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    Compression Socks for Lymphedema: What You Need to Know

    Compression Socks for Lymphedema: What You Need to Know

    This article aims to provide essential information on what you need to know about compression socks for lymphedema.

    June 19, 2023   |    4 Mins Read


    When managing lymphedema, compression socks can be a valuable and effective tool. These specially designed garments apply controlled pressure to the affected limbs, aiding in the reduction of swelling and promoting better lymphatic flow. However, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of compression socks for lymphedema to make informed decisions.

    This article aims to provide essential information on what you need to know about compression socks for lymphedema. 

    From understanding their benefits to seeking reputable brands, this guide equips individuals with the knowledge to effectively incorporate compression socks into their lymphedema management routine.

    What is Lymphedema?

    Lymphedema is a condition that occurs when the normal flow of lymph fluid is obstructed or disrupted, leading to the accumulation of excess fluid in the tissues and subsequent swelling. 

    It typically happens as a result of damage or blockage in the lymphatic system, which is responsible for transporting lymph fluid throughout the body to remove waste, toxins, and bacteria. When the lymphatic system is compromised, the fluid cannot flow properly, causing it to build up in the affected area.

    The most common areas affected by lymphedema are the arms and legs, although it can also occur in other parts of the body. The swelling can range from mild to severe, and it may cause discomfort, heaviness, or limited mobility in the affected limb.

    What Causes Lymphedema in Legs?

    There are many possible causes of lymphedema in the legs, including diseases or disorders that affect the lymphatic system. Some of the common causes include:

    • Cancer: Lymphedema in the legs can be caused by cancer when tumor growth near lymph nodes or lymph vessels blocks the normal flow of lymph fluid.
    • Radiation treatment: In some cases, radiation therapy for cancer can lead to lymphedema in the legs due to scarring and inflammation of the lymph nodes or lymph vessels.
    • Surgery: Lymphedema may occur after cancer surgery, particularly when lymph nodes are removed to check for the spread of the disease. However, not all surgeries result in lymphedema.
    • Parasitic infection: In tropical regions of developing countries, lymphedema in the legs can be caused by infection with threadlike worms that obstruct the lymph nodes, leading to fluid accumulation.
    • Inherited conditions: Inherited disorders that affect the proper development of the lymphatic system can also result in lymphedema, although this is less common compared to other causes.

    It's important to note that lymphedema can have other less common causes as well, but the aforementioned factors are the most frequently observed triggers for lymphedema in the legs.

    Are Compression Socks Good for Lymphedema?

    Yes, compression socks can be beneficial for managing lymphedema. They work by applying gentle pressure to the affected area, which helps to reduce and control the accumulation of lymph fluid. 

    Compression garments, such as socks or stockings, create external pressure on the tissues, preventing the fluid from building up and promoting its movement toward areas with better lymphatic drainage. This helps to alleviate swelling and discomfort.

    • Diminishing swelling
    • Improving lymphatic drainage
    • Boosting circulation
    • Supporting veins to reduce venous insufficiency
    • Preventing blood pooling that leads to achy and tired legs

    For a step-by-step guide on how to wear compression socks, read this guide.

    The Best Compression Level for Lymphedema in Legs

    For long-term management of lymphedema, it’s important to use compression socks that are properly fitted for your needs. As a general rule, the best compression level for lymphedema in legs is 30-40 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) or higher. 

    You can go for a lower level of compression if you have mild lymphedema or general leg edema while the highest level of compression one can tolerate is up to 60 mmHg.

    Read here to know more about how tight should compression socks be for therapeutic purposes.

    How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks for Lymphedema?

    For effective management of lymphedema, it is recommended to wear compression socks or garments on a daily basis. Put them on in the morning and wear them throughout the entire day, maintaining consistent compression. It is advisable to remove the socks before going to bed and wash them for the next day's use. Regular washing helps prevent infections caused by bacteria or fungi.

    While it is permissible to remove the compression socks when elevating your legs, it is important to keep them on when walking or sitting with your legs down. This ensures continuous support and compression to prevent fluid buildup and maintain the proper lymphatic flow throughout the day. Following these guidelines for wearing compression socks is crucial for the optimal management of lymphedema symptoms.

