Best Compression socks
Gone are the times when use of compression socks was limited for airplane pilots and diabetics. Now they are getting extremely popular among sports people, especially runners because of their qualities of promoting blood flow, support legs recovery after long workouts or run, restrict the formation of lactic acid etc.
What are compression socks?
Compression socks are also known as support socks. Like normal socks, these are worn on feet and legs. The difference is they help in improving blood circulation and provide support to lower legs by exerting mild pressure. Usually these are brown in color and are made up of hosiery and are stretchable. Compression socks are tightest ankles and the pressure reduces going upwards towards the knee.
How compression socks work?
Compression socks work by applying graduated pressure on lower legs. People who spend lots of their time in standing or sitting position, they are likely to get affected with leg problems such as varicose veins, thrombosis, leg cramps, edema or simple discomfort. It happens because human body pumps blood to extremities during the day including feet. People who spend most of the time in standing position may experience blood getting pooled at the feet because of gravity effect. And it in turn gives birth to various leg problems.
Compression socks exert pressure on the leg, particularly ankle, which results in narrowed veins and arteries, meaning less space for blood to get through. An increase in arterial pressure leads to more blood returned to the heart and less chances of it getting pooled in the feet.
Compression socks can help in one more important way. It provided mild support to ankles and legs just like bandage for people who are faced with the condition of twisted or sprained ankle. Compression by socks helps keep bones in line and they support the ankle joint while making small movements so that the chances of it getting twisted again are minimized. A twisted ankle is more likely to get twisted again, hence it is always advisable to have some support to avoid permanent damage in case it happened repeatedly. Compression socks provide the best support in this regard.
Who should wear compression socks?
The use of compression socks is not limited for elderly people or people having some medical problems. They are getting popular among people of all age groups due to the multiple benefits they offer. If the requirements of your job are such that you need to sit or stand for extended periods of time, compression socks are the right choice for you. If you are a sports person, runner or biker, you can attain maximum leg efficiency wearing compression socks. Not only this, compression socks also support faster leg recovery after long workouts or running sessions. These are helpful for pregnant ladies also who are facing swelling in the lower legs. They should consult their doctor before starting using compression socks. People suffering from leg problems should wear compression socks. Following are some conditions in which compression socks can help:
- Leg swelling
- Varicose veins
- Peripheral edema
- Severe venous insufficiency
Compression socks are also helpful in the prevention of post-thrombotic syndrome and deep vein thrombosis. They also help prevent the formation of blood clots to a certain extent.
In addition, following people should wear compression socks:
- Nurses: Nurses usually have long working hours, sometimes 12 hours per day. Their job requires them to be on their feet most of the time. Standing for extended period of time causes pain in foot and leg. It increases their chances of getting affected with spider veins and varicose veins. It is therefore highly advisable for nurses to initiate the use of compression socks right from the start of their career to avoid occurrence of such medical conditions.
- Frequent Travelers: People who are on the road most of the time should always wear compression socks while travelling. Sitting for prolonged hours in the cramped seat of the car or in the economy class of the airplanes can result in the formation of blood clots in legs due to inactivity of legs. Compression socks can help prevent this condition, especially when you are on a flight of 8-10 hours. As during flights, there is no chance to stop for rest or walk around. Though clots formed during travelling tend to dissolve themselves, however, sometimes the chances are they travel to other body parts causing harm.
- Sports people: Sports people are advised to use compression socks during their long workout sessions. During long hours of training, the muscles get fatigued, causing harder breathing and formation of more lactic acid in muscles. Build up of excess lactic acid causes muscle soreness. Wearing compression socks ensures increased blood flow and supply of fresh oxygen to muscles. Compression socks also help in faster muscle recovery after long workout or running sessions. They also help in prevention of shin splints.
Buying guide for compression socks
There are many varieties and sizes of compression socks available in the market and one can get confused about how to choose the right fit for him/herself. Following are some points that need to be considered:
- Size: You should refer to the measurement charts available with retailers. It greatly depends on the type of compression socks you wish to use. For example, you want knee socks or over the knee socks. Your shoe size will also be considered in selection of compression socks. Full compression pantyhouse is based on the ration between weight and height. Some other considerations include calf circumference, ankle circumference thigh circumference, calf length, thigh length.
- Material: Compression socks come in different varieties, made with different materials such as lycra, rubber, spandex etc. In case you want to use them for some medical condition, you must consult your doctor for the choice of right material for you. However, if you want to wear them for comfort or because of prolonged sitting or standing position at work, you should choose the one you are most comfortable in.
- Compression: Compression socks come in different levels of compression and the choice or right one depends on the purpose you are wearing it for. The compression level is measured in mmHg. It starts with 15-20mmHg and the highest range is 50-60mmHg. The right level of compression can be found out by consulting with some expert.