All About Compression Socks
What are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are designed specifically to help push blood up the legs and towards the heart. They come in all shapes and sizes, from knee-highs and thigh-highs to full or maternity pantyhose.
These socks are graduated, meaning there is higher pressure at the ankle that becomes gradually less at the knee and up into the thigh.
Compression therapy has been used since the 1950’s to provide relief for tired, achy legs and to treat more serious conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, and blood clots.
Today, compression socks offer a variety of benefits for people who work long hours on their feet, travel often, or sit for extended periods of time.
Common Conditions For Compression Therapy Treatment
One of the common use of compression therapy is for treating varicose veins and venous insufficiency.
The calf muscle expands and contracts as one walks or runs, and this expansion/contraction shunts the blood up towards the heart. The veins have a series of valves that will open and close.
As blood is shunted up to the heart, the valves will close behind to prevent the blood from backtracking (venous reflux). When this system breaks down, varicose veins start to develop.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks?
If you sit or stand for long periods of time, you can be at risk of developing varicose veins.
Athletes also wear compression socks or sleeves because of the benefits to performance, including increased oxygen delivery, decreased lactic acid, prevention of cramps, and reduced muscle fatigue.
Ask An Expert!
If you have any questions regarding compression socks, either for athletics, long flights, or for medical needs, please talk to a Fitting Expert at one of our Kintec locations or speak with your doctor. See our selection of performance compressions socks online!
Kristin Ohm-Pedersen, B.HKin, C. Ped (C)