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How Do Compression Socks Work? – (All You Need to Know!)

The wearing of Compression socks to improve one’s healthy living or wellness and aiding medical treatments have been in existence for a while. It dates back to the time when the Roman soldiers would wrap their legs using leather straps to help improve blood circulation, especially for long marches. Today, they are used for various medical reasons as they help prevent several conditions.

Knee-high colored compacting hose

Modern compression socks have more sophisticated designs that are intended for a variety of reasons. More people from different walks of life wear it to help prevent the risk of blood clots forming in their legs. People who use compression stockings include flight attendants, nurses, pilots, athletes, pregnant women, and those recovering from surgery.

Consequences of Reduced Lifeblood Flow in the Limbs

Understanding how compression socks work requires that we first learn a little about how blood circulates in your legs. Scientifically speaking, the one-way vascular system is how the body transports blood to the rest of the body, including your legs, this process is what is known as circulation. So, getting good medical help either from the clinic or pharmacy on how to use these stockings is important and will help prevent any unforeseen challenges that can pose a threat to your health.

The importance of blood circulation can’t be overemphasized because it is a healthy and natural process that allows your body to function properly. Circulation of blood to your legs and feet provide a constant supply of nutrients and oxygen to all the cells. Another critical factor is the removal of waste from different parts of the body to maintain a healthy system.

reduced lifeblood flow in the blood vessels

The restriction of blood flow to certain parts of the body is harmful and can lead to severe health conditions. Focusing specifically on the legs, poor circulation can cause the stiffening of the blood vessels, which can be very painful. The following are symptoms associated with poor blood circulation in your legs.

Numbness and Tingling Sensation

This is one of the common signs to watch out for, which indicates your legs are not receiving enough oxygen and nutrients. When blood is unable to reach parts of the legs in the required quantities, then you might also feel like being poked with pins and needles.


Sometimes fluid accumulates in the legs of patients, a condition most common in pregnant women. This condition usually becomes worse as the expectant woman gets closer to her due date. If nothing is done to ease the situation, then the condition can be very uncomfortable for the mother to be.

Leg Ulcers

Leg ulcers are quite noticeable, and as the name suggests, these are open wounds that appear in different parts of the leg. They develop when blood accumulates in the veins of the legs hence causing swelling under the skin.

effects of reduced blood flow include varicose veins

Varicose veins

Restricted blood flow results in the visibility of the varicose veins just as in deep vein thrombosis. These veins make it difficult for blood to go back to the heart for purification. Varicose veins can cause other symptoms as well, such as itchiness, pain in the legs, veins that seem knotted, and leg heaviness. It is important to note that varicose veins are prevalent among individuals who stand for long hours.

Blood Clots

The existence of a clot in the blood vessel is a severe medical condition that, if left untreated, can be fatal. A clot prevents blood from flowing adequately to other organs. Apart from the pain caused by a blood clot, if it travels from the legs to other parts of the body, you can develop an embolism in the arteries, a heart attack or a stroke.

What Do These Socks Do?

The blood in your veins has to go against gravity by flowing back to the heart, where it is replenished with oxygen and nutrients. Anything that restricts the flow of blood, such as week wall linings of blood vessels, injury, or lack movement, causes the blood to pool, which leads to several symptoms mentioned above.

Compression stockings are quite helpful in relieving the symptoms associated with restricted blood circulation. They help squeeze the wall of the veins and the leg tissues to push up blood in the veins to go to the heart. They also help with the flow of the lymph fluid, which provides moisture content to the cells found in the legs. This helps with the pooling of the fluid, especially for pregnant women, as it reduces the swelling of the tissues. 

The socks provide general healthy living comfort even for wearers who don’t have medical conditions. These socks are simply worn to reduce stress on the feet when working out or traveling. This means that anyone can wear them as they go about their busy day.

Are Compression Stockings for Everyone?

Generally, compression socks are safe as they have numerous benefits such as enabling one to healthy living if worn correctly. Knee-high stockings of 20 mmHg -30 mmHg are among the various types of compression socks popular among users. 

There are, however, some groups of people who shouldn’t use it, and they include those with peripheral neuropathy or conditions that affect skin sensations or fragile skin. It is advised that you consult your healthcare practitioner if you have a medical condition. You will be informed of the best compression stockings to get that suits your situation. 

What’s so Special About The Above-Knee 20 – 30mmHg Hose?

This level of compression stockings is the most commonly prescribed as they provide moderate compression while treating different moderate conditions. They are mostly known as firm compression or class I.

Black color type of above-knee hose for men

These socks are quite firm and offer a number of benefits such as the prevention of visibility of varicose veins and spider veins. This prevents and relieves venous problems, including swelling among expectant women. Other severe conditions prevented by 20 mmHg – 30 mmHg stockings include deep vein thrombosis, superficial thrombophlebitis, and formation of blood clots.

Other types of compression levels available include

  • 8 mmHg – 15 mmHg
  • 15 mmHg – 20 mmHg
  • 30 mmHg – 40 mmHg
  • 40 mmHg – 50 mmHg

It is important to note that compression therapy socks are mostly worn in the morning before swelling in the legs occur and then preferably removed at night. When shopping for the best compression socks in the market, it is best to have accurate measurements of your legs first to prevent buying products that are either too large or too small hence ineffective. 

Is There A Right Way To Use This Hose On?

The right way to wear your compression socks begins with finding the right size. You can do that by measuring your ankle, followed by the largest part of your calf and then the length of your legs. You can then place your measurements beside the manufacturer’s chart to decide on the most suitable size.

They are designed to be tight, which is why they are sometimes a bit difficult to put on. You should always ensure that your legs are dry and clean before putting on the socks. This means that you should wait for any ointments to dry first before wearing it.

Wearing your hose involves the following steps;
  • Hold the compression stocking, then turn the upper section inside out and place your foot inside.
  • Once the toe is in the sock, slowly slide the sock over your leg until it reaches the knee.
  • Gently sliding the sock up your leg prevents tears and overstretching.
  • If you experience difficulty sliding the stocking up your leg then rubber gloves can be handy. The gloves help by creating resistance, which makes it easier to put on the socks.
  • Once you are done for the day, then you can gently remove the hose by folding it gently downwards until you reach the ankle.
  • You can use your thumb to remove the stocking from your heel.
  • Taking proper care of your socks ensures that they remain effective over a long period. It is recommended that you wash your new pair of socks before wearing them. This makes the fabric more elastic hence easier to put on. 
  • Wear your compression stockings as you begin the day. When you wake up, your legs are usually less swollen, meaning that wearing the socks will be easier. Kickstart your day on a high note by preparing your legs to take on the day.
  • Enjoy the day with your stocking on the entire time as you go about your activities. It will help with proper blood flow all day long.
  • You can remove the socks as you retire to bed unless your doctor instructs otherwise. Note also that you should remove the socks before jumping into the shower.
  • Replace your compression socks regularly. Wearing it most of the time wears it out over a particular period.
  • To ensure that your socks are effective, you should replace them every 3 to 6 months. Also, replace them if you notice any holes or if it is overstretched.
  • Lastly, wash your socks after each use. You can hand wash them in cool water and then allow them to dry. Taking proper care of your socks will enable you to get the most out of them.