The array of compression sock benefits is infinite, which means that there are many reasons why you may want to try them out. You might be looking to improve circulation, alleviate discomfort from prolonged standing or sitting, reduce swelling in legs, feet, and ankles, or even improve your athletic performance and support recovery after exercise. If you've been advised that compression socks might help with some of the symptoms you're experiencing, but you're still unsure when to start wearing them, this blog article is just for you!
With little to no risk associated with compression socks usage, when you start wearing them really depends on your lifestyle, goals, and severity of symptoms. Unless you're a child (in which case, pediatric compression socks are your best bet), you can start wearing compression socks at any age and for a plethora of reasons, including muscle pain, swelling, and leg fatigue. Even if you don't have any of the symptoms mentioned above (lucky fish!), using compression socks as a preventative measure can be a great way to help stave off potential issues that could arise from poor circulation in legs or less than optimal lymphatic drainage.
Compression socks may also be beneficial for those who work in professions where standing or sitting for extended periods is common. If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet or behind a desk for 8+ hours, it may be worth giving compression socks for circulation a try. Similarly, if you travel a lot (we're talking to you, jet-setters!) or exercise often, wearing compression socks may help you avoid swollen feet and ankles from long-haul flights and help boost your endurance, prevent injury, and recover faster after intense exercise.
The uses for compression socks are infinite, but the question of when to start wearing compression socks remains. Read on to discover the best time to start wearing compression socks, depending on your goals and symptoms.
Compression Sock Benefits
Before we explore when to wear compression socks, let's review some of the key compression sock benefits so you can make an informed decision based on your needs:
Compression socks are designed as a treatment for poor circulation in legs and feet, helping to regulate the flow of blood from your extremities back to your heart. This is especially beneficial for people who may experience pain and discomfort or perpetually cold hands and feet due to poor circulation.
How do compression socks work for swelling? Compression socks for swelling help keep fluid from pooling in your feet and ankles, which can occur from long periods of standing or sitting, general inflammation, pregnancy, certain diseases, or poor lymphatic drainage. Compression socks for edema (another word for swelling) apply consistent gentle pressure on the legs and ankles, keeping puffiness at bay throughout the day.
Improved performance and recovery
Wearing compression socks during exercise can help improve your performance and boost your endurance. Compression socks for athletes can also accelerate recovery time after training, supporting your muscles as they heal. This is because working out or running with compression socks helps to reduce lactic acid build-up and improve blood flow, providing oxygen to your muscles as you work out and recover.
Reduced risk of injury
Compression socks for the prevention of injury in sports can reduce the risk of injury or muscle strain while exercising by providing additional support and stability to your ankles and feet. They can also help with injury preventions in those with jobs requiring physical activity or those with weak joints or a previous injury.
Compression socks for varicose veins (also known as varicose vein stockings) are designed to help treat and prevent varicose veins by providing additional support to the venous system. They can also help to prevent or reduce the symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, a condition caused by weakened veins in the legs, and other venous disorders.
When to Start Wearing Compression Socks
Now that we've reviewed some of the leading compression sock benefits, let's look at when you should start wearing them for optimal results. Remember, just like taking extended summer vacations and eating all your veggies, it’s never too early or too late to start.
Compression Socks for Athletes
Many athletes start wearing compression socks in their late teens and early 20s. Why? The benefits of compression socks for running, cycling, and other sporting activities are well-documented. Wearing compression socks has been proven to positively impact performance, helping your leg muscles pump back blood to the heart and get oxygen-rich blood back to your extremities while you work out. This enables you to exercise harder for longer (i.e., achieve your endurance goals), and, as we mentioned, wearing compression socks for recovery helps you to get back up and running (literally) sooner. For this reason, compression socks are known globally as the best socks for athletes, whether you're a beginner or a pro. Put your compression socks on just before you begin your workout and then take them off after you exercise, or swap them out for a fresh Pear and leave them on all day for recovery.
Compression Socks for Pregnancy and Postpartum
Wearing compression socks throughout this special time can help to reduce swelling in pregnancy and help you avoid leg fatigue from carrying extra weight. Compression socks for swollen ankles and feet can be worn from your first trimester, but you'll probably find them more helpful as you move into your third trimester when your bump really starts to get bigger. After you've given birth, compression socks can also help you with postpartum edema - or swelling - which occurs in the days or weeks after delivery. During this time, postpartum swelling in legs and ankles is common, so you're not alone, mama! But compression socks for pregnant women and postpartum swelling can be extremely helpful in keeping the preggo-puffiness down and helping you get back on your feet with your brand new bundle of joy in your arms. It's important to note that while some swelling in pregnancy and postpartum is normal, if you do have any concerns about your symptoms, it's always best to consult your healthcare practitioner so you can have complete peace of mind as you make your way through the journey of mamahood.
Compression Socks for Surgery and Recovery
Wearing compression socks after surgery can be an essential part of the recovery process. Because compression socks promote healing and improve circulation, many healthcare practitioners will suggest wearing compression socks after surgery to prevent blood clots, which are rare but can become an issue if you are immobile for an extended period after surgery. Compression socks can also help to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain that can come with hip, knee, or leg surgery. Some surgeries require compression socks right after surgery, and sometimes you need to wait until your dressing is removed. Your doctor will tell you when to wear compression stockings after your surgery and their recommended compression level, but you'll need a Pear of compression socks that are easy to put on, especially if you can't move very well. Pear Compression's versatile range of compression socks is made in Italy with premium, all-natural material that is hypoallergenic and machine washable, so you can easily keep your post-surgery compression socks clean and comfy as you heal.
Compression Socks for Air Travel
Compression socks for flying have long been a jet-setter's secret weapon for avoiding the dreaded 'swollen feet syndrome' that comes from sitting on a plane for over 12 hours. Long-haul flights can be uncomfortable and lead to leg pain and swelling in feet and ankles. This is caused by fluid retention and blood pooling in your legs due to sitting in one position for long periods. While extremely rare, this inactivity can also lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) (blood clots). But fear not! Compression socks for traveling can help reduce your risk of DVT and swelling by improving your circulation and helping fluid move through your body more efficiently. With Pear's range of modern compression socks, you no longer have to worry about hiding your unsightly flight socks under your jeans. Instead, you can slip into a pair of stylish compression socks for long flights that have been designed to complement any outfit while delivering the medical-grade compression you need to stay comfortable on your next great adventure. Simply Pear your compression socks with an outfit of your choice before your flight and leave them on until you get off the plane, remembering to remove your compression socks while sleeping. Sleeping with compression socks is not advised because your legs are at the same level as your heart when lying down, so the need for circulatory support is reduced.
If you're still wondering when to start wearing compression socks, of course, prevention is always better than cure, so you can begin to wear them as early as possible to prevent any uncomfortable symptoms from happening down the line. Compression socks for runners, expectant mothers, surgery, and air travel can help you feel comfortable, stay healthy, and look stylish at the same time.
Pear's premium collection of Italian-made knee-high compression socks and crew compression socks are expertly designed to serve a range of needs, whether it's to aid in recovery post-surgery or help you keep the swelling at bay on your next-long haul flight. We've even introduced sheer compression stockings to our range so you can wear your compression socks to work or a fancy night out without sacrificing style for comfort and protection.
Browse our range today to find your perfect Pear!
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.