What do compression socks do?

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knee high stocking
This knee-high stocking provides the benefits of compression
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Wondering what do compression socks do if they have been recommended for you?

What do compression socks do? When a person wears compression socks, gentle pressure is applied to the legs and against the ankles. This helps blood flow freely when sitting or standing.

Those who are at risk for blood clots or who fly frequently often wear compression socks because the pressure that the socks apply cues the blood in the superficial veins to travel into those veins that are more deeply situated in the leg and then flow back to the heart.

When blood moves freely into deep veins the blood is less apt to clot. Blood clots are dangerous and can be fatal.

The older a person gets, the less efficiently the veins in his body function. Health problems arise when blood doesnít circulate through the body as proficiently as it should. When blood circulation is diminished, this causes cells to become deprived of needed nutrients and oxygen. When wearing compression socks, this helps prevent circulatory issues or slows down the progress of an already existing circulatory problem. Pregnant women may experience circulation issues because of weight gain and other physical problems, which are eased by maternity compression stockings.

The main reason a person wears this kind of sock is because it exerts graduated pressure on the feet and lower leg. Gravity is not always our friend. It can cause blood to pool in the feet or lower parts of the leg and this causes circulatory issues, including deep vein thrombosis, edema and phlebitis. When blood pools it also causes legs and feet to cramp as well as fatigue.

Thrombosis refers to blood vessel obstruction caused by a blood clot. When a blot clot prevents clear passage in a vein this is referred to as venous thrombosis. When an artery is obstructed this is called arterial thrombosis. Blood clots occur when the blood coagulates and turns into a gelatinous mass inside a vein or artery. The trouble really happens when a clot separates from the vein or artery and travels through the body.

When fluid accumulates in a body cavity or tissue this is called edema. Edema is swelling. There are two kinds of edema including non-pitting and pitting. When a person experience non-pitting edema there is no indentation made in the skin caused by swelling. With pitting edema, indentations from socks or pressure will show up in the area of the body where swelling has occurred.

When a vein is inflamed this is phlebitis. A person can experience phlebitis in deep veins or superficial veins.


These socks feel good. They abolish that heavy, burning and tingling sensation that a person experiences when he has been on his legs too long or sitting for an extended period of time. The compression in a compression sock squeezes at the ankles and this moves the blood back up the leg and to the heart, which lessens the pressure on veins and improves circulation.

On the other hand, legs and feet that arenít encased in this type of sock or hose can feel weighty because blood is collecting at the ankles. This blood then has an arduous time traveling back to the heart, where it needs to go.


Runners often wear compression socks because it gives them support and comfort. Additionally, wearing this type of sock stimulates the flow of blood and helps the runnerís legs recover quicker after a difficult run. Some people even wear this type of sock to sleep in because it gets their feet and legs ready for the next day.

When a personís legs feel good, he feels good and can go another round or two.

You can choose from different ranges of compression when purchasing this type of sock. The compression level starts at 15 to20 mmHg and goes all the way to 50-60 mmHg, which means millimeters of mercury.

No one is going to know that you are wearing compression socks, if that is your concern. In fact, this type of sock or hosiery can be very attractive and look just like normal socks or hose.

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