Why and When Compression Socks are Recommended

03 Sep Why and When Compression Socks are Recommended

Do You Need to Wear Compression Socks?

Do you stand on your feet all day? Do you take frequent airline flights? If your lifestyle puts you at risk for circulation problems in your legs, consider wearing compression socks.

What Are Compression Socks?

Compression socks or stockings are soft, stretchy socks that fit firmly around your knees and calves. The snug fit and stretchy material apply constant, gentle pressure on your legs. This helps the blood vessels in your legs work more efficiently. It prevents blood from pooling in your ankles and legs.

People who sit or stand for long periods of time can be at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) because they don’t get the proper circulation in their legs. Compression socks can prevent that.

You can buy compression socks over the counter, but you should use them under a doctor’s supervision. Socks prescribed by a doctor are usually better quality than the compression socks you buy yourself.

Who Should Use Compression Socks?

Anyone who can develop circulation problems should ask their podiatrist about compression socks. Athletes often wear them to support their legs during workouts.

You should consider them if you:

  • Have varicose veins.
  • Have diabetes.
  • Stand all day at work.
  • Are confined to bed.
  • Are pregnant.
  • Spend a lot of time on airplanes.
  • Have had vein disorders.

Are There Any Risks to Wearing Compression Stockings?

Although compression socks have many benefits, they can cause problems if you use them incorrectly or wear them for too many hours.

  • They can cut off your circulation. Limit the hours you wear them unless you’re on an airplane.
  • They can chafe or scrape your skin. People with sensitive skin should take extra care. Proper fit can lessen the risk of scraping or chafing.
  • To avoid these risks, wear socks fitted and prescribed by a podiatrist. Check-in with your doctor regularly to make sure the stockings are working properly.

How to Wear Compression Socks for the Best Results

Here are some tips for wearing compression socks properly.

  • Get them fitted by a professional. If your weight changes, get them refitted.
  • Check your skin regularly for scrapes, chafes, and redness.
  • Hand wash your stockings. Hang them to dry to avoid stretching, shrinking, or changes to the fabric.
  • Change them daily.
  • Replace them when they become worn out.
  • Don’t wear them to sleep unless your doctor recommends it.

Special Rules for Airline Travel

The risks of developing DVT are especially high if you spend a lot of time on airline flights. Many people have suffered life-threatening pulmonary embolisms after developing DVT on an airline flight. If you’re a frequent flier, pilot, or flight attendant, ask your doctor about compression socks.

Follow these tips to avoid a DVT:

  • Keep your feet elevated whenever possible.
  • Try to move around the cabin.
  • Keep hydrated.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Wear compression stockings for the entire flight.
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise before your flight.

Contact Shuman Podiatry for Compression Stockings

If you need help with the circulation in your legs, talk to Shuman Podiatry & Sports Medicine. We can prescribe compression socks, custom orthotics, and anything else your feet need. Contact us today.

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