Compression socks and hosiery are used and recommended to help alleviate several issues and can offer enormous benefits for a huge number of people. There are a wide range of benefits to compression socks, from helping to treat medical conditions to relieving pain. And the reasons for using compression socks are not just limited to the elderly either. Because of this, we want to explore the benefits of compression socks and some of the reasons to use compression socks and hosiery including some you might not have suspected.
How do compression socks work?
First, let’s get into the science of how compression socks and stockings work. Your feet and legs are the lowest part of your body and closest to the ground. Because of gravity, it can be hard for the blood to travel back up. Compression socks use a specialized weave of strong elastic to create pressure on the muscles in the legs, ankles, and feet. This serves the purpose of improving overall circulation and blood flow to your limbs and body. By increasing blood flow, more oxygen-rich blood is carried throughout the body in an efficient manner and broken-down soft tissue is then able to repair itself more quickly.
Compression levels are measured in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) and correlate to blood pressure levels. Typical compression levels can range from 10 mm Hg to 30 mm Hg, Compression products are usually made of a blend of fabric materials such as nylon and polyester. At Bayshore Medical Supply, we carry Sigvaris compression products that have a silicone band at the top to prevent them from rolling down and cutting off circulation at the knee, so they never dig into the leg.
Medical Conditions that Benefit from Compression Socks
Chronic Venous Disorders Such as Varicose Veins
Compression socks and compression tights are often a suggested treatment for those suffering from varicose veins and other chronic venous disorders. Veins do not have a pump to return blood back to the heart. Veins rely on muscle contractions to squeeze and push blood in the right direction. Veins contain a series of one-way valves to keep blood from flowing backward. Using a compression stocking, it squeezes the legs to compress veins and keep blood moving in the right direction. The squeeze is generally tighter at the ankle and gradually lessens farther up the leg.
Compression stockings can also help when one gets vein treatment. When vein treatment is done, the treatment causes scarring in the vein walls. Compression stockings compress together the vein walls, essentially healing them closed. While this is happening, compression stockings reduce the risk of developing blood clots by pushing the blood through the other veins.
Edema or Swelling
Edema is the medical term for swelling. Edema happens when your small blood vessels leak fluid into nearby tissues. This is usually caused by poor circulation. Compression products such as socks and stockings are designed to squeeze these areas to prevent the buildup of fluid in the tissue. The compression will also help increase the circulation of blood in the part of the body the product is worn on.
Venous stasis is a condition of slow blood flow in the veins, usually of the legs. Venous stasis or ulcer is a risk factor for forming blood clots in veins. It is caused by malfunctioning venous valves causing pressure in the veins to increase. These typically occur along the medial or lateral distal (lower) leg. Venous Stasis Dermatitis is caused from when that slow blood flow causes more fluid and pressure build; some of the blood leaks out of your veins and into your skin. The pressure from compression stockings will ease the blood flow allowing fluid not to pool on your legs and feet.
Lymphoedema after Surgery
When a lymph node is removed during the surgery, this may impact how fluids drain from the limbs. This can cause what is known as Lymphoedema. Compression products such as compression sleeves can help fluid return to the heart. This in turn reduces swelling and pain. It also helps prevent complications from occurring like blood clots.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in your legs. (Mayo Clinic). Deep vein thrombosis can cause leg pain or swelling as well as red or discolored skin. With compression stockings, the pressure created by the stockings pushes fluid up the leg, which allows blood to flow freely from the legs to the heart, improving blood flow, reducing pain and swelling. Compression stockings can actually help in the prevention of DVT because the pressure stops blood from pooling and clotting.
Other Reasons and Benefits of Compression Socks
The benefits mentioned above have to do with medical conditions, and many are associated with older adults. But there are situations and circumstances in which compression socks and hosiery can really improve the quality of life regardless of age and medical condition.
Pain and swelling relief from your job or career
Do you work at a place that requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time? Because of gravity and inactivity, the blood can pool in your legs, causing your legs to swell, cramp and even cause dangerous blood clots that can travel and cause all sorts of health issues. Compression socks increase the blood flow back to your heart from your legs, decreasing the swelling and other issues caused by sitting or standing too long.
Perfect for frequent flyers
If you are a frequent flyer, then you are sitting down frequently, often for long periods of time. As mentioned above, long periods of sitting can be hazardous to your legs and overall health. Compression socks and stockings are perfect for those whose work or lifestyle requires them to travel including frequent business trips, pilots, and flight attendants to name a few. Compression socks can help provide the circulation your legs need while sitting for long or frequent flight periods.
Athletic Performance and Recovery
Compression products such as compression shorts and sleeves help to enhance athletic performance and muscle recovery. Compression products can also help to reduce your muscle soreness post-workout. One of the key reasons is increased oxygen to your muscles by the compression moving your blood through the muscles. Another benefit is the extra support and improved oxygen flow the compression products give can also reduce your risk of straining a muscle causing an injury during exercise.
Post Operation Recoveries
Regardless of your age, the recovery time of different types of operations can have a person sitting or inactive for long periods of time. This again can be hazardous to your health, as well as cause pain and discomfort. In these cases, doctors and therapists will often recommend compression socks to keep the blood flowing freely in your legs and feet during long periods of inactivity.
Bayshore Medical Supply, Your Source for Compression Products
If you live in or around Southeast Houston such as Pasadena, Deer Park or Baytown, and are looking to get the benefits of compression products, Bayshore Medical Supply has you covered. We have a wide selection and carry a ton of different colors, patterns, and styles. Comfort of fit is one of our top priorities as we have had customers come to us after getting compression products elsewhere that dig into them. Our Sigvaris product line is designed for comfort. The compression stocking for example, has a silicone band at the top to prevent them from rolling down and cutting off circulation at the knee. You can call (713) 472-8585 or come into our store at 4205 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77504, to see the wide selection of compression socks and hosiery we have.