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    how long should you wear compression socks for swollen feet

    Reducing Swollen Feet with Compression Socks

    We’ll discuss the cause of swollen feet, factors to consider, tips for finding comfort, and more.

    June 12,2023   |    3 Mins Read


    Swollen feet can be a discomforting and sometimes alarming condition. Whether it's due to a long day on your feet, pregnancy, or an underlying medical condition, finding relief becomes a top priority. But how long should you wear compression socks for optimal results?

    This comprehensive article aims to answer that crucial question and provide you with valuable insights into the world of compression socks. 

    What Causes Swollen Feet?

    Swollen feet, also known as edema, refers to the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the feet. It is a common condition that can affect individuals of all ages and can be caused by various factors. Understanding the causes and symptoms of swollen feet is essential for effectively managing this condition and knowing how to reduce swelling in feet.

    Causes of Swollen Feet

    Swollen feet occur when excess fluid builds up in the tissues, leading to visible swelling and discomfort. Several factors can contribute to this condition, including:

    • Prolonged standing or sitting: Remaining in one position for extended periods can impede blood flow, causing fluid to accumulate in the feet and ankles.
    • Injury or trauma: Sprains, strains, fractures, or any form of foot or ankle injury can result in swelling.
    • Pregnancy: Hormonal changes, increased blood volume, and pressure from the growing uterus can lead to fluid retention and swollen feet.
    • Obesity: Carrying excess weight can put additional pressure on the veins and lead to poor circulation, resulting in swelling.
    • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can contribute to swollen feet, including heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, venous insufficiency, lymphedema, and arthritis.

    Common Medical Conditions Associated with Swollen Feet

    Swollen feet can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. It is important to be aware of these conditions to seek appropriate medical attention. Some common conditions associated with swollen feet include:

    • Venous insufficiency: This occurs when the veins in the legs and feet fail to efficiently return blood to the heart, leading to fluid accumulation and swelling.
    • Lymphedema: A condition characterized by impaired lymphatic drainage, resulting in the retention of lymph fluid and subsequent swelling.
    • Heart disease: Certain heart conditions can lead to fluid retention, causing swelling in the lower extremities.
    • Kidney or liver disease: Impaired kidney or liver function can disrupt the body's fluid balance, leading to edema in various parts of the body, including the feet.
    • Arthritis: Inflammatory arthritis conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cause swelling and stiffness in the joints, including the feet.

    It is important to note that persistent or severe swelling should not be ignored, as it may indicate an underlying health issue.

    Benefits of Compression Socks for Edema and Swelling

    compression socks for swollen feet

    Compression socks provide a wide range of advantages for individuals experiencing edema and swelling. These benefits include:

    Enhanced circulation

    Compression socks aid in boosting blood flow, facilitating the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area. This can alleviate pain and support the healing process.

    Reduced swelling

    By applying pressure to the veins and muscles, compression socks assist in expelling excess fluid from the affected area, thereby reducing swelling and discomfort.

    Improved comfort and mobility

    Compression socks can alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with edema and swelling, leading to enhanced overall comfort and mobility.

    Learn about the benefits of wearing compression socks for lymphedema.

    How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks for Swollen Feet

    You can wear compression socks daily. We recommended to start with shorter periods of wearing, such as an hour or two. Gradually increasing the duration over time can help the individual adapt until they can comfortably wear the socks throughout the entire day.

    For full details on how long you should wear compression socks, read this guide.

    Best Compression Socks for Swollen Feet and Ankles

    When it comes to choosing compression socks for swollen feet and ankles, there are several features to consider. Look for socks that offer the following:

    • Graduated Compression: Opt for socks with graduated compression, as they provide a stronger squeeze at the ankle and gradually decrease in pressure as they move up the leg. This design helps to promote better blood circulation and reduce swelling effectively.
    • Proper Fit: It is crucial to choose compression socks that fit well. Ensure they are the right size and length for your feet and legs. A proper fit ensures optimal compression and comfort.
    • Moisture-Wicking Material: Look for socks made from moisture-wicking materials such as nylon or polyester blends. These fabrics help to keep your feet dry and prevent the accumulation of sweat, reducing the risk of skin irritation and infection.
    • Breathability: Choose socks that offer breathability to prevent overheating. Look for socks with mesh panels or ventilation channels that allow air to circulate, keeping your feet cool and comfortable.
    • Durable Construction: Opt for compression socks with reinforced seams and durable construction. This ensures that the socks maintain their shape, compression level, and effectiveness over time.

