What are compression socks?
Compression socks are elastic garments worn around one’s feet with the sole purpose of providing compression.
When the feet, ankles and leg calves are compressed, the diameter of distended veins will reduce, leading to an increase in blood flow velocity. Arterial pressure will increase, causing more blood to flow back the heart with a lesser amount of blood being stored in the feet.
Doctors tend to recommend these type of socks for patients of chronic venous defects or when their blood circulation requires improvement. These socks are also commonly used by people who travel long-distance trips as they reduce the risk of leg-swelling and deep vein thrombosis.
Who are compression socks for?
1. Those with medical conditions
A pair of compression socks can work wonders for those who experience various lymphatic and venous disorders. These disorders include varicose veins, thrombosis, lymphedema, edema, and venous leg ulcers.
Depending on the specific use and design, compression socks can apply different levels of pressure to the area of the foot or leg in need of treatment.
2. Pregnant women
Pregnancy can cause changes to a woman’s body, from physical to hormonal. Certain hormonal changes can cause an increase in blood volume, placing risk of developing deep vein thrombosis which could create blood clots.
Physical changes can lead to bodily aches and swelling at the feet. Compression socks designed for pregnant women can bring ease to the body and help make one’s pregnancy more tolerable.
One of the most common side effects of diabetes is swelling in the legs, feet, and ankles. Compression socks can help diabetic patients to correct artery hardening that is sugar-induced.
4. People who remain stationary for too long
After sitting or standing in the same position for hours, one may start to notice their muscles beginning to feel strained as a result of decreased proper blood flow to the legs and feet. Compression socks can help alleviate discomfort by constantly aiding the flow of blood.
Similarly to what happens when one remains stationary for hours, traveling over long distances, whether by airplane or car, can also bring muscle aches, fatigue or strain. One’s lower extremities may also grow cold due to lack of movement and lesser blood flow to the feet.
Compression socks can provide warmth and ensure proper blood flow.
Are there any side effects to wearing compression socks?
Similar to when one does not maintain a proper posture whilst exercising or when wearing clothes that are just a little too tight, compression socks can bring discomfort to its wearer if it is not worn properly or for its intended use. Some of its side effects include the following:
A wearer can feel discomfort from compression socks if they are worn for a prolonged period of time with constant use.
2. Numbness or tingling
Unusual tingling and numbness is also known as paresthesia. It is generally referred to as the skin ‘feeling like pins and needles’ (tingling) or when a limb has ‘fallen asleep’ (numbness). This can occur as a result of wearing compression socks that are too tight, causing restriction in proper blood flow.
3. Irritation or itches
Skin irritation or itches around the area where the socks are worn occur as a result of a reaction between the person’s skin and the fiber materials of the socks or an allergy to the sock’s material. If the same pair of socks have been used repeatedly over an extended period of time, which is strongly not recommended, the accumulation of sweat, dead skin cells and dirt can also cause irritation or itches to the skin.
4. Knee discomfort
Knee-high compression socks or knee compression sleeves can alleviate joint pain in the knees, but can also bring discomfort if the wrong size is worn.
5. Spasms in the toes
When compression socks are not of the appropriate size or worn incorrectly, contractions in the foot muscles can cause an involuntarily spasm to the toes, which may cause swelling.
6. Corns and calluses
Also due to wearing compression socks that are too tight, corns and calluses, which occur due to the skin trying to protect itself against pressure and friction, may occur.
How can these side effects be prevented?
The aforementioned side effects can easily be prevented if one ensures:
- The right size of compression socks is worn,
- The instructions on how to properly wear and remove compression socks have been followed,
- The compression socks are not worn for an extended period of time,
- Each pair has been properly washed prior to usage and changed after each use.
Where can compression socks be bought?
Compression socks bring great health benefits when properly worn, are affordable and readily available.
Simply visit Comprogear’s store online for a variety of socks fit for any need!