Do your legs tend to feel sore after an eventful, productive day? Do you consider yourself ‘plus-sized’? Perhaps what you need are plus-sized compression socks to help you stay rejuvenated!
What are compression socks?
Compression socks, and other kinds of socks in general, are typically not one-size-fits-all.
Compression socks are specially designed to provide gentle pressure on the legs, ankles and feet to improve blood circulation. They come in various lengths, such as knee-high or thigh-high, and sizes, including plus size.
Their structural design is highly functional, including graduated compression allows for better circulation and added support and stabilization, is made of fibers which wick moisture away from the skin to the exterior of the sock, and has a cushioned heel and foot design to reduce force of impact as one’s foot hits the ground.
What types of compression socks are there?
In general, every pair of compression socks has the same purpose of putting pressure on one’s legs and feet.
Common types of compression socks, or compression stockings, include:
- Knee-high compression stockings
- Thigh-high compression stockings
- Pantyhose support hosiery
What are the benefits?
They have many benefits, from providing physical support to preventing heath issues.
Below is a list of advantages of wearing compression socks:
- Reduces and prevents foot swelling,
- Provides warmth,
- Alleviates symptoms of venous diseases and prevents medical conditions such as varicose veins, ulcerations, edema, etc.,
- Reduces muscle fatigue,
- Helps improve athletic performance, and
- Provides comfort for pregnant women,
Plus-size compression socks offer the same benefits as other support hosiery, but simply for larger legs or calves.
Just like other compression socks, they work by applying pressure to both the legs and ankles. This can help to increase the volume and the velocity of blood that flows back to the heart by reducing the diameter of the major veins.
When muscle tissues are inflamed or swell, this could be a result of extra fluids being stored in the cells.
Some parts of the body, such as the feet, ankles, and calves are tend to swell. Compression socks will help to prevent swelling by maintain proper circulation of fluids and blood flow.
Compression socks can be worn during cold conditions to keep one’s legs and feet warm. By ensuring constant blood circulation in the legs, bodily warmth will be maintained. This benefit favors individuals facing cold weather or live in cold climates.
Alleviating symptoms of venous diseases
Venous diseases such as varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins, usually the veins in the legs, begin having problems.
When this happens, blood circulates back to the veins which results in pain and inflammation in the area.
This makes the veins appear gray or green and may enlarge until they expand outwards. By wearing compression socks, these veins are given assistance to being put back in their right position, leading to an improvement in blood circulation in the area.
Reducing muscle fatigue
Legs can develop muscle fatigue when one has been standing for too long, had walked a lot, or went for a run. Muscle fatigue can be reduced when compression socks are worn.
Improving athletic performance
Compression socks help quicken an individuals’ recovery period post-workout, assist in effective removal of lactic acid, increase oxygen delivery to muscles and heart during an exercise, and reduce muscle fatigue.
Providing comfort for pregnant women
Pregnancy may cause a woman’s body to retain more fluid, which adds weight. As their body stretches, normal sized socks may no longer fit and, thus, may need to resort to plus-size or maternity socks.
Plus-size or maternity compression hosiery helps boost blood circulation and reduces fluid retention, allowing more comfort and assists in mobility. Knee-high compression socks can help relieve swelling in the calves, ankles and feet.
Who can wear plus-size compression socks?
Below is a list of individuals who can wear plus-size compression socks:
- Big and tall individuals,
- Individuals who have received prescription from their doctors for treating health issues in the legs and/or feet,
- Diabetics, and
- Pregnant women.
What should be considered before buying a pair?
Before purchasing a pair of plus-size compression socks, consider the following:
Compression socks may vary in size for men and women.
Properly-sized compression socks are crucial to ensure effectiveness. It is best to not use plus-size compression socks if these are too large; over-sized socks will not provide adequate compression. Socks that are too small could cause discomfort and restriction in blood flow.
Read more below to find out how to properly measure oneself to find the right size of compression socks.
2. Quality and durability
When choosing plus-size compression socks, it is important to select one for its quality, as ones that are made out of high-quality materials tend to be more durable.
