Compression socks will mainly help you get better blood circulation in your legs when working long hours sitting or standing.
It may also be recommended by a healthcare practitioner to help with cases like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or varicose veins. Other people like athletes can wear compression socks to improve their performance.
Simply put, to get the most out of compression socks, choosing the right type of socks and knowing how to use them is essential.
For most people, the first pair is likely to be a recommendation at a healthcare facility, and therefore choosing the correct fit may not be a problem. But if you are looking to buy them online or in a store, there are some considerations to take into account.
As such, choosing and using compression stockings is an important step in getting the most out of these socks.
Choosing compression socks
Compression stockings are designed to fit snugly on your leg and apply pressure that gently squeezes the leg and helps blood and oxygen flow.
Compression socks have more pressure at the ankle and will scale and shrink the leg to avoid countering the intention of blood flow by being too tight at one point.
- They come in different sizes and pressures. (read below)
- Compression socks offer different pressure capabilities
- It is best to seek professional advice before purchasing the first pair
Compression socks can be worn by anyone, but medical advice should be sought if they have certain medical conditions or skin infections.
What are the different types of compression socks?
We have compression socks in different sizes, lengths and compressive strengths. Choosing a particular type will mainly depend on which part of the body to wear and whether or not it has been recommended.
For the different lengths, you can get knee high socks and knee high socks. There are also tights and socks without feet (also called sleeves because they don't have a foot).
When choosing socks, having the right measurements is essential to avoid having a very tight or small pair. It could be just as bad to have big ones that don't fit and end up not serving its purpose.
A healthy person will buy socks with the lowest pressure levels, while those advised by a doctor will choose a pressure level based on the advice given.
In most cases, the specialist will choose the one that matches your specific needs. Compression levels range from less than 15mmHg to over 40mmHg, or mild to heavy compression.
Opt for a light compression when looking for socks that should give you comfort.
For DVT and other cases, go for stronger compression levels. If you've had surgery and need socks, go for anti-embolism socks. In all these cases, seek specialist help if this is your first time buying the stockings.
Where do you buy compression socks?
As stated earlier, you can buy compression socks from various places or outlets. Most people now find it easier to buy the socks online, but the first place you should be ideally is a medical facility or a store where advice and other key details can be factored into the choice. of a given sock length or strength.
You can also access over-the-counter compression socks at a drug store or pharmaceutical company. However, it is important to research additional information before purchasing from places such as online stores or pharmacies.
This information indicates whether that store, online provider, or business provides metrics or if it allows your medical insurance to pay the costs. This bit is important because while some socks cost as little as $ 10, others can cost you almost $ 100 for a pair.
Compression sock prices vary mainly due to factors like company / brand, fabric quality, length, compressive strength and purpose. The price of socks without feet or without feet will not be the same as that of a pair of custom knees or thigh high boots.
A bespoke pair is expected to be slightly more expensive, as is a pair that is aimed at helping a medical condition.
How do you wear compression socks?
The general agreement is that compression socks are beneficial and that many users get the most benefit from them when wearing them all day.
However, research has shown that more than a quarter of people using the stockings do not get the optimal benefit. And it boils down to two main reasons: It was found that these people ended up with the wrong socks or they weren't wearing them the right way.
Those affected wore socks that did not fit or were thigh height while the person would have been more comfortable in tall socks. So, before you even know how to wear compression socks, the first thing you need to do is make sure you're getting the right fit, length, and strength.
Wear your socks when you wake up and take them off at bedtime. Follow these steps when wearing your socks:
- Take the sock and turn it over, but with one hand gripping the tip of the big toe from the inside.
- Start wearing the sock by sliding your foot into the sock and pulling it up to your heel and then your leg
- Slide the sock gently down your leg, always being careful not to stretch or crease it
- As you slide it down your leg, avoid pulling as this may tear the sock or affect its fit. The pull should see you wear the sock smoothly until the end.
Once you are done, smooth it out so that it fits the leg well without any creases or creases.
Take off your compression socks
Normally you take the socks off when you are ready for a bath or shower or when you go to bed. The easiest way to take them off is to simply fold them up starting at the top, the inside tucking up to the ankle. At this point, gently push the sock off the ankle and then slide it off the foot.
You may find it difficult to slide the sock down your leg or down when you want to take them off. This, however, can be helped by having rubber gloves with you. They help with hand-sock friction, allowing you to easily wear or remove the socks.
You can also get a "storage giveA special device designed to help people easily wear their compression socks, especially in cases where the individual finds it difficult to grab the stocking and pull it up onto their leg.
Note that you can use compression socks as usual i.e. with your everyday footwear like shoes and sandals.
Things to avoid
- Pulling the stockings out too quickly and too long beyond its fit
- Fold the top up after you are done wearing the socks - this will make them too tight and counteract the desired effect. The danger is when this leads to blood circulation problems.
Once you can properly wear and remove your compression socks, the next step is to know how to take care of them.
Nowadays, many people are choosing to wear compression stockings. They are affordable, easy to access and help to fight off unpleasant symptoms of illness. These specialized elastic socks are designed to offer comfort to the wearer by applying pressure to the legs, allowing better blood circulation throughout the body.
