The Benefits of Compression Socks
Compression socks, also called compression stockings and support socks, are designed to provide support and increase circulation in the legs. Throughout the course of a day, gravity can cause blood to collect in the lower extremities causing leg swelling, phlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, fatigue and leg cramps. Compression stockings provide graduated pressure to the legs and feet to improve overall circulation and prevent swelling that can occur as a result of medical conditions, long periods of standing, and long distance travel.
Compression socks are often recommended by doctors for individuals with frequently swollen legs and ankles, varicose veins, insufficient circulation and thrombosis. The stockings are available in different ranges of pressure. It is important to consult with a physician about the level of pressure needed for specific conditions so the right type can be purchased and used correctly.
Compression socks provide more pressure at the ankles and gradually reduce the pressure further up the leg. This graduated compression helps the body return more blood to the heart so there is less pooling in the legs. When they were first introduced they were marketed for patients who had undergone surgery and to individuals with circulatory problems. Today they are widely used for a number of reasons.
Support stockings are recommended for passengers on long flights to prevent deep vein thrombosis, swollen legs and cramps that commonly occur during travel. During long periods of immobility when it is impossible to move about and flex the legs, blood pools in the legs and may form clots which can be life threatening. Support hosiery is useful in promoting healthy circulation and preventing circulatory problems during travel.
Some athletes wear them for additional support when jumping and running. They are also being used in the workplace by employees who are required to be on their feet for long periods each day. Although compression stockings will not prevent varicose veins, they can be beneficial in relieving swelling, aching, and heaviness in the legs. Compression stockings are available online and in drugstores.
Support socks are available in a wide variety of colors and styles for men and women. They are usually made with lycra spandex and nylon, which creates the pressure that helps weak veins return to a normal shape and allow blood to flow more efficiently. They may also have a heavily padded sole designed to absorb shock and provide a cushion for the feet. With advancement in modern technology, many styles do not appear to be support hose. In earlier days of production, they mostly came in white and were very noticeable. This caused many patients to prefer not to wear them as they should, particularly in public with shorts, skirts or dresses. Now, they blend in and are much less embarrassing for patients.