Compression socks have many great health benefits that not only athletes can benefit from. In this post, you will find out what compression socks are, why they should be used and which are the best compression socks that we recommend. We even have a video that you can watch that will help you learn even more about compression socks and how they truly work.
Many people can benefit from wearing compression socks. Most don’t realize it. Compression socks are not exactly a clothing item you would think about, but perhaps you should. The healing properties behind compression garments need to come to the forefront of good health practices.
Every individual can take advantage of compression socks, as they provide exceptional relief and protection for those who may be at risk for more serious health conditions. This applies to you if work means sitting or standing for long periods of time.
In order to understand the detrimental health value of compression socks or stockings, we have devised a comprehensive in-depth look at this therapy. Using compression therapy is one way to take the upper hand on well-being. We have also included where to find the best compression socks in 2016. If you are ready to find much-needed relief for your leg or foot problems, then continue reading.
#1 Compression Socks On the Market
If you are on your feet for more than five hours a day then PrimeCompression’s Everyday compression socks is a must. These terrific socks don’t have the world’s fanciest design but they are glorious to wear because they greatly reduce any aches and pains that you might experience and they greatly improve your health in general. These socks have a 5-10mmHG which is tight enough to provide medical benefits, yet loose enough to enable you to move around and feel snug and free all day long. The tight fitting socks are made of 94% Nylon, 4% Lycra and 2% Spandex which greatly contributes to their high durability and their terrific benefits. They are incredibly light and available in adult sizes of small medium and large and have a black design with white tippy toes and soles while the words Prime acts as a signature of these high quality socks. These everyday compression socks have many positive benefits to both men and women such as;
Reduced swelling in your feet which is especially good for seniors, pregnant women that suffer from preeclampsia, athletes and basically anyone that moves around on their feet all day
Reduced pains and aches in lower legs, toes, heels and ankles
Greatly improved blood circulation to your feet and toes
Prevention of painful spider veins and varicose veins
Improved regulation of your body temperature throughout the day
Reduced chances of blood clots after medical procedures or sports injuries
These socks are suitable for anyone that lives an active live and especially for those that follow active careers that has them running and moving about all day. Nurses, construction workers, travelers, miners, athletes, waitresses, chefs and basically anyone that have a tough on the go job and even those with medical conditions like diabetes, peripheral artery disease or even arthritis and gout can benefit from these socks.
What is Compression Therapy?
Compression therapy is specially designed garments to manage blood circulation in the feet and legs. Wearing these invigorate the legs by oxygenating the blood, boosting the nutrients to that area of the body, reduce pain and weakness, prevent swelling, and help to regenerate damaged tissues.
These socks work by gently squeezing gradual compression to the leg, adding pressure to the tissue directly under the skin. The gradual amount of squeezing decreases the further the sock or stocking goes up the leg. By putting pressure on the subcutaneous tissue, excess fluid is encouraged to go back into the capillaries. Compression therapy also prevents superficial veins from causing to overfill with blood by keeping the blood flowing forward.
How Compression Socks Work?
Best Compression Socks Chart
Dr. Motion Knee High Socks
Zensah Running Socks
87% Microfiber Nylon, 13% Elastane
58% Nylon, 38% Polyester and 4% Lycra Spandex
90% Polyamide, 5% Nylon and 5% Elastane
Who Benefits from Compression Therapy?
Candidates for compression therapy could be about anyone. Some of the main candidates are those who suffer venous diseases. The medical process of getting chronic venous disease relief allows compression socks to prompt valves to work efficiently. If you recognize yourself in any of the following lists, try using compression therapy as a way to alleviate the painful symptoms:
- Leg injuries
- Blood clots in veins
- Prolonged periods with little or no movement, this includes long periods of sitting or standing.
- Obesity or excessive weight gain
- Varicose 'spider' veins
- Circulation problems due to aging
- Running or high intensity exercise
Consult with your family doctor before wearing compression 20mmHg and above. Always talk to your physician first if you suffer from any arterial circulation problems in your legs before using any level of compression socks.
