Have you ever gone to work in the morning, feeling like you can conquer the world, but when you reach home at the end of the day, your feet and legs are achy and swollen as big as an elephant’s legs?
This ‘bloating’ or ‘swelling’ is called edema and is a quite common health issue.
This article aims to address how wearing compression socks can prevent and treat achy, swollen legs and feet and keeping edema away.
What is Edema?
Edema is a health condition in which a body part swell due to a number of reasons, such as inflammation, excessive fluid accumulation, or injuries.
This swelling can occur in any part of the body but the lower legs are the most common affected. When edema occurs due to excessive water retention, this means fluid builds up in the interstitial space surrounding the blood vessels.
When the legs swell, your ankles and feet can be affected as well. The surface of the skin may appear ‘shiny’ because of the fluid trapped, or fluid build-up, in the underlying body tissues beneath the skin.
Two Types of Edema
Pedal and peripheral are the two types of edema that most commonly cause swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet.
Both forms of edema can make it difficult to walk and wear shoes. When the skin is pressed, a pit or indentation in the swollen skin may appear.
Pedal edema may be due to short-term medical conditions, a venous or lymphatic obstruction, or a symptom of an underlying disease.
Peripheral edema results from excess fluid diffused into tissues from the peripheral vascular system.
What Causes Edema?
Edema is mainly caused by poor blood or lymphatic circulation.
Sitting or standing for too long can cause poor blood circulation and, thus, increasing the risk of edema occurring.
Malnutrition, low plasma protein, and renal and endocrine regulation disorders are other causes.
Edema is also common in individuals with congestive heart failure, liver and kidney disease, nutritional deficiencies and pregnant women, especially during the third trimester. They can also occur following an injury, e.g. bumping into something or spraining an ankle. That is because tissue fluid builds in the injured area to help the healing process. As the healing progresses, the excess fluid will slowly leave the body part and the swelling will go down.
Who is at Risk of Edema?
As previously mentioned, standing or sitting for too long can increase the risk of edema, but a lot of occupations require an individual to stand or sit for many hours a day, such as:
- Office workers,
- Security guards,
- And so on.
How can Edema be Prevented and Treated?
Let’s talk about Compression Socks for Edema.
Wearing Compression Socks or Stockings
Compression socks, or stockings, are medical devices created to prevent and treat the legs, ankles, and feet with poor blood circulation.
How do Compression Socks or Stockings Work?
There is a type of compression available called graduated compression, in which the pressure exerted is the strongest around the ankle and decreases higher up, which could be up until the calf, knee or thigh, depending on what length of compression socks, or stockings, is worn. This graduated compression is highly efficient in handling poor circulation and relieving discomfort.
When Should Compression Socks or Stockings be Worn?
Wearing compression socks, or stockings, is the most time-efficient way of maintaining health legs and feet every day.
They look like your regular socks, or stockings, that can be worn daily. Since many occupations require individuals to be on their feet or sit for a prolonged amount of time, it is recommended to wear them regularly.
Although wearing compression socks, or stockings, is great for preventing and treating edema, there is a risk from overusing them. A standard 8-10 hours of wear on a daily basis is more than sufficient, as any more than that may cause discomfort. They should also not be worn overnight while sleeping.
Choosing the Right Compression Pressure Level
Choosing the compression leg wear with the right compression pressure level is important to effectively prevent and treat edema.
Compression socks with either a pressure level of 8-15 mmH or 15-20 mmHg (read as ‘millimeter of mercury’) exert light to moderate compression pressure on the legs, making them suitable for edema prevention and treatment and a great introduction to someone who has never worn compression leg wear before. Compression hosiery at this level can be worn daily.
Consult a doctor if you are unsure of which compression pressure level you should go for before purchasing compression socks.
Any compression pressure higher than 20 mmHg is considered as medical-grade and are used to treat more severe leg conditions. Compression pressure above 40 mmHg is considered very high and needs a doctor’s prescription in order to be worn.
For a more detailed compression therapy guide, click on this link.
No More Aching and Swelling in the Legs and Feet!
Edema is not a severe health condition but can bring discomfort that affects our day-to-day life if left untreated.
Getting a pair of compression socks, or stockings, is a great solution for treating edema.
We want to be part of your journey to better leg health!
Unsure of where to purchase compression socks? Visit our site ComproGear and buy a pair today!
All our compression socks are knitted with high-quality materials and we have a 100% money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with your purchase.
What are you waiting for? Head over and browse our amazing socks collection now!