Compression socks apply inward pressure to the lower legs helping to ensure proper circulation.
Once thought of mostly as an accessory for long-haul fliers compression socks have become an important part of many people’s daily wardrobe.
Below, our health experts outline the 10 biggest benefits of wearing compression socks.
10 Benefits Of Compression Socks
With more people than ever adopting sedentary lifestyles compression socks have become an important way to stave off related health conditions. Below are the 10 biggest benefits of compression socks.
1: Compression socks improve circulation in your lower legs and feet.
Which is the most common reason people wear them to begin with. Poor circulation in the lower extremities is often an issue for people who sit for long hours whether at work, on airplanes or just watching TV. But they are not the only ones who suffer lower body circulatory problems. The older we get and the more time we spend essentially sedentary the more swelling of the extremities becomes an issue (1) and the more important it becomes to invest in some good compression socks.
2: Compression socks help fend off deep vein thrombosis.
Deep vein thrombosis (2), or DVT for short, is a serious condition characterized by the formation of blood clots. These blood clots most often occur in the lower extremities and are most often the result of sitting or standing for long stretches at a time. If one of these blood clots breaks free and makes its way to the lung it can cause a potentially deadly problem known as a pulmonary embolism (3). Preventing DVT is one of the major benefits of compression socks.
3: Compression socks help stave off varicose veins.
In some cases varicose veins (4) appear as tiny, spider web type veins on the legs. In other cases they may take the form of bulbous veins protruding outward from the surface of the skin. And in still other cases a person may manifest both types of varicose veins. They can actually be very painful and they often drain the sufferer of energy, making it difficult for them to engage in vigorous activity. Wearing compression socks regularly, especially if you are on your feet a lot, can help fend off the development of varicose veins.
4: Compression socks are good for people who fly a lot.
Anyone who has flown is familiar with the ordeal of having to sit still in a confining little seat, often for hours on end. This can cause fluid to accumulate in the lower legs and feet (5), raising the specter of DVT and other problems. Compression socks are often called ‘travel socks’ for a reason. Because they are just as important for frequent flyers as they are for those who spend their day sitting in front of a computer screen.
5: Compression socks are ideal for those who work at a desk all day long.
Speaking of sitting in front of a computer screen all day… Doctors have long known the risks involved with sitting too long. In our increasingly high-tech, service-oriented economy where people routinely spend all day at the computer, this risk has become magnified. In fact, studies suggest that people who sit stationary for long periods of time every day stand just as great a chance of dying prematurely as those who smoke (6). The solution? Stand up and move around at regular intervals and wear compression socks.
6: Compression socks can help prevent orthostatic hypotension in older folks.
Ever feel dizzy when you stand up? That’s called ‘orthostatic hypotension’ (7). While it can affect anyone with low blood pressure it’s most prevalent in older individuals. It’s caused by blood rushing to the legs when you stand, leaving you lightheaded. In some cases it may cause a person to pass out. But it’s not typically that severe. Wearing compression socks can help prevent orthostatic hypotension, or at least minimize its effects.
7: Compression socks can help alleviate the aches and pains caused by varicose veins.
This is true no matter how severe they may have become. We talked earlier about preventing varicose veins with compression socks. But for some folks it’s too late. They are already beset by this troubling condition. But even if that’s the case it’s not too late to pick up some compression socks and start enjoying a bit of a respite from the aches and pains the condition can cause.
8: Compression socks can help athletes perform better.
In many cases athletes spend time standing around on the sidelines waiting for their number to be called so they can get in the game. Or they’re forced to spend long hours on flights traveling between games. Because of this they are often at risk of developing swollen legs, and perhaps suffering DVT (8). Lower leg swelling is going to interfere with their ability to perform at their peak should they be called upon. And DVT, of course, could be life threatening. Wearing compression socks is a good idea for all types of athletes and will keep the blood moving in their lower legs.
9: Compression socks can aid in more effective lymphatic drainage.
This is not something that is commonly talked about when discussing the benefits of compression socks, but it should be. The lymphatic system essentially is our body’s way of disposing of dangerous toxins. Should the lymphatic system become clogged this toxic fluid will begin to accumulate in the tissue, causing a condition called ‘lymphedema’ (9). In the case of people who sit for long hours, it typically accumulates in the legs and feet.
10: Compression socks make your career possible.
Think about it. Does your job require that you sit at a computer all day doing research or trading stocks or writing? If so, then you’re going to need compression socks sooner or later. Or you’re going to have to find another career. This is not hyperbole. It’s a fact of modern life. In that sense compression socks are very much responsible for you being able to do the type of work you want to do. So next time you’re telling your friends how much you love your job, remember that without compression socks your life might be very different.
If you sit at a desk all day compression socks can ensure proper circulation in your lower legs and fend off conditions like DVT. Compression socks can also help reduce the prevelence of varicose veins and prevent those feelings of dizziness when you stand up quickly. Old or young if you spend a significant amount of time each day in a stationary position consider wearing compression socks.