This may surprise you, but compression socks for men are actually a great non-invasive remedy for those that suffer from puffy, swollen legs.
Compression stockings aren’t only for pregnant women, professional athletes, surgical recovery patients, and nurses- they help anyone who suffers from varicose veins or certain diseases that inhibit blood circulation in the body’s lower extremities. Even compression hosiery is worn by both men and women to improve blood circulation and prevent foot problems. However, here we’re going to focus on how men can use compression socks to get favorable results in the form of less swollen and scary-looking legs/feet.
Swollen feet and ankles can become a nightmare for anyone with a ‘nine to five job’ or shift workers who are standing (or sitting) for long periods of time. And the group that is affected the most are men that have physically demanding and challenging work routines (such as warehouses workers, factory workers, and laborers working in the construction and building industries).
Shift workers and professional pilots, athletes, and retailers also have a high risk of developing dependent edema, swollen feet, and ankles. In many instances the condition itself is not fatal or highly dangerous to the health of the person, but one of these issues can cause extreme discomfort, soreness, pain, and difficulty moving around. Sometimes swollen feet and ankles can also be a symptom of some other underlying disease like cardiovascular disease, DVT (Deep vein thrombosis), and other venous disorders (such as spider veins or blood clotting).
There are many factors that can cause a condition like this. Some of the common reasons include obesity, standing or sitting for long periods of time, hormone changes, or feet/ankle injuries. But swollen legs/poor blood circulation can also be identified by infection, venous issues, lymphatic obstruction, cirrhosis, and undesirable blood clotting.
There are a few home remedies and clinical medications that be used to treat and control swollen feet and edema. Some of them are conventional, easy treatments like elevating legs, reducing salt and sodium intake, reducing body weight, taking short breaks during work to stretch your lower extremities, magnesium supplements, and practicing compression therapy. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look into compression therapy:
Compression therapy is a natural and clinically-proven way to reduce the symptoms of edema and swollen legs. It is kind of in the wound care category, working to effectively improve blood circulation and support the blood vessels in the feet and ankles.
Compression technology is also used to treat swollen feet (and ankles), venous leg ulcers, and varicose veins, and is most beneficial for people suffering from chronic venous disorders and swollen feet.
Types of Compression Therapy
The two most common types of compression therapy are practicing the use of compression hosiery and compression bandages.
Compression hosiery includes socks or stockings, sleeves, and shorts in various lengths and sizes. These nicely-designed garments are composed of specialized elastic material or fabric designed to apply a calculated amount of pressure of the feet, ankles, calf muscle, and thighs (in the case of thigh-high stockings and pantyhose).
Compression stockings, also known as pressure stockings, are different than regular socks in they are specially-designed socks that squeeze your feet and ankles gently. They are a graduated form of regular socks, applying more pressure to your ankles and feet and then gradually reducing this pressure towards the knees.
Compression sleeves are also used to reduce feet and ankle swelling (you can also get compression sleeves for the arms). As their name suggests, sleeves are different than the socks as they lack the foot portion and only cover the shin and the calf area. However, both socks and sleeves can run as high as the knee or even up into the thigh. “Compression sleeves” are also known as “knee sleeves” to help protect the knee joint.
Compression hosiery comes in a variety of sizes, lengths, colors, and pressure. Knee-high and thigh-high stockings with 15 – 20 mm Hg compression are the most commonly used types.
Compression bandages, also known as compression wraps, are used to apply pressure to a specific area, usually limbs, ankles, or joints. They also help provide joint support caused by edema, sprains, injuries, varicose veins, swollen extremities, and muscle or tissue damage.
This kind of bandaging comes with predetermined levels of pressure and they are easy to get- you can find compression bandages at any drugstore and they are reasonably priced. They are also a part of most first aid medical kits.
Compression bandages are used by wrapping them around the affected area in a layering technique and are usually kept on until the swelling has subsided. In a lot of cases, special padding is also applied to the hurt bones and joints to ease blood circulation through the affected area.
What Is the Benefit of Using Compression Gear?
Compression gear works on a simple mechanical principle of applying pressure to a limb or feet by wrapping an elastic material or garment around it.
This simple yet effective principle of compression gear aids the body by helping blood move up the leg against the pull of gravity. This stops the pooling of blood in the lower limbs that can cause heaviness, soreness, and swelling in the feet and ankles.
The pressure applied is gradient; it decreases gradually when you move from the bottom up to the top. This means that the maximum pressure happens around the ankles, then becomes moderate at the shin and calf regions, and the compression is lightest at the knee and thigh levels.
This difference in pressure helps increase blood flow through the veins while at the same time decreasing blood volume. Another effect of this pressure is on the feet and legs, especially with the calf tissue, because it increases the drainage of fluids, improves movement, and reduces swelling and inflammation.
If you are interested in compression therapy, then the best way to start is by consulting your physician. Depending on your symptoms and/or condition, your doctor will suggest the appropriate kind of treatment.
