a proper rest for an injured leg, or substitute massage, they do offer a wider range of protective capabilities. Compression sleeves cushion the lower leg from scrapes and bumps, whilst offering the unique ability of support and protection to the calf region.

Possible Contraindications

  • Dermatitis
  • Gangrene
  • Fasciitis
  • Panniculitis
  • Recent Skin Grafting

Conclusion

effects of venous insufficiency
Symptoms of venous insufficiency

Compression sleeves or stockings offer a wide variety of benefits to the healthy and the injured. The increased blood circulation will increase your performance and decrease the rate of fatigue of the muscles. It will also help you recover from an injury quicker so that you can be ready for your next activity.

Now, the question which may linger in your mind is, should I choose a compression sleeve or socks? The answer to this question depends on the injury.

If you have injured your arch, ankle or lower Achilles tendon then you will need a sock but if your injury is higher up a sleeve is fine. Also when travelling or your work entails standing for long periods you can opt to wear these socks to prevent pooling of blood. Athletes can also benefit from the sleeves and socks.