Reasons not to wear compression garment:
A medical condition where compression therapy is not recommended is called a Contraindication. This refers to the possibility it would do the person more harm than good. Some of those conditions include:
- Ischemia (advanced arterial disease) of the legs
- Uncontrolled Congestive Heart Failure
- Untreated Septic Phlegm
- Untreated Septic Phlebitis of the leg
- Phlegmatic Cerulea Dolens
Also, use compression garments with caution if you have any of the following:
- Skin Infections
- Incompatibility to fabric of compression garment
- Immobility or confinement to bed
- Weeping Dermatoses
- Impaired sensitivity of the limb
History of Compression Therapy
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention and in this case is quite true. In the early 50’s, a man named Conrad Jobst suffered from chronic venous disease causing him to suffer pain, swollen legs and skin breakdown. He discovered swimming in a pool helped his legs tremendously. As an engineer, he applied the pooling principle of pressure to develop a mechanism which would do the same thing outside the pool, which is known today as compression stockings.
Before this invention, he was developing advanced ulcerations in his legs where the doctors finally said ‘there is nothing else we can do’ and recommended amputation. His biomedical contribution remains highly acclaimed in the field of medicine.
Since then, compression garments have evolved in many ways. By 2009, compression socks were discovered to help improve a runner’s lactate threshold, decreasing the soreness from running. 2010 brought studies to prove compression garments worn during exercise reduced fatigue, and muscular pain. Also, they were proven to reduce Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) for airline passengers.
And now since 2013, compression socks have gone fashionable in colors and styles and most use gradient pressure knitting technology.
Defining Gradient and Anti-embolism
There are three types of compression stockings, gradient, anti-embolism, and uniform:
Gradient refers to the compression being the tightest at the ankle, where the pressure gradually decreases up the leg. The pressure a stocking applies to the legs is known as a compression value. The higher the compression number the more pressure is applied by the stockings. Compression is expressed in mmHg, which are millimeters of mercury.
Pressure is determined by:
- The form of the leg: According to Laplace Law, the pressure placed on the leg depends on the curvature of the centralized area; which means the stocking will exert more pressure on the tibial edge, the Achilles’ tendon, and the lowest one found at the lateral part of the leg.
- The elastic recoil force of the compression garment
Compression stockings with lower pressure levels offer support for preventive care reasons. These types can be purchased over the counter or online without the need for any prescription. For stronger compression stockings recommended for more severe leg conditions a prescription from your family physician is needed.
Anti –embolism is used to support the venous and lymphatic drainage of the leg. This is similar to gradient with exception given to the compression muscle pump effect on the calf. This is used more often now in the sports science industry. Studies have proven compression garments improve the efficiency of muscles and stabilize the circulation and lactic acid removal. They are specifically used for bed bound patients in medical to prevent blood pooling or clots from forming. Anti-embolism socks and stocking are typically made for a short duration of wear.
Uniform compression provides the same amount of compression to all parts of the leg. While graduated compression hosiery is significantly more effective in treating vein diseases, uniform compression offers more an overall support, relief and preventive measures for future leg issues.
The Changing Face of Compression Socks
A few years ago, the once hidden compression socks and hosiery market catered to more of an institutional medical type agenda. Because of this, the designs and styles were quite limited to that resembling something you would only find in a hospital setting. On top of this, there was a stigma attached to compression garments as being strictly something worn by old people who suffered leg problems.
Those days are gone. The best compression socks and stockings have jumped so far into the mainstream; they actually appeared in high fashion shows with the purpose of showing the public that compression garments can be both fashionable and functional. Even ordinary fashion socks and hosiery struggling to compete with the new look of everything from compression socks to compression pantyhose.
Advanced technology has manufacturers putting out lightweight, cool-looking compression legwear to allow the wearer to target wherever they may need the most support. People love the idea of recharging your blood cells with oxygen and having it reach the furthest cells in the body.
As people become more familiar with the benefits of wearing compression socks, they are discovering how much better their legs and feet feel at the end of the day. Wearing compression support socks or stockings can virtually eliminate leg fatigue and that feeling of heaviness incurred from being on your feet all day. A good compression sock is going to tackle the problem of fluid retention around the ankles.
Types of compression socks and stockings
Since compression socks and stockings come with varied compression values, it is important to know the different types and which kind will be well-suited for your needs. The guide below is not meant to be medical advice, only a navigational tool for better understanding of compression socks.
