Many people go see their doctors for leg pain every year. There are several things that can ultimately be the cause of pain in your lower legs. However, poor circulation and varicose veins are the most common. One of the most common recommendations by doctors to treat poor circulation in your legs is to wear compression socks. In this article, we will discuss how compression socks help when they are worn.
What are compression socks?
Compression socks are undergarments that are designed to apply gentle amounts of pressure to the lower legs and ankles. The pressure is thought to help improve blood flow and to reduce joint and other types of swelling. There are three distinct types of compression socks:
Graduated compression stockings - Graduated compression stockings provide the maximum amount of compression at the ankles and are incrementally decreased as it goes up the leg toward the knees. Depending on the issues you have in your legs and the level of compression you need, you might need to have a doctor's prescription in order to purchase them.
Anti-embolism stockings - These types of stockings also have graduated compression levels that start strongest at the ankles and lessen as it moves up the leg toward the knees. However, these stockings are primarily intended for people who are bedridden. Since DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis is a primary concern for patients who are bedridden, doctors often prescribe them out of precaution.
Non-medical support stockings - These compression stockings are often used by a wide range of individuals who are looking for the support and athletic benefits of the improved circulation that these stockings provide. They do not require a doctor's prescription and can be found at a number of different retail stores.
How are compression socks made?
Compression socks are made from a wide range of fabrics that combine fibers from several sources in order to create the elastic effect of compression socks. Depending on the manufacturer, lycra or spandex is combined with other fibers such as microfiber, cotton, and silk to create a certain level of compression and comfort. Microfibers are the most popular and create stockings that are the most comfortable, breathable material.
Why do doctors typically recommend wearing compression socks?
It was discovered that the tight-fitting characteristic of compression socks offers very unique results on the lower legs. After numerous tests to determine the actual effectiveness with many different types of leg issues, many doctors started highly recommending compression socks as a form of treatment. Below are some of the primary reasons why doctors would recommend them to their patients.
Improves overall blood circulation
Reduces swollen legs and ankles
Helps with lymphatic drainage in the legs
Treat orthostatic hypotension (exacerbated by standing up after sitting for long periods)
To keep blood from pooling in the leg veins
What are the benefits of wearing compression socks?
While there are many different reasons why you should wear compression socks from a medical standpoint, especially if you are suffering from circulation issues in your legs. They are also really good for people with serious vein issues. Over the years it has been discovered that there are quite a few benefits to you beyond just medical to wearing compression socks. Below we have come up with a list of the benefits of wearing them.
Top 8 benefits of wearing compression socks
Revitalizes your legs - compression socks help to improve blood flow in your lower legs and this helps to give an increased amount of energy.
Keeps the water retention and swelling at bay - Poor circulation tends to lead to swelling and water retention in your legs and ankles.
Improves muscle recovery in your legs - The compression from the socks helps to reduce the stress on your muscles which is extremely important for athletes.
Decreases the achiness in your legs - Reduced blood flow in your legs can cause them to feel achy and heavy at times. The compression helps to improve the blood flow and eliminates the achiness.
Improves sleep quality - Compression socks have been shown in some instances to help with restless leg syndrome which can seriously affect your ability to get a good night's sleep.
Helps when you need to stand for a long time - Compression socks are the most effective when you are up and moving or standing. They have shown to be very helpful for people who stand for long periods of time.
Helps to improve varicose veins - Compression socks are believed to be helpful in preventing blood from pooling inside the veins in your lower leg. This causes them to bulge and gives them a twisted appearance. As the blood flow improves there is less pooling and reduces the swelled appearance.
Improves leg health - As normal blood flow is restored the overall feeling in your legs is improved.
Compression socks are a great option for most people but how do compression socks help? Basically, they help blood circulate through your body better to keep your legs feeling healthy and energized.
If you are having issues with your legs and feel that there is something going on, you should make an appointment with your primary care provider or general doctor. If they feel that you would benefit from using compression socks they should have no problem giving you a recommendation.
You can also explore the range of everyday compression socks available at Dr. Segal’s that are perfect for most people who need lighter compression.