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Compression Socks Edmonton
Are you wondering about compression socks and stockings and if they are right for you? If so, keep reading to find out.
Compression socks and stockings are made for the use of compression therapy. They constantly apply pressure to your legs and ankles gently, which helps to promote blood flow from your legs back up to your heart. Compression socks are also able to help reduce pain and swelling located in your ankles and legs.
The benefits of compression socks
Your healthcare professional may prescribe compression socks to you to:
- Boost blood circulation throughout your legs
- Help support your veins
- Help prevent the blood from pooling in the veins in your legs
- Help to reduce leg swelling
- Help reduce orthostatic hypotension which is responsible for causing lightheadedness or feelings of unsteadiness when standing up
- Help to [revent venous ulcers
- Aids in reducing the development of deep vein thrombosis in the legs
- Helps to lessen pain associated with varicose veins
- Reverses venous hypertension
- Helps to improve lymphatic drainage
So how do compression socks or stockings work?
Compression stockings apply gentle pressure to the legs and the ankles. This may help reduce the diameter of all major veins by helping to increase the volume and velocity of the blood flow. Compression socks can also help the blood flow up towards the heart. They also help prevent blood from moving down the foot or laterally into superficial veins.
There are three main types of compression stockings:
- graduated compression stockings
- Anti-embolism stockings
- Non-Medical support hosiery
Graduated compression stockings have the strongest compression at the ankle. The compression decreases as it moves up the leg. They are made for mobility and to meet specific length and strength specifications. Graduated compression stockings will usually require the patient to get professionally fitted for them. Stockings that end below the knee will help to limit peripheral edema, also known as lower leg swelling caused by the buildup of fluids.
Stockings which extend to the thigh or the waist help to prevent pooling blood in the legs and help prevent orthostatic hypotension.
Anti-embolism stockings will reduce the chances of developing deep vein thrombosis. Similar to graduated stockings, they give the patient gradual compression. But with these types of compression socks the level of compression itself is different. Anti-embolism stockings are meant for patients that are not mobile.
Non medical support hosiery will not usually need a prescription from a doctor. They include elastic support hose and flight socks which act as a potential relief for legs that are tired or aching.
This type of compression stockings will exert less pressure than prescription compression stockings. Non medical compression stockings can be found at many pharmacies and online.
Compression Socks FAQ
Which level of compression is best?
This answer will vary, and there are two categories, mild and strong. Suppose you have not spoken to your doctor about this matter and want to buy compression socks. In that case, it is recommended that you start with the mild option, which is recommended for swollen legs and feet, varicose veins, standing or sedentary work, air travel and pregnancy. Firm compression is only for those individuals who have a prescription from their doctor or nurse. Read our article on why compression stockings are important.
Which length of stocking would be best?
When selecting the length, consider your specific needs, allowing you to make the right choice. There are different options available, including knee-high, thigh-high or pantyhose style, and if you’re not sure about this aspect, it’s best to start with knee-high stockings. If you have a specific problem around your thigh, like varicose veins, you will need thigh-high socks. Pregnant women will often prefer pantyhose as it’s the most comfortable because it also provides additional support to the stomach area.
How do compression socks work?
The purpose of compression socks is to apply pressure around the ankle, stimulating blood circulation. This pressure will decrease up the leg to become milder higher up your leg.
What are the different materials of compression socks that are available?
Cotton is an excellent choice for everyday use because it is durable and breathable, while bamboo is a natural fibre that is even more breathable than cotton. Its surface is also glossier, so it’s perfect for everyday use if you often feel hot. Micro polyester is a more flexible stocking with a cooling effect at high temperatures, ideal for air travel and hot days.
How do I select the right size?
The circumference of your ankle and your calf are the most important measurements you need to consider when choosing a size and the size of your foot is not as important as these aspects. Compression is strongest around the ankle and will start to decrease up the leg so keep this in mind and if you see that you fall between two sizes, choose the one that best suits the circumference of your ankle.