    How to Use Compression Socks for Swollen Feet

    compression socks for swollen feet and ankles

    Using compression socks for swollen feet involves a simple process. You can follow these steps:

    1. Gently pull the sock over your foot until it fits snugly over the foot and heel. You can choose to do this with the stocking rolled down or folded inside out to the ankle level.
    2. Gradually pull or unroll the rest of the stocking up the leg to the desired height, smoothing it as you go. Ensure the compression sock sits comfortably without bunching or folding.
    3. Adjust the sock as needed to ensure proper compression and a comfortable fit. Make sure the sock provides adequate pressure without being too tight or restrictive.

    Expert tip:

    Apply lotion and keep your legs dry before wearing compression socks to prevent skin irritation.

    How Long Does it Take for Compression Socks to Reduce Swelling?

    The time it takes for compression socks to reduce swelling can vary depending on the individual and the severity of the swelling. 

    While some individuals may experience noticeable improvement within a few days, it may take 4 - 6 weeks of regular use to see a significant reduction in swelling. Consistency and regular use of compression socks are key to achieving the desired results.

    Expert tip:

    Put your compression socks on the first thing in the morning. This is when your legs are least swollen because it has been elevated from your night's sleep.

    Read about how long does it take to compression socks to work for different conditions.

    Swollen Feet Tips and Prevention

    In addition to wearing the best compression socks for swelling, there are several other strategies you can incorporate into your routine to effectively manage swollen feet. These strategies focus on lifestyle changes and self-care practices that can complement the benefits of compression socks.

    Regular exercise

    Engaging in regular exercise can help improve circulation and reduce fluid retention in the lower extremities. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are particularly beneficial. Consult with your healthcare professional to determine the most suitable exercise regimen for your specific condition.


    Elevating your legs is a simple yet effective way to reduce swelling in the feet. Prop up your legs on a cushion or pillow while sitting or lying down to allow gravity to assist in draining excess fluid. Aim to elevate your legs above heart level for about 15 to 20 minutes several times a day.

    Healthy diet

    Maintaining a balanced diet can contribute to overall wellness and aid in managing swollen feet. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Limit your intake of processed foods, excessive salt, and alcohol, as these can contribute to fluid retention.

    Avoid prolonged sitting or standing

    Avoid remaining in one position for long periods, whether it's sitting or standing. If you have a job that requires extended periods of sitting or standing, try to take frequent breaks and incorporate movements that promote circulation, such as stretching or walking.

    Maintain a healthy weight

    Excess weight can put additional strain on the veins and contribute to swelling in the feet. Aim to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet.

    Buying Compression Socks for Edema

    When purchasing compression socks for edema, consider brands like Koprez®. They offer medical-grade compression socks for swollen feet and ankles that can help improve circulation. They are designed to provide comfortable, graduated compression while still being breathable and durable.

    Koprez® compression socks come in a variety of sizes so you can find the best fit for your feet. With the right compression socks, you can help manage edema and reduce swelling effectively.



    • Care-Med. (n.d.). Best Compression Socks for Edema and Swelling: Improving Circulation and Reducing Discomfort. Retrieved from https://care-med.ca/best-compression-socks-for-edema-and-swelling/
    • Dunkin, M. A. (2023, March 5). Swollen Ankles and Feet. WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/swollen-ankles-and-feet
    • Pacific Vein Care. (n.d.). Compression Therapy FAQs: How Long Does It Take? Retrieved from https://pacificveincare.com/compression-therapy-faqs-how-long-does-it-take/#:~:text=However%2C%20it%20may%20take%20several,to%20six%20weeks%20to%20see.


    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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