If you suffer from neuropathy, you know that the tingling and numbness in your feet can feel unbearable. Sleeping, walking, and even sitting can become a challenge when your feet are numb and tingly, and constantly interrupting your day. If this resonates with you, you're certainly not alone. Approximately 20 million people in the United States alone have a form of neuropathy due to a wide variety of causes.
You might have tried a myriad of medications, special neuropathy shoes, or other recommended neuropathy treatments for diabetes, autoimmune disease, or infection but nothing seems to provide relief.
Fortunately, compression socks for neuropathy might be the answer to finding the pain relief you desperately need. Compression socks work by applying gentle pressure to your feet and legs. This pressure helps to improve blood circulation, which can, in turn, help to reduce inflammation and pain experienced from neuropathy.
Read on to learn more about neuropathy in the feet and how compression socks can help with foot pain and foot numbness.
What is Neuropathy?
Neuropathy is a wide range of conditions that result from damage to the nerves in the peripheral nervous system.
There are many neuropathies and each have their own causes and symptoms. For example, diabetic neuropathy is a type of neuropathy caused by diabetes, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. Other types of neuropathy include:
- Alcoholic neuropathy
- Autoimmune neuropathies
- Idiopathic neuropathies
- Infectious neuropathies
- Toxic neuropathies
The peripheral nervous system includes all the nerves that are not part of the brain or spinal cord, such as the nerves in the feet, legs, and hands. Both the nerve axons (the long part of the nerve) and myelin sheath (the fatty covering that protects the nerve axons) can be damaged, and when this happens, they can't send signals effectively to the brain. Neuropathy symptoms in feet can, therefore, include symptoms such as:
- Foot pain - This can range from a dull ache to sharp, burning pain.
- Foot numbness - This can make it difficult to walk or even stand.
- Burning sensations in feet - This can feel like you're walking on hot coals.
- Tingling in feet - This can feel like pins and needles
- Weakness in the feet - This can feel like your feet are heavy and difficult to move.
- Foot paralysis - In severe cases, neuropathy can cause paralysis of the foot.
If you experience any of these neuropathy symptoms, it's important to see a doctor so they can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend treatment options.
Foot Numbness vs Neuropathy in Your Feet
It's important to note that not all numbness is caused by neuropathy. Numbness can also be caused by other conditions such as tarsal tunnel syndrome, which is a condition that results from compression of the nerves in the foot. Other conditions that cause foot numbness or pain in your feet include :
- Arthritis - a common condition that causes inflammation in the joints, which can lead to pain and numbness in feet.
- Bursitis - a condition that causes inflammation in the small, fluid-filled sacs (bursae) that cushion the bones, tendons, and muscles near your joints.
- Gout - a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, particularly in the big toe.
- Plantar fasciitis - a condition that causes inflammation in the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot.
There are several ways to tell the difference between neuropathy-related numbness and numbness caused by other conditions. Neuropathy-related numbness is usually:
- A deep, shooting pain
- Worse at night
- A burning or tingling sensation
- Accompanied by weakness, paralysis, or loss of sensation
Neuropathy is always caused by damage to the nerves, and is common in those with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association notes that 50% of people with diabetes have some form of neuropathy. While diabetic neuropathy is common, it can be severe in terms of foot pain so finding neuropathy pain relief strategies is essential in managing the condition.
Compression Socks for Neuropathy in Feet
Of course, we always want to be working towards prevention instead of treatment after a condition has been diagnosed. But, even if you already have neuropathy, there are things you can do to help ease the symptoms and prevent further damage. Being proactive in caring for your feet is particularly important in those with diabetes to avoid severe symptoms.
One of the best ways to find relief from neuropathy pain and prevent further damage is to wear neuropathy compression socks. Neuropathy socks are designed to apply gentle pressure to the feet and lower legs, which can help improve circulation and reduce pain.
Compression socks' benefits for neuropathy include:
Improving poor circulation in feet
The pressure from compression socks helps to move blood through the veins and vessels in your feet and legs, which can improve circulation. This is important in those with neuropathy, as poor circulation is often a contributing factor to the condition. Improved circulation in the feet can help to ease neuropathy symptoms if your feet are numb and tingly or you experience foot pain throughout the day.
Reducing inflammation and swelling in feet
The compression from neuropathy socks can also help to reduce inflammation and ease swollen feet. This is important as inflammation can worsen neuropathy symptoms and lead to further damage. Swelling in your feet can also make it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time, so those who wear compression socks for swelling regularly can also expect an improved quality of life as the swelling dissipates and mobility improves.
Stabilizing the joints
Additionally, compression socks can help prevent injuries by stabilizing the muscles and joints. This is important because neuropathy can cause weakness and instability in the feet and ankles, which can lead to falls and other injuries. Compression socks for neuropathy can, therefore, give you the support you need to feel more confident when walking and moving around.
What to Know Before Buying a Pear of Compression Socks
Compression socks come in a range of sizes and levels of compression so when you shop for your neuropathy socks, you want to make sure that you choose the right pair. The level of compression you need will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your doctor’s recommendations.
The most important consideration is choosing a reputable brand of neuropathy compression socks that is known for quality and comfortability. Ensure that the compression sock brand you choose provides a range of knee high socks and ankle length socks that are made from a premium, breathable material as this will help to prevent discomfort and skin irritation.
You're looking for gentle compression, not constriction. Yes, there is a difference. While they might feel slightly uncomfortable to begin with, they should not be so tight that they're cutting off your circulation as opposed to improving it. Read Pear Compression's Guide to Finding the Perfect Pear of Compression Socks so you can shop with confidence.
Knowing how to put on your compression socks correctly is also important so that you don't experience unnecessary discomfort, and you get the maximum benefit from your neuropathy socks. Compression socks that are easy to put on and take off are a good choice as you'll be more likely to wear them regularly.
Lastly, if you have any open wounds on your feet, you should avoid wearing anything tight until the wounds have healed completely. People with diabetes should also consult with their doctor before wearing compression socks as they may be at risk for developing foot ulcers, but in most cases, compression socks have been proven to work for a range of people with different levels of neuropathy.
If you're suffering from neuropathy, don't despair—relief may be just a pair of compression socks away! When used correctly, neuropathy socks can be a helpful way of managing foot pain and foot numbness.
If you're considering wearing compression socks, be sure to choose the right size and level of compression, and consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.
Pear Compression's range of premium-quality, Italian-made compression socks includes both ankle length compression socks and knee high socks for women and men. Soft and breathable, our neuropathy socks are hypoallergenic for sensitive skin, made from a polyamide microfiber and lycra blend, and are completely free from AZO dyes, formaldehyde, phthalates, and other harmful chemicals that might cause skin irritation. This is essential for those who experience wounds from diabetes or sensitive skin from autoimmune conditions.
Our 3-pack knee high socks come in white, tan, and black so you can match them with any outfit and wear them all day long, if needed. Remember, sleeping with compression socks is not recommended, unless you have your doctor’s approval, so be sure to slip them off before bedtime for a sound and safe night’s sleep.
While we do make every effort to produce accurate and up-to-date content, the information in this blog article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or local emergency resources immediately. Reliance on any information provided in this blog article is solely at your own risk.