More Benefits of Men’s Compression Stockings
Compression socks can significantly increase the quality of your health and improve your general well being. Some of the benefits that men can enjoy by regularly using compression socks include:
Preventing Swelling And Edema
Compression socks are high in reducing dependent edema and feet/ankle swelling. They are also prescribed by clinicians worldwide to control severe fluid accumulation in feet.
Although compression socks only work on the legs (or lower body of the wearer), they contribute to improving the overall blood circulation throughout the entire body. As a result, blood and the body’s lymphatic vessels do not retain any fluid in the feet and ankles.
Get Muscular Support
Muscles, joints, tendons, and bones all work together to help with movement of the human body. Therefore, compression socks can provide your muscles and joints with additional support and enhance your mobility in sports as well as in daily work routines.
Compression socks also prevent your joints and bones from misalignment while also decreasing the chances of sprain and injury.
An Improvement to Your Style
Men can make compression socks a stylish part of their attire. You can choose unique colors to wear with your work clothes, formal dresses, casual/lounge wear, and workout clothing. If you want the right design and colors, they can add to your fashion sense and make you look sleek. (Some popular colors are the solid red wine, mountain blue, or onyx black socks, or make a statement with the sunset stripes or savory blue chevrons options.)
Manage Your Medical Conditions
Compression socks are highly effective in treating and reducing the unsavory effects of edema, venitis, thrombosis, blood clotting, varicose veins, lymphatic swelling, and feet, ankles, and leg swelling.
Physicians often recommend compression socks and sleeves for mild swelling, chronic edema, and they can also heal plantar fasciitis by improving the circulation and significantly lowering the risk of leg ulcers.
Use Them As A Running Accessory
Compression socks have now become a regular part of a regular runner’s kit since they provide excellent support. Compression stockings support the constant movement of the joints and protect them from sprains or other injuries that can happen due to the intense impact.
Furthermore, runners can choose the nylon fabric that is breathable and doesn’t detain sweat. These type of compression socks are specially made for runners, often referred to as runners socks. These are popular to use in trail running, hiking, marathons, and even for a light walk in the park.
Protect Your Feet And Ankles
Compression hosiery also protects the limbs by adding an extra layer of fabric above your skin. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes and/or nerve damage, then your feet are more likely to get cuts, cracks, and infections.
These garments protect you from varying weather and keep feet at a comfy temperature. In the summers they help people avoid direct sunlight, while in the winters they prevent your feet from getting cold.
Helpful In Post-Surgical Recovery
Compression therapy has its roots in post-surgical rehabilitation when doctors realized that it is ideal for people post-surgery as it prevents strenuous physical movement that can further complicate healing, like in the case of hernias, tumors, leg or feet, and operations performed on the chest and/or pelvic region.
Compression socks keep blood steadily flowing through the legs and prevents blood vessels from developing clots despite no (or very minimal) physical activity.
For Overall Comfort And Well-Being
So you may be wondering… if you are not a pilot, cashier, runner, flight attendant, or recovering from a surgery, do you still need to wear compression socks? Absolutely. Because these socks can improve blood circulation and allow natural drainage of toxins like lactic acid from building up in your limbs.If you an average man with a healthy routine and a job, these socks can help you feel better from a long day at work and keep you comfortable
How To Choose The Right Pair
Compression stockings for men come in a variety of sizes, lengths, colors, and pressure. Compression sleeves are a lot alike but lack the closed toe “feet” part. Overall, knee-high and thigh-high stockings are the most commonly used types.
In some cases, your physician may also advise a specific size and length of compression sock to wear depending on your condition. In that case, it’s just best to follow your doctor’s advice. It is okay to wear the socks all day and take them off only at night or when taking a shower.
If you are a guy looking to buy a pair of compression socks for everyday use, keep in mind the following:
There are different categories of socks according to the pressure they apply on the leg, usually measured in mm Hg. Mm, Hg is a unit of pressure meaning “millimeters of mercury”. It’s important to choose the compression standard according to your condition and symptoms. Here are some guidelines:
- 10 – 15 mm Hg: This is a very light compression usually used by people who have minor swelling problems.
- 15 – 20 mm Hg: This range is typically used to prevent blood clots and when traveling long distances and sitting or standing for long periods of time.
- 20 – 30 mm Hg: A moderate or medium compression range of sock is ideal for swelling, pain relief, soreness, varicose veins, edema, post-surgery recovery, and for pregnant mothers. Most men also prefer this level of compression.
- 30 – 40 mm Hg: This is a high compression level that should only be used with a recommendation from your physician for certain conditions like DVT and acute cases of lymphedema.
Other types of compression socks are versions such as graduated compression socks designed for the clinical purposes, support stockings for non-medical use, and anti-embolism hosiery (to reduce the risk of Deep vein thrombosis, DVT).
Old School Basic Black
The most popular, trendy, always in color for men in compression socks is the classic black. Black colored socks will never let you down and complement almost any kind of formal or casual attire. If you think black is the color for you, get a pair online today or from a nearby drugstore.
Compression socks must fit correctly to function correctly. Therefore, get your feet and legs measured and then choose the appropriate size of your socks. This is because ill-fitted socks cannot effectively keep the fluids from pooling in your feet and make you more uncomfortable than not having them on at all.