When Choosing a Compression Level, remember the higher the number, the more pressure in support. If you have never used compression socks before, consider starting low and work up to your desired compression level. Consult your physician to help you with this process if it becomes too overwhelming.
Where to Find Great Compression Products
Now that you have gathered a greater understanding of how compression socks and stockings can help you, it is time to find out what exactly is available in this market. Whether you are looking for the traditional styles or seeking a fashionable way to wear compression garments, we have done the research for that too. There are multiple places to get the best compression socks available including Amazon, SportChek, Adidas, Under Armour and Sports Authority.
Compression Socks for Women
If you are on your feet a lot and find that your muscles get tired quickly, then you may want to invest in compression socks. Compression socks can also be used to help with the recovery of many different health issues as long as you have the right product. We have compiled a list of the best compression socks for women so that you can be assured you are picking a top quality that will help you get back on your feet for longer. These compression socks will go nicely with anything you wear.
These imported compression socks are made of 87% Microfiber Nylon, 13% Elastane. In order to help circulation, the graduated compression is at 8-15 mm. This compression value is the lightest offering to relieve tired, aching legs, reduce swelling and ultimately re-energize the legs. These compression socks have non-binding, comfort band construction with smooth seamless toe for comfort fit. These best compression socks are available on Amazon for just over $30 for 6 pairs, that's just over $5 a pair which is a great deal.
On value up at 15-20mmHg, these compression socks are designed for faster recovery in improving blood flow and muscle support and that is why they are considered on of the best compression socks available. The Run Technology also supports moisture and temperature regulation. These knee socks are a great example of fashion colliding with health well-being. These socks can be bought on Amazon in a variety of different
Used often for those who suffer from diabetes, these calf socks are constructed of 58% Nylon, 38% Polyester and 4% Lycra Spandex. The compression socks have a gradient fit which aids in reducing ankle and leg swelling. The all-day support helps with leg fatigue. These compression socks can be worn daily to help fatigue, so these are the best compression socks for you if you are on your feet all day.
Compression Socks for Men
These compression socks for men are the top products we have been able to find on the market. They will look great whether you are wearing a suit, shorts or jeans.
The men’s collection of compression socks is constructed of the material of 58% Nylon, 38% Polyester and 4% Lycra Spandex. This is a pretty common fabric blend for mild compression socks. This design is meant to fight leg fatigue and leg swelling, as well reducing ankle and leg swelling. These compression socks
The next compression value up is these moderate graduated compression at 15-20mmHg. These are our pick for the very best in men’s compressions socks because of Accu-fit technology includes spandex to keep the sock the exact shape all the time. Plus there is an ultra-light cushion sole to allow for extra
These compression socks are marketed as travel socks, designed to prevent DVT. The company has a patented design using CoolMax Fiber at 10-18 mmHg to stimulate blood flow and reduce swelling. The graduate compression starts mid foot for the arch and planter support to prevent any pooling of blood. The technology also helps with varicose vein support and prevents edema. Made only in Italy
Perfect Compression Socks for Athletes
Athletes, when working out or playing their sport, put there legs through the trenches. Often our legs get tired and our muscles get fatigued. Whether you are looking for the best compression socks for running or for working out, below are some of the best compression socks that we would recommend to any athlete.
Using the proper blend of fabrics with 90 % Polyamide, 5% Nylon and 5% Elastane makes this a comfortable mild compression sock to use for running or other exercises and sports. They are designed to provide extra support for the shins and calves, especially during long runs.
The 2XU compression socks are one of the most popular and in demand compression socks for sports and exercise enthusiasts. The pressure value is at 15-23mmHg with graduated compression. This moderate pressure boosts circulation, diminishes fatigue and offers great muscle support and defense against shin splints or cramps. Recovery time is enhanced with superior support and competitive comfort.
The Best Compression Socks for Nurses
Nurses, when at work, are constantly on their feet walking around helping out patients. We have had so many questions about the best compression socks for nurses that we decided we must have it added into this guide. Below are some of the top compression socks we would recommend to any nurse who finds that their feet ache or their muscles grow fatigue during their long shifts.
