All About Compression Socks
What are Compression Socks?
Compression stockings specifically 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 1950s to provide relief for tired, achy legs and to treat more serious conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis, and blood clots.
READ MORE: 5 Reasons Why You Need Compression Socks
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. The motion of expansion and contraction shunts the blood up towards the heart. The veins have a series of valves that will open and close.
As blood goes 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.
READ MORE: Which Compression Socks Are Right For You?
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. Those benefits include increased oxygen delivery, decreased lactic acid, prevention of cramps, and reduced muscle fatigue.
READ MORE: Athletic Compression Socks For Non-Athletes
Ask An Expert!
Kristin Ohm-Pedersen, B.HKin, C. Ped (C)