Compression therapy and related compression products have seen a massive surge in popularity in recent years with everyone from marathon runners, to nurses on their feet all day, to people with medical conditions such as varicose veins all enjoying the many benefits of compression.
However, can it be useful for improving the health and wellbeing of the average person? Someone who does moderate exercise, who stands on their feet for an average number of hours a day and who does not suffer from a specific health concern?
Keep reading to find out!
What is compression therapy?
Compression therapy involves wearing socks or stockings that are specifically designed to support your veins and increase circulation in your legs. Compression garments can be worn throughout the day, before or during exercise, but they are recommended to be taken off before bed.
Compression therapy prevents your blood from pooling in your leg veins, aiding circulation and reducing any swelling you may have.
How do compression socks and stockings work?
High–quality compression socks from are usually made from elastic garment apparel and when worn, allow for a gradual constriction that begins at the ankle and decreases as it works its way up to your leg. The socks serve the purpose of acting like a replicated muscle that adds pressure to the legs, allowing veins to loosen up and reduce any pain, swelling or aching you may be experiencing.
Who can benefit from compression therapy?
People who suffer from chronic venous diseases such as are usually the first candidates for compression therapy, with those who have experienced any of the below most likely to use compression socks:
- A specific leg injury or surgery
- Excessive weight gain or obesity
- Prolonged periods without movement
- Blood clots in the veins
- Poor circulation
That being said, wearing compression socks or stockings can also be beneficial for people who have not experienced any of the above. They can be used for comfort, to do better in sports, to reduce swelling in the legs of pregnant women and for people that spend a lot of time standing all day at work.
What are the main advantages of wearing compression socks?
As previously explained, even if you do not suffer from a specific medical condition that could benefit from compression therapy, that doesn’t mean that compression socks are not a good choice for you.
Compression socks can be used to:
- Prevent your legs from becoming tired and achy
- Ease swelling in your feet and ankles
- Help prevent and treat spider and varicose veins
- Help stop you from feeling dizzy when you stand up
- after a workout
- Prevent tissue damage
- Prevent swelling on a long-haul flight
What types of compression socks are available?
Depending on your individual needs and the reasons why you have chosen to wear them, you can find compression socks and stockings in a wide variety of different lengths. For sufferers of DVT, deep vein thrombosis, you will want to look for a pair that goes to just below the knee, although you can find ones that go all the way up to your thigh and ones that just cover the ankle.
You can also choose between different pressures, with mild compression socks being more appropriate for people who want to wear them to work and higher numbers being better for those looking to prevent DVT.