Last Updated February 11, 2020
We have all encountered swollen and achy feet in our lives. This happens because we spend too much time on our feet. We weight too much, we eat the wrong foods or if we have a specific disease. There are many ways to counter swollen and aching feet and pressure socks are definitely one of the best. These medical devices offer you support, and they help the feet have normal blood flow. But what happens when they start to hurt? Is it normal, should I endure it? Definitely not. Let’s discuss a bit more about compression stockings and see how you get the most out of them while still feeling comfortable.
What are the pressure socks?
Pressure socks are basically a medical device that looks like regular socks but has special characteristics. These socks form a graduate compression from your ankle to the knee or thigh, depending on how long they are. They are used in many medical conditions or by people who use their feet a lot and want to avoid swelling and pain.
Compression stockings are made from a special material that creates a graduated compression in order to keep the blood flowing normally in your feet and the venous drainage in the normal parameters. The material is stretchy and breathable, and your skin should not feel suffocated by them.
How do they work?
As we mentioned before, compression socks have as a main characteristic the graduate compression. This compression basically mimics the normal difference in blood pressure between the foot, ankle, calf, and thigh. This way, these socks are able to push the venous blood up from your lower limbs to the heart and lungs in order to get in oxygenated and sent back in the bloodstream. This blood circuit is vital in order to make sure that all the tissues receive enough oxygen and that they are properly drained.
These socks are a great help when you notice that your feet start swelling. This can happen for a multitude of reasons. Pregnant women can testify that the third trimester of pregnancy is full of swollen and aching feet. This happens because the weight of the baby prevents the blood from properly coming back to the heart. The same thing happens in the case of obese people. Other conditions that cause swollen feet are heart failure, liver failure, kidney failure, and venous insufficiency.
In all these conditions, the blood spends a lot of time not moving properly in your vessels. This leads to the effusion of the liquid found in the blood in the tissue. Finally, this will lead to swollen and aching feet. There are also many people like the medical staff or other professions that spend hours and hours on their feet, and this can also lead to swollen feet.
Should they hurt?
As a simple answer: no. Compression socks are notorious for many things like crazy patterns, putting them on hard, and so on, but they definitely should not hurt. No matter if we are talking about skin rash, numbness, or pure pain, these symptoms should not appear while wearing them. These are all symptoms that the socks you are wearing are not made for you.
They may be the wrong material
If you experience a rash or skin itchiness while wearing them, it may mean that you are allergic to the material. This is not a common encounter, but it is very serious. After wearing your pressure socks for a while, if you notice a burning sensation, itchiness, skin rash, or any other type of allergic reaction, you should definitely take them off.
The pressure socks companies use many types of materials, and you will definitely be able to find the best one for you, even if you had an allergic reaction to the first one. Don’t forget that these socks can increase your quality of life, and, just like any other medical device, they can have allergic side effects.
They may be the wrong size
Unlike regular socks, pressure stockings take many measurements into account when labeling a pair S, M, L, and so on. The shoe size, the diameter of the ankle, the diameter of the calf and thigh, and the length of your legs are just some of the parameters takes into consideration when calculating the size. Over-the-counter socks are very easy to find, but you should ask your physician for your measurements in order to get the best pair.
If the socks are too large, they will start falling down. This will cause creasing that can prove painful, especially if you are wearing thigh clothes. Also, if they are too large, they will have virtually no anti-swelling effect, and you will not notice any improvement. The socks should follow your curves and anatomy and look like a second skin. If you notice bumps or creases, it may mean that they are too big.
If the pressure socks are too tight, they may actually hurt. Starting from a tingling and numb sensation and ending with full-blown pain, compression stockings that are too small is a true nightmare. And in fact, they don’t help your feet at all, and they cut the blood supply to many tissues. As a tip, if you notice that it is almost impossible to put on your pressure socks, it may mean that they are too tight. Compression stockings are notorious for being hard to put on, but if they act too stubborn, it may mean that they are too small.
They may be the wrong pressure range
Compression socks come in many variations, and the pressure range is one of them. The most popular ones are in the 20-30 mmHg compression range, and they work for most of the affections mentioned before. The lowest pressure that you will find over-the-counter is 15 mmHg and the highest 50 mmHg. Even though it may seem like a great idea to get a bigger pressure, it may actually prove counterproductive.
Before buying a pair, besides the measurements, you should also ask your physician for the pressure range your socks should have. This way, you will get the product your feet really need, and you will get all the benefits of compression socks.
You need to wash them more often
Just like regular socks, they should be washed daily. If you are a person that needs to wear them every day, you should opt for buying two pairs from the start and switch them daily. Not washing your socks can lead to skin rashes or even fungus. Remember, the stretch and compression of these socks are mainly given by synthetic materials that can retain moisture.
In order to avoid all the unpleasant skin rashes and fungus, you should wash your socks every day and wear them when they have dried completely.
Pressure socks are a medical device that is easy o find, simple to wear, and has little to no side effects. They should not hurt, and it is advised to talk to your physician before purchasing a pair in order to make sure that you choose the right length, compression range, and you wear in a manner that will help you. If you have unpleasant symptoms while wearing them, you should consult your physician and pharmacist because most of the cases, that is not the right pair for you.
They are going to offer you lots of comfort while wearing them if they are the right size and the right pressure. They can prevent feet swelling during pregnancy, during long hours of standing up or if you have a specific pathology that leads to swollen feet. They will make your feet feel healthy and light if they are selected and worn correctly.