The health benefits of wearing compression socks are plentiful. In this article, you will find out what makes them different from regular socks and who can benefit from wearing compression socks.
What are compression socks
The basic difference between regular socks and compression socks is that the latter is specially designed to provide a snug fit. The idea is to gently squeeze the legs in order to provide compression. They are usually tight around the ankles and get looser as they move up the leg. There are many different types available in the market. Graduated compression socks with excellence in clinical design are one of the newest Seven Minerals releases, and they are designed for both men and women.
How compression socks work
If you are wondering why you should wear compression socks, then you first need to understand how they work.
Well, we know that gravity pulls things downward. The same goes with the flow of blood. Due to gravitation force, the blood in the veins has to work against it to flow towards the heart. But, lack of movement, circulatory problems, and weakened walls of the veins in the legs (venous insufficiency) can cause the blood to pool in the veins in the lower leg. This can lead to pain and swelling in this area. It could even make you more vulnerable to venous clot formation.
Compression socks squeeze the veins and tissues in the leg thus improving the flow and making it easier for the blood to return to the heart. They also better the flow of the lymph in the legs to reduce the swelling. Improved lymph and blood flow can make you feel more comfortable and less tired. This is why most athletes and runners wear running compression socks to better their performance on the field as well as to prevent injuries.
Who should wear compression socks
The discussion above makes it abundantly clear that people with leg problems or those who are more at the risk of blood clot formations are ideal candidates for wearing compression socks.
Plenty of factors can contribute to the DVT (deep vein thrombosis) aka blood clot. Prolonged bed rest (most common after surgery), sitting for long hours, using birth control pills or undergoing HRT can increase the chances of clot formation in the leg. Additionally, certain genetic clotting disorders and inflammatory bowel disease can also increase its likelihood. Therefore, people who suspect formation of clot due to any of the above-stated reasons can wear compression socks.
Another group of individuals who stand to benefit from these socks and stocking are those with varicose veins or suffering from edema (leg swelling). People with circulatory problems and leg ulcers can also wear them to improve their conditions. Those who tend to stay on their feet a lot such as flight attendants, runners, athletes, and sports people are among the biggest users of compression stockings. Nurses too have to do a lot of walking and standing on their feet throughout the day.
Benefits of wearing compression socks
If you are someone who travels a lot around the world, has to sit through long flight hours and has certain conditions like edema or other leg problems, then wearing compression socks is good for you. Sitting for long hours in a plane can disrupt the flow of work or constrain it. Compression socks can improve the flow of blood and ensure proper circulation so you don’t feel pain or swelling.
For pregnant women
As a woman approaches third trimester in her pregnancy, the blood volume increases. Additionally, there are a lot of hormonal changes happening in the body which increases blood coagulation leading to higher possibilities of blood clotting. This is the reason pregnant women are more likely to suffer from varicose veins. Wearing compression socks for women during pregnancy can avoid that from happening.
Too much movement or exerting force on legs is just as bad as not moving them at all. This is why people who run or walk a lot often experience slight discomfort or pain in the legs due to lactic acid buildup and strain. Compression socks soothe the overworked nerves and also reduce lactic acid buildup. It betters the blood circulation throughout the veins. Wearing bad gear such as uncomfortable socks can also make ankles hurt. Uneven sock coverage can cause uneven blood flow. Running compression socks avoid all this.
Just like running, cross fitting can also cause cramping in the legs due to too much strain. Compression socks can provide relief from cramps among cross fitters the same way it does with runners and those who do too much movement.
When to wear compression socksAs such there are no rules as to when you should wear compression socks. You can wear these day in and day out. Nurses, flight attendants, and those who stand on their feet can wear them throughout the day. Athletes and runners can wear them while out for a run or during physical activities involving a lot of leg movement.