Socks; Swollen feet, ankles, and legs
If you have ever experienced swollen feet or ankles, then you already know how inconvenient and painful it can be. Swollen feet and ankles can occur intermittently in any individual and are not normally a cause for concern. They can occur if you have a medical condition, been standing for quite a while or walking for some distance. But such swelling usually reduces and the feet, ankles, or legs return back to normal in a few days. However, in some cases, the swelling might persist for longer periods.
Individuals who are not suffering from a medical condition may also wear compression socks to prevent edema or other vein related diseases. It can also improve the blood circulation from the legs to the heart.
If you are experiencing this kind of swelling, then wearing compression socks can help in reducing the swelling and ease any discomfort. Both men and women can experience feet swelling. However, in this article, we shall be looking at compression socks women.
Why the need for compression socks?
If you have spider or varicose veins, then it is likely that your doctor might prescribe compression socks to help you relieve swelling, heavy feeling, and pains in your legs. In addition, they help to prevent blood clots in persons recently injured or undergone surgery.
Users of compression stockings
Persons with medical ailments: People who are suffering from edema, diabetes, Lipodermatosclerosis, phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis or Lymphedema need to wear compression socks. Wearing these socks every day will reduce the progression of these ailments.
Athletes: Although athletes engage in energetic exercises, they may still have the need to wear compressor socks to ensure a steady flow of blood in their veins and prevent things like cramps.
Pilots, airplane crew, passengers who spend a lot of time on planes: Sitting down for long hours in a single position can lead to the deposit of blood in the legs with can, in turn, cause cramps, swelling, and pain.
Even if you do not have a medical condition, compression socks might be helpful to you if you are pregnant, feel dizzy when you stand up after sitting or lying down, if you stand most of the day – maybe at work, if you are bed-ridden or confined to bed, or if you have difficulty moving your legs.
What are compression socks?
As the name implies, compression socks are socks designed specially to provide compression therapy to your legs and feet. The stocks are elastic in nature and they apply pressure gently to your ankles and legs to facilitate an easy flow of blood from your legs to your heart. They also aid in reducing swelling and pain in the legs and ankles. They also vary in function as well as in length.
How compression socks work
Compression socks are not your normal everyday socks. These socks are made from an elastic material and are specially designed to contract your legs and ankles. They gradually apply pressure that, in turn, reduces the diameter of the blood veins. By narrowing the veins, the effectiveness of the valve and the velocity of blood flow is increased, thus pushing blood deposited at the legs because of gravity to the upper part of your body including your heart.
Different types of socks fulfill varying functions. When knee-high types are worn, they help in preventing blood clots from forming in the lower legs, assist in treating leg ulcers in addition to increasing blood circulation.
Compression socks usually apply tighter pressure at the ankles and reduce the tightness as you go up the thighs and knees. By constricting muscles, veins, and arteries, circulating blood is forced through narrower channels causing more blood to flow to the heart rather than being deposited at the feet.
Types of socks and their uses
Generally, these socks come in varying types of materials, lengths, colors, and pressure. They are available as ankle-, knee-, leg-, and thigh-length socks. There are also compression sleeves, which are the normal socks but without the feet part, and pantyhoses.
The socks are generally available in small, medium, large and extra-large sizes. Various parts of the leg, feet, heel, and toes are considered in determining these sizes. So be sure to check and confirm your size before ordering or buying.
Another crucial part of a compression sock is the pressure which it exerts on the leg. The socks are usually tighter around the ankles and lighter as you move up your legs and thighs. The pressure rating of each sock is usually stated in a range such as: low, 15 – 20 mmHg (Class 1); Medium, 20 – 30 mmHg (Class 2); or high, 30 – 40 mmHg (Class 3). The higher the range, the more pressure is exerted on your leg. You should check with your physician on which pressure is suited to your needs. If the pressure is too tight for you, the socks could reduce or cut off blood supply to your legs creating another problem.
With all that said, let’s look at three primary types of these socks:
Anti-embolism socks: This type of socks is designed for those who are unable to move around. They help to reduce deep vein thrombosis and provide gradient compression. The level of compression differs unlike in graduated stockings.
Non-medical support hosiery: These sets of socks exact the same pressure on all parts of your leg, such as flight socks or elastic support hose. They help in relieving aching and tired legs. You can get them online or off-the-counter from most pharmacies without any prescription.
Graduated compression socks: As the name implies, these socks have varying compression along its length. They exert greater pressure at the ankles and reduces in pressure as you go up the leg. They are available in specified lengths and designed to meet certain medical requirements. They are mostly suited for mobility. They are to be professionally fitted and comes in personalized options such as color, closed- or open-toe.
Graduated socks that extend up to the thigh or waist are designed to prevent orthostatic hypotension (i.e. low blood pressure that occurs and causes dizziness when you are standing up from lying down or sitting down). They also reduce blood amassing in the legs. A sock that stops just below the knew can help in curtailing swelling in the legs due to fluid buildup (peripheral edema).
