Have you ever noticed runners wearing bright knee-high socks while driving down the street and wondered why do they wear them or what these socks are called? Then you’ve landed on the right page!
Here’s All You Need To Know About Compression Socks
Traditionally, compression socks are used to improve the blood circulation of legs. In ancient times, Roman soldiers often used to wrap their legs in leather straps to improve blood circulation in their legs during long marches. However, modern compression socks are designed with more sophisticated technology to provide consistent pressure in legs, allowing easy and improved blood flow back towards the heart. These stockings or socks exert more pressure near the ankle and feet area, squeezing extra to promote blood flow. Nevertheless, different types of socks exert a different amount of pressure.
The right amount of pressure of compression socks for you is determined and dependent on the underlying issue that you’re facing. Your doctor can guide and prescribe the right type of stockings for you, so it’s better to first consult a doctor. Compression socks can also have various side effects. Since they are intentionally designed to fit tightly onto your skin, it can be difficult for you to put it on. Make sure that your legs are dry and clean. Wearing compression socks that aren’t the right fit for you can cause broken skin, discomfort, skin irritation, temporary dents, and other problems, they might even damage the nerves in your legs. Thus, it is extremely important to get yourself checked with the medical experts first, to avoid such complications.
Which Compression Sock Is Right For You?
Compression socks are designed with a graduated compression technology which means that the pressure applied on your legs by these socks is greatest at the bottom area such as ankle and feet and the pressure is gradually decreased as the stockings move upwards towards your calves. This facilitates blood to be pushed back towards the heart, resulting in better flow and relieving the pain caused by poor circulation.
Compression levels of stockings are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the number, the higher will be the pressure of compression socks. Different levels are designed for different underlying purposes and are prescribed by doctors to treat certain medical conditions but compression socks can be worn just for improving the blood circulation too!
There are 5 levels of compression pressure:
- 8-15 mmHg: the lightest form of compression. It is great for energizing your legs and relief them from achy and tired legs caused by everyday activities. They also help in curing swelling as the blood circulation improves.
- 15-20 mmHg: also known as mild compression. This level provides relief from minor swelling, varicose veins, aching, and pains, especially during pregnancy. They are effective in preventing DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) that can be caused by prolonged traveling and can also be used by people who often find themselves in long-standing or sitting positions.
- 20-30 mmHg: it the most prescribed level which offers moderate compression pressure for treating a variety of mild to moderate medical conditions. It provides relief from varicose veins, DVT, edema and is referred to as Class 1 or firm compression level.
- 30-40 mmHg: also known as Class 2 compression level. It is prescribed to provide comfort in diseases such as severe edema, DVT, varicose veins and also helps in healing active venous ulcers. This level should only be worn under your doctors’ prescription and guidance.
- 40-50 mmHg: the highest level of compression. Worn only under doctors’ supervision because it is used to treat chronic venous insufficiency and PTS (Post-Thrombotic Syndrome). This is also referred to as Class 3 compression.