Many people think of compression socks as something only very elderly or debilitated people wear to keep swelling down in their legs. While it’s true that compression socks can certainly help this group of people, you may be quite surprised at who else can benefit from wearing them, as well as the many advantages they bring to the wearer.
First of all, just what are compression socks? The best compression socks, like SpeedAid Compression socks, are snug fitting, comfortable garments made of stretchy, breathable, durable material that gently but firmly squeeze your legs. Older versions of compression socks delivered compression evenly over the entire leg, but this can result in blood not being able to easily flow upward toward the heart.
SpeedAid Compression Socks deliver what is known as graduated compression, with the amount of compression gradually increasing as the sock goes up your leg, with more compression at the ankle and less compression at the level of the calf. This ensures that blood does not pool in the feet and flows upward toward the heart.
Compression socks come in different sizes and also in different “strengths” depending on the amount of pressure they are designed to deliver. You can purchase compression stockings over the counter, but if your physician deems them medically necessary, you can ask for a prescription and your insurance in many cases will pay for them.
So just what is it that makes compression socks beneficial? The pressure generated by properly fitting compression socks is transmitted through the skin and muscles of your legs to the arteries and veins. This assists your arteries in their job of moving oxygenated blood to the tissues, helping the arteries to relax and carry the blood along more easily. The pressure also helps your veins to more easily carry blood back to your heart. Not only do compression socks ease the workload on your veins, but the graduated pressure increases the speed at which the veins push blood back to the heart, where it is then pumped out to the lungs to be reoxygenated, improving the entire circulatory process.
This increase in the ease of circulation also discourages blood from pooling in your veins, lessening the chances that a dangerous blood clot, known as a deep vein thrombosis or DVT, could form. Clots in the blood vessels have the potential to break away from the vessel walls and get swept along with normal blood flow. If a clot ends up somewhere like your lungs, it can impair oxygen exchange and can be potentially life-threatening.
So now that you know how compression socks work, let’s get a closer look at the reasons why people choose to wear them, and why many medical professionals recommend them to their patients. Here are just a few examples of the types of people who will benefit from SpeedAid Compression Socks:
People who suffer from varicose veins or impaired leg circulation – Although varicose veins can form deep within the legs, most of the time they form unsightly looking, bulging bluish cord like structures that run just underneath the skin of the legs. They are caused by the valves in the veins malfunctioning which allows blood to pool in the legs.
People who have varicose veins often complain of aching legs, itchy skin over the area or impaired circulation causing swollen ankles. Varicose veins affect women twice as much as they do men, in part because pregnancy puts pressure on the lower body that can cause varicose veins to form. Compression socks or stockings can help by assisting your leg muscles to push blood upward. Because of their positive effect on circulation, compression socks can also help people who have other conditions which may impair circulation such as diabetics and those who battle chronic deep vein thrombosis in their legs.
People who must stand for long periods of time – Workers who have jobs that require long periods of standing such as nurses and other healthcare workers, food service workers, retail and sales clerks, construction workers and many people in manufacturing jobs, can suffer from leg muscle fatigue, cramping and pain. Wearing SpeedAid compression socks while working can improve circulation, support the leg muscles and greatly reduce the discomfort that comes from standing for long periods of time.
People who are bedridden, especially those recovering from surgery or who have difficulty moving their legs – Those who are confined to bed or cannot easily move their legs are at particular risk for the formation of dangerous blood clots, as the natural motion of the legs and muscles that stimulates normal circulation is absent. Wearing compression socks or stockings can help to prevent blood from pooling in the legs and assist the veins in the efficient return of blood to the heart.
People who spend a lot of time on airplanes such as pilots and flight attendants and especially those people who undertake long distance flights – A combination of cramped quarters, prolonged periods of inactivity, dry air and lower oxygen levels can all contribute to sluggish blood flow and dehydration, increasing the risk of blood clots. Wearing SpeedAid Compression Socks while flying can help decrease swelling leg swelling, reduce discomfort and help prevent clot formation.
In addition, there is interesting research showing that wearing compression socks during the day can help relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Wearing SpeedAid Compression Socks, with their graduated pressure, durable yet breathable material and comfortable fit, can reduce swelling and achiness, aid circulation, support fatigued leg muscles and reduce the possibility of dangerous clots in people who are susceptible to them. Here’s what Dr. Karl Michel, DPM, had to say about SpeedAid:
“I am a foot and ankle surgeon who spends long hours on my feet seeing patients in the clinic and operating room. After a long day of standing it is not unusual for me to get leg cramping.
For the entire week that I wore SpeedAid Compression Socks I did not feel any cramping, particularly during surgeries. I have had previous experience with other socks and found that the SpeedAid socks were more comfortably snug but still easy to put on, maintained their elasticity and uniform compression with a faster recovery and didn’t ride down or slouch. I highly recommend them!”
So if you suffer from varicose veins, you have poor circulation, you are on your feet a lot or you just want your legs to feel better, you can trust SpeedAid Compression Socks to bring you relief.
Lim CS, Davies AH. Graduated compression stockings. CMAJ. 2014;186(10):E391-E398. doi:10.1503/cmaj.131281
Broatch, James R.1,2; Bishop, David J.1,3; Zadow, Emma K.4; Halson, Shona2,5 Effects of Sports Compression Socks on Performance, Physiological, and Hematological Alterations After Long-Haul Air Travel in Elite Female Volleyballers, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2019 – Volume 33 – Issue 2 – p 492-501 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003002
Effect of below-the-knee compression stockings on severity of obstructive sleep apnea White L.H., Lyons O.D., Yadollahi A., Ryan C.M., Bradley T.D. (2015) Sleep Medicine, 16 (2) , pp. 258-264.