Have you by any chance heard about compression stockings? Yes. compression stockings! They are trending! Check it if you don’t believe me. They are the best things that could ever happen to your legs. Didn’t think your legs needed the extra care? Wrong. Lotions are definitely not going to cut it this time. Believe me you. This is definitely something you should jump on and get everyone you know on it too. Compression stockings or compression socks would probably add years if not decades to your legs. Keep them strong and healthy guys! There are many different types of compression stockings and today we are going to be talking about knee high compression stockings.
Introduction: Compression Stockings/Socks (Knee High)?
Let’s start with the origin of compression socks. They are medical devices invented by a German engineer, Conrad Jobst. Prior to this great invention, Jobst suffered from venous leg ulcers and realized that his legs felt better when in a pool of water. So, he worked together with Dr. Otto Gauer to create what later become the compression socks that we use today. After that, a variety of compression legwear was born and introduced to the market to cater to different types of people and different needs like compression stockings, compression sleeves, compression tights/leggings, compression shorts, compression pantyhose, etc.
What are They?
These specially made compression knee high stockings are heaven sent! They add comfort and provide compression support. This type of hosiery is snuggly yet stretchy and gently squeezes your legs. They aren’t like those suffocating corsets ladies! These stockings apply graduated compression by exerting more pressure around your ankles and less compression pressure as they move up the legs. You can easily buy them over the counter or if you were prescribed with one guess what? Your insurance might just cover it so check with your insurance company before paying. The money can go to treating yourself to a nice dinner instead! Compression knee-high stockings can go from 10 dollars to 100 dollars depending on which type you need.
They are made to not only help add comfort to your daily life but also help prevent serious medical conditions. Their main job literally is to help your blood flow better with ease. They also help lessen the pain that you might be suffering from and the swelling in your legs. Not to also mention the fact that they help reduce the chances of you getting blood clot-related problems such as deep vein thrombosis and other circulatory problems. They also come in multiple strengths and are customizable to fit your preference for different situations.
What are Compression Socks/Stockings Made of?
Compression stockings are knitted from a variety of materials like nylon, cotton, spandex, and natural rubber. Many of them consist of microfibers to create a sheer material that allows the skin to breathe in the best conditions while some premium ones have silver textile threads woven into them, which provide anti-microbial protection.
Knee high compression stockings function under the same principle of compression socks. The main difference between the two I would say is the sheerness between the two. As you can imagine, compression stockings are catered to women more than men, so they are great alternatives for women to replace the regular stockings they are wearing.
What Do Compression Stockings/Socks Do? (Health Benefits)
Compression knee-high stockings/socks exert compression pressures on your lower legs (calf, ankle, foot) to help improve your blood circulation against the pull of gravity. At the same time, they help straighten out the vein walls to a better working state. The gentle compression support applied is medically proven to be highly efficient and effective to assist the valves to function properly by opening to allow blood flow toward the heart and closing to prevent blood from flowing backward. When the valves are damaged and unhealthy, they are unable to close properly and your blood starts to doing some hip-hop freestyling up and down your vein valves. This would resort to what we call a blood clot.
Wearing Compression Socks can help accelerate blood circulation.
Blood clots are formed when the blood circulation at one part of your body is disrupted, on the surface, it looks just like an ordinary bruise. And while there is a blood clotting at a certain part of your body, what it does is making it even harder for the blood to flow back to your heart. It stops the distribution of oxygen and nutrients throughout your body.
If this condition is left untreated, they will slowly manifest into a leg disease nightmare that is a severe health concern.
Diseases such as:
- Venous reflux disease (Chronic venous insufficiency)
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Peripheral edema
Wearing them can help ease the pain and swelling in your lower legs (calf, ankle, foot) due to standing or sitting for an extended period of hours. If you find your feet and legs feeling extremely sore at the end of the day, it is because the blood circulation in your lower extremities is not flowing smoothly. That can cause your legs and feet to swell too, and this condition is called edema in the medical term. It occurs when tiny blood vessels in your body (capillaries) leak fluid. The fluid builds up in surrounding tissues, leading to swelling and the number one cause for edema is sitting or staying in one position for too long. This is why wearing compression knee high stockings/socks is highly recommended for any ordinary person as a preventive measure.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks/Compression Stockings?
- Bedridden patients or someone that is recovering from a surgery
- Mother to be
- Sports enthusiasts/Athletes of all kinds
- People whose job requires them to be on their feet all-day
- People who aren’t mobile or can’t move their legs as much
- People with unhealthy leg health such as Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), diabetes, or varicose veins
- People with obesity
- People with diabetes
- Frequent travelers
What Kind of Compression Stockings/Socks are There?
There are many options!
Knee high compression stockings are just as literal as they are. Stockings that end just below the knees. They also often come with silicone border to provide a better grip onto your skin so they won’t keep sliding down your legs (because that would be extremely annoying if you have to constantly readjust the stockings😂). Now, let’s see besides the topic we are on now which is compression knee high stockings, we also have ankle-high, thigh-high and tights too! I know! Options! Let’s look at some examples.
