Do Compression Socks Really Work?
At one point, the use of compression socks was almost always associated with a certain age demographic or as a medical necessity for treating poor circulation due to age and illness. However, there are many benefits to wearing compression socks, and these days, compression socks are used for a variety of reasons and by people of all ages.
Compression socks can be worn to ease the symptoms of certain medical conditions, improve athletic performance, and to provide comfort. Over the years, people who benefit from wearing compression socks have expanded to include athletes, pregnant women, individuals confined to a wheelchair, passengers on long flights, and anyone who spends long hours working on their feet.
At Pear Compression, we are changing the way people think about compression socks and are here to help you enjoy the benefits that come with incorporating high-quality compression wear into your life.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are a type of knee-high stocking designed to fit snuggly from your feet to your knee. Compression socks offer what is referred to as graduated compression therapy.
This means that your compression socks will vary in degrees of tightness, with the tightest area focused on your ankles and gradually lessening in tightness as they move up your leg. This type of graduated pressure garment helps to improve circulation and assist in pushing blood back up from your legs to your heart.
Compression socks are available in different degrees of compression (or tightness), and today, are even offered in stylish colors, patterns, and more comfortable fabrics. At Pear, we specialize in stylish compression socks, available in fashionable colors and patterns and made with premium fabrics.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks work by aiding your circulatory and lymphatic systems. The veins that run throughout your extremities must work overtime and against gravity to move blood and fluid back up from the bottom of your legs and back to your heart.
The muscles in your legs act to support your veins in this necessary process of blood and fluid circulation, but oftentimes, they are insufficient. This can lead to swelling, fluid and blood pooling in your lower extremities, and other vascular conditions and concerns.
Compression socks work by applying the appropriate amount of gradual pressure to the lower leg, with tighter pressure around the ankles and lower or loosening pressure as the socks reach up to the knee area. This compression works to gently “squeeze” the extremities and help your veins adequately circulate blood and fluid back to your heart.
Compression socks are available and sold in different pressure levels, measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). A reputable manufacturer of compression socks will list this measure of pressure for their socks.
The most common degree of pressure for everyday and common use is 15-20 mmHg. These gradual pressure compression socks are perfect for relieving and assisting in athletic recovery, edema during pregnancy, travel-induced edema and DVT, varicose veins, spider veins, and swelling.
What Are the Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks?
Wearing compression socks offers a variety of venous and circulatory benefits for so many reasons. A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the use of compression socks to treat varicose veins showed an “improvement in symptoms such as pain and swelling and in activity levels and well-being.”
This same study found “that wearing graduated compression stockings may reduce the incidence of asymptomatic deep vein thrombosis and leg edema in airline passengers.” Compression socks offer their benefits in a lot of medical and professional situations and for a number of reasons.
Some of the most well-recognized benefits of wearing compression socks are:
- Increased circulation
- Helps to reduce edema (swelling) in the legs, ankles, and calves
- Easing discomfort and edema from pregnancy
- Reduces pain and other symptoms associated with varicose veins and skin ulcers
- Preventing blood clots and discomfort from airline travel
- Improved cardiovascular performance
- Reduces sore and aching feet from standing
- Keeps legs feeling active and invigorated while sitting for long period of time
- Aids in recovery following surgery or other medical procedure
- Providing relief from aches, pains, and fatigue
- Preventing soreness after exercise
- Assisting in the prevention of DVT and varicose veins
- Reducing lactic acid build-up
- Relieves pain associated with arthritis
Who Can Benefit from Wearing Compression Socks?
Compression socks can be worn by so many different people looking to benefit from improved circulation and reduced swelling.
1. Pregnant Women
Many women either begin to suffer from or become at risk for varicose veins during pregnancy. Pregnant women are also 4-5 times more likely to develop blood clots than women who are not pregnant.
As your pregnancy progresses, and your baby continues to grow, your uterus causes increased pressure on your veins, reducing blood circulation throughout the entire body. This reduction of blood circulation can cause inflammation, resulting in a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.
Some of the benefits of wearing Pear compression socks throughout your pregnancy are reduced pain and swelling, increased energy, and the prevention of varicose veins. Preventing varicose veins and blood clots provide you with long-term health benefits even after your baby has been born.
Wearing compression socks during the day can also reduce leg cramping, which is a common symptom of the second and third trimesters.
Compression socks have exploded in popularity amongst athletes in the last few years, particularly runners. The increased blood flow and graduated compression are believed to provide pain relief and prevent injuries.
Compression socks work to reduce the stiffness and achiness that follows strenuous aerobic activity. Athletes wear compression socks to increase blood flow and add warmth, both of which contribute to less muscle stiffness and pain between workouts or games.
The improved circulation supplies rich, oxygenated blood to the lower extremities to speed up recovery. Compression therapy is also beneficial in preventing Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), a condition experienced predominantly by runners the day after a run.
While studies are still being conducted, it is believed that compressing and increasing blood flow to the lower leg and calf muscles can increase endurance and muscle efficiency.
3. Airline Passengers and Crew
According to Harvard Medical School, “sitting for prolonged periods, such as on a long flight or car ride, increases the risk of blood clots forming in your leg veins. Not only can they impair leg circulation, they (blood clots) also can be deadly if they break off and travel to the lungs.”
They recommend compression socks as a safe and effective way to help prevent blood clots and swelling during any time you are required to sit for an extended period.
4. Nurses, Waitstaff, and Hairdressers (Or Anyone in An Occupation That Requires Long Hours on Their Feet)
When your job requires you to be standing for extended periods of time it can lead to varicose veins, swelling, leg heaviness, fatigue, and achy feet and ankles. By improving blood flow and the removal of lymphatic fluid from the legs, compression socks can alleviate many of the uncomfortable symptoms workers in these fields experience.
5. Anyone Looking to Relieve Symptoms of Certain Medical Conditions
Compression socks offer the management and relief of symptoms of:
- Varicose veins and Spider veins
- Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Post-thrombotic syndrome
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome
- Shin splints
- Plantar Fasciitis
Where Can I Buy Compression Socks?
Mild and medium pressure compression socks are available for purchase in most major pharmacies and online retailers. For the firmest compression, measuring at 30-40 mmHG, require a prescription or referral from your physician.
At Pear Compression, our mild to medium pressure compression socks are crafted from start to finish in the Italian city of Brescia. Every aspect of the design process was carried out with comfort, function, and style in mind. Our socks were made for you to wear throughout your day-to-day activities and have been carefully crafted for versatility and style, perfect for any outfit and any occasion!
Just because compression socks were made to feel tight, it doesn’t mean that they have to be uncomfortable. There is nothing worse than fighting with your compression socks just to get them on, only to feel irritated and bothered while wearing them.
Our seamless socks are easy to pull on and off, and comfortable enough to wear all day. Our team has worked hard to design a premium compression sock using quality materials and featuring seamless graduated compression technology. Our exterior seams also make sure that no circulation is cut off near the toes.
At Pear Compression, your health and safety are always on our minds. Our materials are verified to be free from AZO dyes, formaldehyde, phthalates, and other chemicals that are known to be carcinogenic or otherwise harmful.
With a mission of helping women feel their best during their pregnancy, we are confident that you will benefit from our graduated compression therapy! Find your #PerfectPear today!