    Is it Bad to Wear Compression Socks at Night for Lymphedema?

    While it is generally recommended to remove compression socks at night for lymphedema, wearing them during sleep for short periods is not necessarily harmful. Wearing compression garments 24/7 can be hard on the skin, and nighttime provides an opportunity to allow the skin to breathe and apply lotion.

    However, wearing compression socks during sleep for short durations can be considered if it provides additional relief or support. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable approach for wearing compression garments based on individual needs and circumstances.

    How Do You Choose The Best Compression Socks for Lymphedema?

    When choosing compression socks for lymphedema, it is important to select a product that provides the right amount of support and comfort. When selecting compression socks for lymphedema, consider the following guidelines:

    1. Opt for medical-grade compression stockings: Choose compression socks specifically designed to increase blood flow and facilitate lymphatic fluid drainage. These medical-grade garments are typically more effective for managing lymphedema.
    2. Consult with a medical professional: Speak with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate compression level for your condition. They can guide you in selecting the right range of compression, which can vary from mild support to firm compression based on your needs.
    3. Look for graduated compression: Graduated compression socks are designed to be tighter at the ankle and gradually decrease in pressure as they move up the leg. This promotes optimal lymph flow by aiding fluid movement from the lower limbs toward the torso. Ensure the socks have this graduated compression feature.
    4. Ensure unrestricted movement and blood flow: It is important to choose compression socks that do not restrict natural body movements or interrupt blood flow to the legs and feet. The socks should fit comfortably and provide adequate compression without causing discomfort or constriction.

    By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose compression socks that effectively address your lymphedema needs.

    What Are The Other Ways to Combine with Compression Socks to Help Manage Lymphedema?

    While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are various treatment strategies that can help manage the condition and reduce its symptoms. In addition to wearing compression socks, other ways to help manage lymphedema include:


    Medications may be prescribed to address certain aspects of the condition. Antibiotics can be prescribed to reduce the risk of skin infections (cellulitis), a common complication associated with lymphedema. Having antibiotics on hand allows for prompt treatment when symptoms of infection appear.


    Specialized lymphedema therapists can provide guidance on various techniques and equipment to help reduce swelling. Examples include:

    • Exercises: Engaging in gentle muscle contractions in the affected limb can promote the movement of excess fluid out of the swollen area.
    • Manual lymph drainage: Trained therapists use a massage-like technique with very light pressure to direct trapped fluid in the swollen limb toward areas with functional lymph vessels. However, this technique should be avoided in the presence of skin infections, blood clots, or active cancer in the affected limb.

    Excisional procedures

    In more advanced stages (3, 4, or 5) of lymphedema, certain surgical procedures may be recommended:

    • Liposuction: This procedure involves the removal of affected tissue to reduce the volume of the swollen limb.
    • Charles procedure: Surgeons remove affected tissue and utilize a portion of it as skin grafts to reconstruct the area. This is a more invasive procedure typically performed for stages 4 and 5 of lymphedema.

    These additional management approaches, when combined with compression therapy and other lifestyle modifications, can help individuals with lymphedema reduce swelling, prevent complications, and improve their overall quality of life.

    Where to Buy Compression Socks for Lymphedema?

    When looking to purchase compression socks for lymphedema, there are various options available. One recommended brand is Koprez®, known for providing medical-grade compression socks. 

    Koprez® offers compression socks specifically designed to increase blood flow, facilitate lymphatic fluid drainage, and assist in managing lymphedema. These socks can be purchased through our official website.

    By opting for reputable brands like Koprez®, individuals with lymphedema can find high-quality compression socks to aid in the management of their condition. Shop today for the best compression socks for lymphedema!


    • John Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Treating Lymphedema. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/treating-lymphedema
    • Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Lymphedema. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lymphedema/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20374687
    • Mayo Clinic Staff. (n.d.). Lymphedema. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lymphedema/symptoms-causes/syc-20374682
    • Moran, M. (2020). Benefits of Compression Socks on Lymphedema. MySkineez. Retrieved


    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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