Compression knee high stockings with silicone border (15-20 mmHg)
Open-toe compression knee high stockings with silicone border (15-20 mmHg)
Thigh-high compression stockings with lace border (15-20 mmHg)
Open-toe thigh-high compression stockings with lace border (15-20 mmHg)
Thigh-high compression stockings with silicone border (15-20 mmHg)
Close-toe ankle compression stockings (15-20 mmHg)
Open-toe ankle compression stockings (15-20 mmHg)
Compression pantyhose (15-20 mmHg)
Open-toe compression maternity pantyhose (15-20 mmHg)
Other Types of Compression Socks/Stockings for Other Health Conditions
Thrombo-embolic deterrent (TED) hose or anti-embolism socks/stockings are designed for people who have just had surgery done or need to stay in bed for a while. If you are able to stand and walk around then graduated compression stockings are a better choice for you. If the reason for compression stockings should be medical then your doctor will measure up your legs and prescribe the right fit for you. The compression stockings should feel snug and not uncomfortably or painfully tight. Let’s look at the details of the compression therapy guide.
Compression Therapy Guide- (Essential to Health!)
They typically come in 4 different compression levels that are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and are indicated with a range of numbers like “20-30” mmHg, which means that the amount of pressure applied to your legs will not fall below 20 mmHg and not exceed 30 mmHg.
Compression level 1- Over the Counter
- For the prevention and relief of minor to moderate varicose and spider veins
- Helps relieve tired, aching legs, and minor swelling of feet, ankles, and legs
- Helps prevent varicose veins and spider veins during pregnancy
- Helps prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as Economy Class Syndrome
- Used in post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose veins and spider veins
- Ideal compression level used for those traveling long distances
This low-pressure level is suitable for everyday wear for everyone out there to help with mild swelling and fatigued legs due to long periods of standing, sitting and traveling. It is a popular choice for office workers, flight attendants, teachers, policemen, frequent travelers, etc.
Compression level 2- Medical Grade Class I
- Helps prevent and relieve moderate to severe varicose veins (also during pregnancy)
- For post-surgical and post sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins
- Helps in the treatment of moderate to severe edema or lymphatic edema
- Helps with the management of active ulcers and manifestations of Post-Thrombotic Syndromes
- Helps relieve superficial thrombophlebitis
- Helps prevent Orthostatic Hypotension (or Postural Hypotension)
- Helps prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as Economy Class Syndrome
The 20-30 mmHg level of pressure is the most widely used medical-grade because it provides competent compression to your legs without being too strong. This level is suitable for varicose veins patients, patients that are recovering from venous surgery and also pregnant women during the third trimester.
Compression level 3- Medical Grade Class II
- Helps prevent and relieve severe varicose veins
- Used in the treatment of severe edema and lymphedema
- Used in post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment to help prevent the reappearance of varicose and spider veins
- Helps reduce the symptoms of Orthostatic Hypotension (or Post-Thrombotic Syndrome)
- For the management of Venous Ulcers and manifestations of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome
- Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as Economy Class Syndrome
The 30-40 mmHg level of pressure is stronger and is recommended for moderate to severe leg health symptoms. It is great for patients with lymphedema, severe varicose veins, venous reflux disease, and deep vein thrombosis.
Compression level 4- Medical Grade Class III
- Acute leg/Ankle swelling
- Varicose veins
- Chronic vein insufficiency
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
The 40-50 mmHg level of pressure provides the strongest medical pressure level and it is not for ordinary use. It is best to consult a doctor before considering this level of compression. It is generally indicated for severe venous stasis, wound management, lymphedema.
How to Wear Compression Socks/Stockings?
It is so easy to wear! They are called stockings after all! Here’s a tip though, before you put them on rub some baby powder or talcum powder on your leg. It would help you to not tug which would make it an uncomfortable experience for you especially if you are going through some pain in the area. Make sure they lie smoothly against your skin as a folded compression stockings/socks would exert pressure on one portion of the limb, which will lead to injury.
How Long Should You Wear Them For?
Make sure they aren’t left on for too long and please don’t roll the sleeves down as it can possibly cause blood flow problems or cut off circulation like if you are using a tourniquet. If you were advised by your doctor to wear compression knee high stockings then ask them what should be your duration wear. One thing for sure though is that you should definitely take them off before you sleep. You need to be able to allow the skin of your leg some breathing time. Please don’t suffocate them!
Remember to click “view details” and look at the star ratings of the product before making the purchase online!
Also, read the product details of the compression stockings you are buying into before you make the purchase to avoid potential allergic reactions caused by the materials used in manufacturing them.
We won’t even ask if you are convinced because we know that you are probably either looking online or checking where your nearest pharmacy is. Make sure you get the right support for your legs because you can’t replace them like they are one of your doll parts. Compression legwear is so popular now that they have even made fashionable ones with cool patterns and colors for you to be able to change every other day to fit all of your style choices.
What other excuse do you have in your back pockets to not start wearing compression stockings? You have been given the tools that would be so beneficial to your daily life. We are lucky to live in an era where we have a solution for almost everything and it will all only go to waste if we don’t do anything about them. Compression knee high stockings are made for the general mass looking to wear them as a preventive measure to prevent lower limb disease nightmare and people wearing them to treat those unhealthy leg symptoms, so they are literally for everyone! Get a pair for your parents as a gift so that they can keep up with all their future grandchildren running around the park. The possibilities are endless when you have healthy strong legs to accommodate your present and your future! So, what are you waiting for?😉