For those who spend most of their time on their feet or sitting for prolonged periods of time, these compression trouser socks provide a comfortable fit with a graduated compression of 12-14 mmHg. They can be worn everyday to help increase circulation and prevent swelling, ultimately relieving any leg fatigue. The material used is rubber, with a comfort welt top band to keep socks fitted.
Our favorite pick for nurses is the moderate 15-20mmHg Sockwell brand. Constructed of 32% Merino Wool, 32% Stretch Nylon, 31% Bamboo Rayon and 5% Spandex. These socks offer the graduated compression to minimize swelling of feet, reducing fatigue, and promoting circulation. The socks also are superior for flying and traveling as well as recovery or exercise. Accu-Fit technology using the spandex ensures the sock will maintain the same fit. The compression sock also offers arch support.
￼For more moderate pressure this graduated compression value is 20-25mmHg and is clinically proven to elevate oxygen levels, and enhance circulation. This is a quality product to include not only nurses but also for athletic performances, diabetes, and recovery. It is designed to reduce injury, reduce soreness, flush toxins and remove lactic acid. Crossfit makes superior products with wellness always incorporated into their designs.
Compression Socks Commonly Asked Question and Answers
Is uniform compression effective?
Yes, uniform compression helps with fatigue, muscle relief, edema and preventive measures.
What future benefits do wearing compression socks provide?
As we get older, circulation problems can become a health concern. One of these chronic venous diseases is the onset of dilated veins or ‘spider veins’. Dilated veins can drain your legs and cause heavy periods of fatigue. Circulation problems can cause the legs to begin circulating the same blood over and over, which is not only painful but can escalate into a serious health condition. Compression therapy is a preventive measure and helps reduce the damage suffered to legs as well as regenerated the damaged tissues. Other areas of health concerns which can be helped by compression therapy are Edema, and Lymphedma.
What is post-thrombotic syndrome or PTS?
PTS follows a thrombotic episode, and displays signs of swelling, dilation of the veins especially around the ankle bones. Sometimes there will be pigment changes in the skin of the lower leg. The syndrome can also cause calf pain or pain with standing and walking.
Why are elastic socks so hard to put on?
This has always been a persistent problem in the past but newer fabric technologies are producing socks and stockings which are easier to get on. Compression socks provide resistance, and the gradient compression is the greatest around the ankle, and passing the largest part of the foot through it can be difficult.
Is there a layering or additive effect of compression?
Yes, there is an additional benefit by layering compression garments. Some physicians will actually instruct their patients adjust different levels of compression in each leg. Always consult with your doctor is you wish to do this.
What is the best time of day to measure for compression socks?
Always measure your legs before the swelling begins to build up in your legs. The earlier in the day will be better to get the right compression sock or stockings.
Further Resources and Information on Compression Socks
The Vascular Disease Foundation has compiled an in-depth overview on how compression therapy can help with vein diseases and conditions.
U.S. National Library of Medicine explains varicose veins and how they occur. There are many ways varicose veins become pronounced and a painful problem for those suffering from them.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot formed from a deep vein in the leg, which can lead to a Pulmonary Embolism that is often fatal. Complications from DVT kills approximately 300,000 people a year.
Edema happens when fluid builds up around the ankles, and feet. There are many ways for edema to occur, some simple and others quite serious.
Lymphedema is the result of lymph fluids becoming blocked and unable to drain well. The lymphatic system is a critical part of the immune system and circulatory flow. Typically produces swelling and restrictive movement in the affected area. The American College of Phlebology explains pregnancy risks that can contribute to the weakening of a vein and the need for compression garments until the issues disappear after pregnancy.
www.economyclasssyndrome.com is good insight for those who fly or travel frequently. The ‘Economy Class Syndrome’ is covered in-depth and explains why it is considered important for some people to wear compression socks during these times.
Compression socks can be difficult at times to put on, and may require a little patience and technique. We have included this illustration, step-by-step to make it an easier task for you:
In the next few years expect to see major advances in compression garments in regards to fabric technology, more public awareness, in fashion and innovate designs all aimed at improving patient comfort and preventive health. Compression therapy has been around for a long time medically and the forecast looks as though the public will be seeing even more easy access options and more personal choices in available varieties. Compression therapy works for almost anyone.