Although swollen feet are not a great danger to your health, they can cause extreme discomfort and prevent you from carrying out day-to-day tasks.
When we sit or stand for a longer period of time, it is easy for our legs and feet to swell up and feel heavy, tense, and sometimes numb, especially towards the end of the day. Pregnancy, obesity, strenuous exercise, and air travel can also cause swollen feet and legs, while in other cases chronic diseases might be the reason behind it.
Unnatural swelling in the legs and feet is usually called edema and is a sign that the tissues in the legs accumulate blood and other fluids for various reasons. Regardless of the cause, it is good to know that this can be treated with movement, regular physical activity, and by wearing compression socks for swelling.
How Compression Socks Work
We can experience impaired blood flow as a result of prolonged sitting, standing, pregnancy, being overweight and it can also happen because of hereditary reasons. Symptoms of impaired blood flow are swollen legs, legs that feel “tired” and painful. When the blood flow deteriorates, the blood pressure in the veins increases, which can mainly be felt in the legs and feet.
There are valves inside the leg that ensure that the oxygen-poor blood flows in the direction of the heart. If the pressure in the legs becomes too high, the valves stretch out and do not close tightly, which means that the transport of blood back to the heart is impaired and you can experience tired, heavy, and swollen legs. There is a risk of developing spider veins, varicose veins, and even leg ulcers if blood circulation deteriorates.
Compression socks help move the blood in the veins by applying pressure over the ankle. The arteries that take oxygen-rich blood to your muscles can relax, so blood flows freely to the heart and thus reduces swelling in the legs. It gives a boost to the veins and pushes blood back to the heart. The legs feel more alert, more energetic and you simply have more stamina.
The effect of compression socks on blood circulation and their use is a well-documented and proven method.
Who Can Benefit From Their Use?
You don’t need to have any visual signs of vein disease to enjoy the benefits of compression therapy. Everyone can benefit from using a compression sock, making it the perfect product.
Healthy people who stand and sit a lot gain plenty from the positive effect the compression socks have on blood circulation. It has become increasingly common to use them for preventive purposes and to relieve symptoms such as leg fatigue, restless legs and to prevent blood clots when traveling.
Many professions regularly use compression socks as an important part of their professional attire. Healthcare professionals, doctors, dentists, restaurant staff, hairdressers, teachers, police officers can all be seen wearing them.
Medical studies have been done on pregnant women because it is known that pregnancy is a risk factor for varicose veins. As the blood volume expands and heart rate increases during pregnancy, the cardiovascular system works harder to continue providing nutrients and oxygen to the mother and baby.
Compression socks are a great way to support your cardiovascular system during pregnancy. Wearing these socks will reduce the discomfort as they provide external support to keep the swelling minimal.
Even athletes engage in the daily use of compression and have discovered the positive effects of this product. It helps improve the blood flow and it is believed that the faster oxygen delivery to muscle cells results in greater athletic endurance. Nowadays, compression socks are increasingly seen on both elite athletes and professional sports players.
How Do I Choose The Right Size?
There’s really not a one-size-fits-all model when it comes to choosing the right compression socks. This is why you should never choose and buy according to shoe size! Measure your ankle and calf carefully, and if you want to buy higher socks, measure your thighs too and the length of the leg.
The compression socks have a size chart where you can see what size you should have based on your measurements. It is very important to choose a sock with the right size because it determines how the pressure works!
Different brands of compression socks have different charts. This means that even if you usually have a certain size of one brand, you may need a completely different size when you buy a sock from another brand. Therefore, always measure and compare with the size chart of the current sock.
Here’s how to get used to a compression sock:
- Make sure you have a support stocking that suits you and your measurements.
- The compression sock needs to have the correct pressure.
- Learn how to put the sock on.
- Start using it from the morning.
- Use it as long as you can on the first day – then remove it.
- Try to use it a little longer the next day.
- Within a week, you and your body should become accustomed to both use and pressure effect.
Taking Care of The Compression Socks
For the compression to work properly, rinse your socks after each use. Even if you do not think they need to be washed after a day, soak them and let them dry overnight before using them again. Use standard mild detergents without any additives and never use softener or bleach. After you’re done washing them, put the socks on a towel and roll it gently to remove excess water.
Remember to never put them in the dryer. And if you wonder when is the time to throw them away? Since socks are stretched when used, the compression gradually deteriorates over time. It is usually recommended to change compression socks every three months if you use them daily.
The market has transformed the compression sock into a hyper-trendy fashion garment piece. Compression socks have come a long way and people are becoming increasingly aware of the effects and benefits of using them.
From business casual to athletic, both medical and off-the-shelf compression socks come in different materials, styles, and in all ranges of colors and patterns. Whatever you choose, be sure to pick the ones that feel good, not leaving your feet and legs to feel tight or uncomfortable.