Benefits of wearing compression socks
When worn correctly, wearing compression socks have the following benefits:
- They help in supporting your veins, constricting them, making blood flow through them more efficiently
- They can help in preventing venous ulcers – a condition where the pressure in a person’s lower leg is increased as a result of malfunctioning venous valves
- Helps in preventing the development of deep vein thrombosis in the legs
- Reduces swelling in the legs
- Increases effective blood circulation in the legs
- Reverses venous hypertension
- Improves lymphatic drainage
- Prevents the accumulation of blood in the veins of the leg
- Reduces pain caused by varicose or spider veins
- Reduces dizziness or light-headedness caused by orthostatic hypotension
Side-effects of wearing compression socks
Patients who have a serious vascular disease should not wear compression socks. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor before wearing one.
Having your legs squeezed all day can create problems if you do obtain the right material or the right pressure for your condition and need. Some people make react to some sock material. Some material may cause itching or even rash. It is important that you are comfortable with whatever material you choose your socks in. Also, make sure that the material “breathes” and does not suffocate your legs of air.
When the pressure of your socks is wrong, the first thing you might notice is numbness, discomfort, and pain in your legs. This might continue to sharp pain in the legs or your toes being painful, having spasms or losing sensation. A sock that is too tight can create knee pain, corns, calluses, or blisters.
At the end of the day, before you get into bed, remember to take off your socks and allows your legs and your feet to breathe and relax from all the tightness.
How to wear them and for how long
Usually, your medical doctor should give you guidelines for wearing your socks. You should adhere strictly to such instructions where given.
But regardless of whether you receive them or not, we have provided useful tips below for wearing and maintaining your socks correctly.
- Compression socks should be worn as prescribed by your doctor. They are usually worn all day, immediately you get out of bed, and taken off at night when you retire to bed
- They are generally worn on both legs, but, depending on your condition, you might wear it only on one leg
- Hold the socks at the top, roll it all the way down to the heel, putting in your foot. Push your foot all the way in and your heel in the heel of the socks
- Now unroll the socks up to your legs, making sure that it does not bunch up and there are no wrinkles. Smooth out any wrinkles and ensure that it fits comfortably.
- If you are finding it hard to put on the socks, you might want to rub some skin lotion of your legs. After it dries up, apply some cornstarch or baby powder on your legs to reduce friction between your leg and the socks and make it easier to slide the socks up to your leg.
- If necessary, you may wear a set of gloves (e.g. dishwasher gloves) to assist in smoothing out the socks and adjusting them
- Check to see if your socks are machine-washable and follow the given instructions. If they are not, handwash them each day with slightly warm water and mild soap. Ensure you have two or three pairs handy so you can interchange pairs.
- It is advisable to replace your socks at least every six months to maintain their effectiveness
- If you are experiencing any discomfort wearing your socks, contact your medical doctor immediately for advice
What to do before buying your stockings
Before getting your socks, you should check your prescription plan or the following with your healthcare insurance provider:
- Check if compression socks are covered in your plan or your medical equipment benefit offers compression stockings
- Obtain a prescription from your medical doctor
- Locate a medical accessories store that can measure your legs and get you a suitable fit
Buying Compression Socks
Comprogear is renowned for its superb quality, compression socks. At Comprogear, we do not just make a sale. We listen to and understand your needs and circumstances and present you with options that serve those needs and are also beautiful and presentable.
Our years of research and experience have led us to design suitable socks that fulfill the functions discussed in this article and avoids the side-effects explained. We can assure you that your legs will love and get used to our socks so easily.
We have our socks in five colors: onyx black, sunset stripes, mountain blue, savory blue chevrons, and red wine. They are available in the Medium (Class 2) 20 – 30 mmHg pressure range, and in four sizes (small, medium, large, and extra-large) taking into consideration the measurements of the cuff, leg, toe, instep, foot, sole, gusset and heel. These measurements ensure that our socks fit you snugly and do not create any discomfort, over-tightness or pain.
We presently offer our customers free shipping on all orders to all parts within the United States. We have 100-percent confidence in all our products that our return policy is simply this: “If you want a refund, you get it. No hassles. No whining. No corporate policy nonsense. Heck, we won’t even make you ship back the product.”
Compression socks are designed to prevent or curtail a number of medical conditions, many of which have been discussed in this article. However, compression socks are not only for people with a medical ailment. They can be worn by everyone wishing to improve blood circulation from the legs to other parts of the body including the heart. They can also prevent medical ailments from arising.
These socks come in various materials, colors, sizes, and pressure types. Although compression socks do not generally require a doctor’s prescription to purchase, we strongly recommend that you consult with your medical doctor to examine your condition and determine the type that is suited to your needs. These socks are to be worn as prescribed by your doctor or as we have enumerated in this article. When choosing a type, ensure that you do not choose a material that may cause itching or rashes. It is advisable to have at least two pairs of socks to interchange when one pair has to be washed.
At Comprogear, we stock and sell compression socks that are specially designed to address all the issues that we have discussed in this article. Buying and wearing Comprogear compression socks is a one-stop-shop for all your needs with regards to compression socks. They are affordable, attractive and fulfill the purpose for which they are designed.