It is recommended that one reviews companies that manufacture and sell compression socks have a positive reputation. Asides that, it would be best if a pair of compression socks have the following features:
- A comfortable top band,
- Padded at the calf and Achilles’ tendon, and
- Shock absorbent toe and heel.
3. Compression level
Compression levels have to do with the amount of pressure that is applied to your legs by the compression socks. It is measured in ‘millimeters of mercury’ (mmHg) and are divided into grades/classes/levels.
Essentially, the higher the level, the stronger the compression. By using the right level, one will achieve effective results. Below are descriptions of each compression level commonly available:
Mild compression level: 8 – 15 mmHg
- Helps to keep one’s legs healthy and energized,
- Provides quick relief for legs that are tired and achy,
- Also provides relief for minor swelling of the legs, ankles, and feet,
- Prevents leg fatigue resulting from sitting or standing for long periods, and
- Helps prevent development of varicose veins and spider veins formation.
Moderate compression level: 15 – 20 mmHg
- Highly recommended for people using thigh or knee highs support socks for the first time,
- Provides adequate compression for long distance travelers,
- Prevents and relieves minor to moderate cases of varicose and spider veins,
- Provides support for tired and aching legs, while relieving minor swelling of legs, ankles, and feet, and
- Helps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Firm compression level: 20 – 30 mmHg
- Helps in preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT),
- Relieves superficial thrombophlebitis,
- Helps in preventing and relieving moderate to severe levels of varicose veins,
- Prevents orthostatic hypotension (rapid fall in blood pressure when a person is standing),
- Treats moderate to severe lymphatic edema or edema,
- Helps to manage active ulcers and symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), and
- Great for post-sclerotherapy and post-surgical treatment to help in preventing recurrence of varicose veins and spider veins.
Extra-firm compression level: 30 – 40 mmHg
- Helps reduce symptoms of postural hypotension and orthostatic hypotension,
- Prevents deep vein thrombosis (DVT),
- Helps prevent and relieve severe varicose veins,
- Treats severe edema and lymphatic edema,
- Manages venous ulcers and symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), and
- Helps in preventing recurrence of varicose veins and spider veins during post-surgical and post-sclerotherapy treatment.
Prescription level compression: 40 – 50 mmHg
- Prescribed for venous diseases that are very serious, including acute swelling of the leg or ankle, chronic vein insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, and varicose veins.
How do I measure myself for the right compression sock size?
To get the right size, use a measuring tape to measure your thigh circumference, leg length, calf circumference and ankle circumference.
Some helpful tips include: carrying out the measurements in the morning, using a string and ruler as an alternative to a ruler, and to be precise (do not estimate).
How to Measure Knee Highs Support Hosiery
- Measure around the ankle at its narrowest point.
- Measure around the widest part of the calf.
- Measure the length from the bend of the knee to the floor.
How to Measure Thigh High and Pantyhose
- Measure around the ankle at its narrowest point.
- Measure around the widest part of the calf.
- Measure around the thigh three-finger widths down from the crease of one’s behind.
- Measure the length from the floor to one’s behind.
How long can compression socks be worn for?
Plus-size compression socks that are recommended after surgery should be worn day and night, or in accordance with a doctor’s prescription. If an individual has a medical condition that affects their blood circulation in the legs, compression socks may have to be worn continuously until the medical condition improves.
Avoid doing the following:
- Wearing the compression socks for more than twenty-four hours,
- Sleeping with compression socks on,
- Wearing a higher pressure level that is not prescribed by a doctor, and
- Wearing a pair with a compression level that is too weak or too strong.
What are the side effects of wearing them?
When compression socks are worn for the first time, it is recommended that the individual checks their legs, ankles, and feet regularly for signs of irritation or redness on the skin.
If there are noticeable changes on the skin, arising discomfort, or the appearance of swelling or calluses, it could mean one of the following:
- The compression socks are not a good fit and continuing to wear them could cause peripheral nerve damage,
- There is an allergic reaction to the sock’s material,
- An infection has developed.
Plus-size compression socks are meant for people whose legs, calves and feet are too large for regular sizes.
They work great by applying just the right amount of pressure to the legs and ankles, in which people wear them for comfort, to prevent severe medical conditions, or to perform better in sports.
Visit Comprogear’s online store to see a variety of plus-size compression socks!