However, those who wear compression stockings know that getting them on can be challenging. The good news is, there are easier ways to don your stockings and move forward with your day. ComproGear has put together a collection of tips and tricks to help you simplify your compression sock routine.
Before we go over how to put compression socks on, we’ll take a look at the basics : What are compression socks ? How do they work ? And what do compression hose have to offer you ?
Compression stockings are a unique type of therapeutic wear that helps to improve blood circulation in the body. These socks and stockings are often used to reduce pain or swelling in the legs.
Compression stockings can also lower your risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis ( DVT ) by exerting pressure on your legs as you wear them. This gentle pressure assists with blood flow from the legs and back to the heart, preventing the clotting and pooling of blood.
You will find compression stockings in a range of sizes and pressure levels. When shopping for your compression socks, note that mmHg is used for denoting the pressure exerted by compression stockings. A higher mmHg indicates a higher amount of pressure being applied to the legs by the compression sock. For example, 30mmHg is a higher pressure application than 15mmHg.
For those who do not have a medical diagnosis, using compression socks with a mild pressure rating will suffice. A low pressure rating can help you deal with tired legs and mild swelling.
A compression sock should offer a “snug” fit but shouldn’t be excessively tight. Before you make a purchase, take a look over the sizing chart to get an idea about which size would fit you best.
Medical grade compression socks are generally tighter in the ankle portion of the sock and gradually become less tight towards the knee. This type of compression is called graduated compression. TED socks and many varieties of compression garments use graduated compression.
You can purchase compression socks from medical equipment stores or ComproGear. If you need compression hose for medical reasons, your doctor will prescribe the right compression according to your needs and will help you order the correct size. Prices will vary according to the type of compression sock and its brand.
Those who suffer from medical conditions related to poor circulation can benefit from wearing compression stockings : Anyone recovering from varicose vein surgery. Athletes who are recovering from an injury or who are training extensively. Those who are at risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis ( DVT ), varicose veins, edema or leg ulcers. Those who spend a lot of time travelling or sitting such as pilots, frequent fliers, truck drivers, etc.
It’s a great idea to put your compression hosiery on first thing in the morning before any swelling occurs from the day’s activities. This will allow the stockings to slide on with greater ease. Alternatively, you may lay down and rest your legs on an elevated pillow for about 15 minutes to reduce swelling before donning your socks.
Your legs should also be clean and dry. Dry off completely after bathing and if it is a particularly humid day, sprinkling talc or cornstarch across the legs can help the fabric of the socks slide on smoothly.
to pull on your compression stockings with ease, place just your toes into the stocking’s toe area. The rest of the sock will be bunched up around the toes as you do this. Gradually unravel the sock upwards towards your knee. Do not crouch on the floor or bend over while standing, as this will make it difficult to sweat your compression hose on. It is best to sit in a chair while donning your socks.
Wrinkled stockings are difficult to wear. Creases in the material can apply démesurée pressure to the skin beneath them, causing discomfort or cutting off circulation. Be sure to smooth out any creases in the fabric once your socks are on. This will ensure you’re getting the optimum pressure application from your stockings. Do not fold over the top of your compression hose as this can interrupt blood flow.
If you wear open-toe compression stockings then this trick is for you. Slip a plastic bag over your foot and heel. The plastic bag’s slippery surface will help your compression hose slip onto your leg with ease. Once your sock or stocking is on, carefully sweat out the loose plastic bag through the open-toe of your stocking. You can also try using a silk foot slip to help you put on your compression socks. It works in much the same way as the plastic bag trick. All you need to do is to place your foot into the silk foot slip then sweat your pressure sock over it and onto your leg, just as you would with a regular sock.
An effective method for donning compression stockings without the hassle is to use talcum powder or cornstarch. Sprinkle some across your ankles and legs before pulling your socks on. These silky powders allow close-fitting compression garments to slide over the skin easily. Talcum powder can also help absorb excess moisture on the skin.
Applying lotion and creams to the legs will make it difficult to put your stockings on. Moisturized skin tends to stick to or grab the fabric of the socks as you attempt to sweat them on. One solution to this problem is to apply lotion before going to bed rather than in the morning. This allows enough time for the cream to absorb into your skin, leaving it smooth enough in the morning for the compression socks to slide on easily.
There are several donning tools available commercially that can help if you’re struggling to get your compression stockings on. You can purchase these tools at medical equipment or online stores. The prices will vary according to the brand. Popular donning devices include Medi Butler, Juzo Slippie Gator and Sigvaris Doff n’ Donner. These tools are ideal for elderly people or anyone with a mobility provenant that has difficulty putting on compression stockings.
Donning gloves are a great tool to help you firmly grasp your stockings without tearing them. It can be quite difficult to grab and sweat the stocking fabric with your bare hands. This is where gloves can come to the rescue. Various brands manufacture gloves that can be worn while donning compression stockings. These gloves also protect the stocking fabric, especially if you are concerned about your nails tearing the hosiery.