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    The Benefits of Compression Socks You Never Knew About

    The Benefits of Compression Socks You Never Knew About

    Compression socks offer more than just comfort and style; they provide numerous health benefits, including improved blood circulation and reduced swelling, making them a must-have accessory for individuals with sedentary lifestyles or those who spend long hours on their feet. 

    june 12, 2023   |    3 Mins Read


    At first glance, compression socks may look like ordinary socks that are designed with a tighter fit. However, these therapeutic garments can have far-reaching benefits for your body that you may not know about.

    Whether you're an athlete or simply someone looking to maintain good health and prevent injury, it's worth learning more about what these special garments can offer. In this blog post, we'll delve deeper into the advantages of compression socks so that you can make an informed decision on whether they are right for you.

    When Should Compression Socks Be Used?

    Wondering when should you use compression socks

    Compression therapy is used for a variety of clinical indications, mainly related to the circulatory system. Those who are looking to prevent injury or condition-related pain, such as varicose veins:

    1. Venous Insufficiency: Chronic venous insufficiency, a condition characterized by impaired venous return, often presents with symptoms such as leg pain, swelling, and in severe cases, ulcers. Compression stockings can aid in alleviating these symptoms by promoting venous return.
    2. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Prevention: In immobile or post-operative patients, the risk of developing DVT is significantly elevated. Using anti-embolism stockings or other forms of compression therapy can help prevent the formation of these potentially dangerous clots.
    3. Post-Thrombotic Syndrome: Following an episode of DVT, some patients may develop a condition called post-thrombotic syndrome, characterized by chronic leg pain, swelling, and skin changes. Compression therapy can alleviate these symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
    4. Lymphedema: In conditions where lymphatic drainage is impaired, such as after certain cancer treatments, compression therapy can help reduce the resultant swelling.
    5. Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are dilated, tortuous veins that can cause aching, swelling, and discomfort. Compression stockings can help alleviate these symptoms.
    6. Orthostatic Hypotension: Compression stockings can also help manage orthostatic hypotension, a condition in which a significant drop in blood pressure happens upon standing, leading to symptoms like dizziness or fainting.
    7. Pregnancy leg swelling: Many women experience significant leg swelling during pregnancy. Wearing compression socks for pregnancy can help reduce this symptom.

    Compression Sock Basics and Types

    Compression socks are a special type of compression garments designed to provide graduated compression—tightest at the ankle and decreasing in pressure proximally—that helps promote blood flow in the veins and lymphatic vessels by reducing the diameter of distended veins and increasing their blood flow velocity. They socks come in different styles as well — from knee high socks to thigh-high variants.

    Below are the types of compression socks you can pick from:

    1. Anti-embolism stockings (TEDs): Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent Stockings are specially designed for the non-ambulatory or post-surgical patient to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). They are designed with gradient compression to reduce venous stasis and improve venous return, thus reducing the risk of clot formation.
    2. Graduated compression stockings: These are different from TEDs in that they're designed for the ambulatory patient, including those with chronic venous disorders like varicose veins, edema, or skin changes. Compression socks and prescription compression stockings work on the same principle of using graduated compression to reduce venous stasis and improve circulation. Mild compression is often enough for preventative measures, but stronger pressures may be required in more severe cases.
    3. Nonmedical support hosiery: These provide uniform compression at the ankles and throughout the leg. They exert less pressure than prescription compression stockings and are commonly used for relieving tired, aching legs or minor swelling.

    What are the Benefits of Compression Socks?

    There's a ton of medical-grade benefits that compression socks can bring to the table when it comes to helping with circulatory issues. The main ones are:

    1. Energizing Your Legs: Compression socks utilize a therapeutic level of tightness along your legs, enhancing blood flow and delivering increased levels of oxygen to your muscles. This not only invigorates your muscles but also amplifies energy production, giving you that much-needed vitality, especially if your daily routine involves long periods of sitting or standing all day.
    2. Reducing Swelling and Fluid Retention: Edema or fluid retention often manifests as a symptom of poor circulation. The consistent and graduated pressure exerted by compression socks effectively counters this by bolstering vein support, preventing fluids from leaking into your muscles and causing swelling. Depending on the severity of edema, different compression levels may be required, ensuring that you get the right amount of pressure where it's most needed.
    3. Alleviating Heaviness and Achiness: The enhanced circulation facilitated by compression socks not only decreases swelling but also uplifts the sensation of heaviness in your legs. They literally give your legs a gentle, comforting squeeze that stimulates movement and promotes comfort, making them an effective remedy for achy legs.
    4. Supporting Muscle Recovery: The principle of compression is a cornerstone of recovery strategies used by athletes. In fact, compression socks can alleviate muscle stress during workouts and hasten post-exercise recovery. This stems from their ability to inhibit lactic acid build-up in tired muscles, an aspect that is steadily gaining popularity among cyclists and runners.
    5. Enhancing Athletic Performance: Injury prevention is a critical aspect of any training regimen. Compression socks contribute to this by enhancing leg health, thereby improving overall training quality. Plus, the boost in oxygen delivery to the muscles can potentially amplify the athletic performance of sports enthusiasts at all levels.
    6. Promoting Better Sleep Quality: Compression socks can also play an unexpected role in promoting better sleep quality. While they're typically worn during the day and removed at night, certain studies have shown that they can moderately reduce sleep apnea and alleviate the symptoms of restless leg syndrome, both of which can significantly impact sleep quality.
    7. Improving Circulation for Prolonged Sitters or Standers: Graduated compression socks are a boon for people whose routines involve prolonged sitting or standing. By applying pressure that promotes upward blood flow, these socks effectively prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities, contributing to a more efficient circulation system.
    8. Reducing and Treating Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are often a result of venous insufficiency, where weakened or damaged valves hinder blood return from the limbs back to the heart. Compression socks are an effective non-invasive solution for this condition, as they promote better circulation and alleviate pressure on the veins.
    9. Supporting Overall Leg Health: It's clear that all these benefits work synergistically to promote overall leg health. By preventing blood pooling and enhancing circulation, compression socks can alleviate a plethora of discomforts, making them beneficial for individuals of all age groups.
    10. Providing Relief from Chronic Health Conditions: Certain health conditions such as POTS, EDS, Neuropathy, and more, can also benefit from the use of compression socks. While the specific benefit varies per condition, numerous patients vouch for the relief they find through the consistent use of compression socks. As always, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance tailored to your unique health situation.

