To understand the purpose of compression socks, we must first understand what they are. These socks are special hosiery, knit in a manner that places gentle pressure all the way around the ankles and calves.

Depending on the length of the sock, it can create gentle pressure on different areas of the leg and its veins. Some compression socks are knee-high, while others are thigh-high. The elastic in the socks is woven to apply more pressure at the ankles and lower pressure toward the top of the sock.

Supporting Blood Flow

The veins in our legs must work against the force of gravity to return blood to the lungs and heart, recharge with oxygen, and recirculate throughout the body. Healthy veins contain functioning valves that keep blood from flowing back down toward your feet. However, stress, high blood pressure, and infection can damage these valves and keep blood from flowing back up your legs properly. Compression socks compensate for this problem by working against the force of gravity.

There are different kinds of compression socks, and your selection must be based on your needs. They can help with a variety of health conditions and can be used to improve athletic performance or to feel better after a long airplane ride. Compression socks are available in three categories, which include:

Antiembolism Stockings

These help reduce the risk of blood clot formation and are doctor-prescribed to treat patients confined to bed after surgery. 

Graduated Medical Compression Socks

These socks help treat chronic vein disease or lymphedema, placing the greatest compression around the ankle. These compression socks are made for patients who are up and mobile, not for those confined to bed.

Non-Medical Support Hosiery

These socks provide relief for swelling in healthy legs and make the legs feel lighter during sports activities. They provide uniform pressure up the entire length of the sock. 

Compression socks can treat many conditions, including:

Venous Insufficiency

This is caused by deficient blood flow through the greater and less saphenous veins of the legs and can result in red, itchy, burning, and sensitive skin along with leg pain and muscle cramps. 

While compression socks are not a miracle cure, they will improve symptoms gradually.

Varicose Veins

These veins are prominent from the outside, blue, and quite full of blood. They can be uncomfortable and cosmetically disfiguring, causing heaviness in the legs along with itching, burning, and swelling.

Varicose veins can also cause loss of sensation and leg cramps and can lead to skin ulcers, but compression socks will offer graduated compression to keep blood flowing through the vein while reducing swelling.


Aching feet and legs are common during pregnancy because the accumulation of fluid and the growing fetus interfere with circulation through the veins in the middle of the body. Compression socks can help blood and fluid flow upward to relieve pressure in the feet, calves, and thighs.

Compression Socks in Edmonton

Compression socks can also be used for running and active sports, making long flights and car rides more comfortable. Trinity Home Medical offers compression socks and medical supplies to those in Edmonton, and you can contact us at any time for more information: (905) 237-8467.