Compression socks are a great way to increase circulation and address complications with blood flow in the lower legs. Conditions, where blood vessels are not functioning correctly can lead to blood being trapped and resistant to flowing back to the heart. Oftentimes, this condition can lead to pronounced swelling of the veins in the lower legs. Fortunately, there is a wide range of benefits from wearing compression socks that can improve or eliminate any venous complications within the lower legs.
By applying pressure to the walls of the veins in your lower legs, they can get stronger. This frees up the valves in your veins of pre-existing pressure, allowing them to start pushing blood toward your heart.
What Do Compression Socks Help Protect Against?
One of the primary benefits of wearing compression socks is that they can help prevent or reverse the effects of edema. In simpler terms, edema translates to swelling. This ailment occurs when part of the body becomes swollen because fluid has gathered in that part of the tissue. Symptoms of edema include a heavy feeling in the legs or joints, visible swelling, pain in the surrounding area, and leaving a dent when you press against the swollen area. Edema isn't necessarily a severe illness, but if it isn't treated, it can lead to more progressive ailments. When this condition occurs, it makes it harder for the body to protect against infection and move surplus fluids out of the area where it's pooling. Compression socks can push excess fluids out of the place where it's pooling and direct it back toward the heart. This allows new blood to frequent that area and causes the swelling to go down since it isn't sedentary in one place.
2. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins start to occur when the valves of the veins are no longer working properly. When they're working correctly, blood is supposed to be able to pass through the vein and move toward the heart. After it passes through, it should close off so that the blood that just passed through doesn't flow back to where it originated. Varicose veins themselves aren't a severe condition, but if they aren't treated, they can lead to more severe health complications down the line. If they go untreated, there is a small potential that they can lead to developing blood clots or mild long term swelling, which can result in ulcers or sores. Thanks to the compression properties that compression socks offer, constant pressure helps keep blood moving so that varicose veins have less ability to become prevalent. If worn daily, they can be an effective remedy to prevent blood from pooling and keep your veins from swelling.
3. Recovery from Surgery
After intensive surgery, individuals often spend less time on their feet. This means the level of blood circulation in their body isn't as active as it would be if they were moving around more frequently. One of the risks that can occur after having a procedure like this is developing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). Additionally, if a vein is damaged during surgery or an injury, there is the potential for blood clots to form. To offset this condition, wearing compression socks can help boost circulation for the periods an individual is on their feet. Advanced evidence suggests that compression socks effectively reduce the chance of developing DVT in patients who wore compression socks post-surgery while also following additional medical protocol.
4. Standing on Your Feet for Longer Periods of Time
Many jobs, activities, or everyday routines require individuals to spend most of their day standing and on their feet. However, standing for extended periods can lead to leg fatigue and put people at risk of developing varicose veins or other vein-related complications. The graduated compression properties in compression socks can help resist gravity's downward pull and send blood back toward the heart instead of letting it pool in specific lower leg areas. Once the lower legs experience better circulation (via gradual compression), they're less likely to endure pain, swelling, and fatigue. Wearing compression socks ranging from 11 to 21 mmHg has shown to be significantly more effective for reducing swelling or eliminating the chance for it to develop when standing for more than seven hours (as opposed to not wearing compression socks).
5. Reducing Heel Pain
Heel pain can become a chronic condition that sees little to no improvement as time goes by. This usually occurs when the area around the heel becomes irritated and sore. The inflammation is what makes this sort of pain feel so excruciating. However, wearing compression socks allows people to experience better compression and improved circulation. As a result of the enhanced circulation, swelling in this area is typically reduced. In addition to providing better circulation, compression socks also offer enhanced support properties in the sole and arch of one's foot. This also keeps the foot from stretching in a manner that causes more irritation to the sensitive heel area.
6. Less Pain When Exercising
Exercises like running can place extra stress on the lower ligaments. This can generally lead to a higher likelihood of experiencing more swelling, especially within the leg veins. Apart from aiding in faster recoveries between sessions, compression socks can also reduce or alleviate symptoms of fatigue by increasing blood flow. In doing so, blood constantly moves instead of remaining static in a particular area, which could lead to pain or cause your legs to tire out quicker. Compression socks can help people experience better stability because of the pressure on the lower legs. As a result, those wearing compression socks would endure less vibration. Less vibration means less muscle pain during and after an exercise session.