    Is There a Downside to Wearing Compression Socks?

    Yes, there are potential downsides or risks associated with wearing compression socks. It's important to be aware of these potential issues:

    • Discomfort: Compression socks exert pressure on the legs, and at higher pressures, they can feel tight and uncomfortable for some individuals. This discomfort may be more noticeable during prolonged periods of wear or if the socks are not properly sized or fitted. Give it a few minutes to adjust and it should feel better.
    • Skin Irritation: In some cases, wearing compression socks can lead to skin irritation or damage. This can manifest as tingling, itching, redness, or even bruising. Skin irritation may occur due to factors such as an allergic reaction to the materials used in the socks or excessive friction between the socks and the skin. It's important to choose compression socks made from breathable and hypoallergenic materials and to ensure they are properly worn without folding or bunching up, as this can contribute to skin irritation.
    • Restricted Blood Flow: While compression socks are designed to promote better blood flow, they can potentially restrict blood flow instead if they are worn incorrectly or at excessive pressures. This can lead to issues such as numbness, tingling, or impaired circulation in the legs.
    • Contraindications: Compression socks may not be suitable for everyone. There are certain medical conditions, such as peripheral artery disease or certain types of skin infections, where wearing compression socks may not be recommended or require careful consideration. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting to use compression socks, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.

    How to Pick the Right Compression Socks?

    When considering the tightness of compression socks for therapeutic use, it's important to take into account individual circumstances and any existing medical conditions. Here are some additional points to consider:

    Choose the Right Compression Level: Compression socks come in different levels, and each has its specific indications:

    • 8 to 15 mmHg: Suitable for mild indications like tired legs.
    • 15 to 20 mmHg: Used for minor swelling, varicose veins, tired legs, and travel.
    • 20 to 30 mmHg: For moderate swelling, venous conditions, orthostatic hypotension, or to prevent venous ulcers.
    • 30 to 40 mmHg and above: For severe conditions like significant varicose veins, swelling, lymphedema, venous ulcers, and venous insufficiency.

    Choose the Right Size and Height: Make sure to measure your legs carefully according to the manufacturer's guide, as improper sizing can render the socks useless or even harmful. The height of the sock should cover the affected area, but also ensure it doesn't cut off circulation at the back of the knee or toes. Typically, knee-high socks should end an inch below the knee, and in case of swelling, closed-toe socks are preferable.

    Consider the Material: Look for breathable, moisture-wicking, and seamless materials to avoid skin irritation. For individuals with mobility issues, consider compression socks with a zipper for easier application.

    Look for medical-grade compression socks: Look for compression socks with clinically tested or certified grade ratings to ensure the highest quality that can stand up to your specific needs. 

    Experience a World of Difference with 

    Koprez®️ Compression Socks

    "I cannot praise compression socks enough! Ever since I started wearing them, my legs have felt lighter and so much more energized! The achiness and heaviness that used to plague me after long days on my feet have greatly diminished. Plus, I've noticed a significant reduction in the swelling around my ankles – it's like they've given my legs a new lease on life! Even the varicose veins I've been battling seem less pronounced, which has done wonders for my self-esteem. It's truly amazing how much of a difference these socks have made, not just to my leg health, but also to my overall quality of life. I would absolutely recommend compression socks to anyone in need of some leg relief – they're a total game-changer!"

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    Koprez® Knee High Compression Socks


    • Compression stockings for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in airline passengers. Retrieved from https://www.cochrane.org/CD004002/PVD_compression-stockings-preventing-deep-vein-thrombosis-dvt-airline-passengers
    • Oral Contraceptives, Hormone Replacement Therapy, and Stroke Risk. Retrieved from https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.038659
    • Wearing Compression Socks While Flying: Benefits and Side Effects. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/compression-socks-for-flying
    • How Does Airplane Travel Affect the Human Body? News-Medical.Net. Retrieved from https://www.news-medical.net/health/How-Does-Airplane-Travel-Affect-the-Human-B


    Claire Evans worked as the content marketing manager at Koprez. Claire combined a background of writing and editing, marketing, and patient education to best serve consumers, fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone who relies on the Koprez brand for helpful information.

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