At your last doctor’s appointment, your doctor mentioned compression stockings. Unfortunately, you also talked about many other things and you’ve forgotten how support socks can help you. That’s okay! There are several common reasons why doctors recommend support hose. Let’s take a look at a few and see if they ring any bells for you.
Reasons for Compression Socks
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Your doctor likely diagnosed this condition with lab tests or imaging such as an ultrasound. Typical symptoms of DVT include pain, swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness. If left untreated, the clot can break off can cause a pulmonary embolism or stroke. It’s crazy to think that this simple blood clot could result in death. So it’s important to follow your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may prescribe medications in addition to compression socks for men or compression hose for women to reduce the clot.
Leg or Ankle Swelling
Swelling can occur as a result of injury, water retention, sitting or standing for long periods or other reasons. Depending on the reason for the swelling your doctor may recommend support hose to reduce the swelling and prevent recurrence. The slight compression provided by compression socks keeps blood and muscle fluids flowing instead of settling in your legs and ankles causing them to swell.
When small blood vessels release fluid into nearby tissues, this causes swelling known as edema. When this occurs in the legs, they may feel heavy and affect walking. In patients with edema and heart disease, legs can weigh an extra five to ten pounds a piece. If left untreated, skin ulcers can result. In addition to draining fluid or prescribing blood thinners, doctors often recommend compression hose to control the edema and get blood flowing again.
Varicose veins are visibly seen traveling through on the surface of the leg. They’re usually very bold, bubbly bulges that follow the vein. This is when blood is pooling behind the damaged valve in the leg. Not only are these sightly, but can also be very painful. Sometimes they may have to be stripped by a vascular surgeon, but usually, compression socks or compression stockings are the first steps in treating varicose veins to help reduce the amount fluid building in the veins.
All pregnant women know feet, ankles, and toes tend to swell as pregnancy progresses. Sometimes to the point of needing to wear different shoes. Wearing support hose helps reduce this swelling and makes pregnant women more comfortable during the later stages. Not only may you experience some swelling, but sometimes the weight of the baby may restrict blood flow back to the heart from the legs. This can cause blood to pool in the veins and could develop into varicose veins. Most mothers get a free pass on the first baby, but usually, develop them by the second. Compression socks are a good preventative measure to reduce the appearance of these painful and ugly veins.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, traveling, particularly on airplanes, can impact circulation in the lower extremities. A pair of compression socks for a long plane or road trip can never hurt for the ride. You’ll notice a big difference when it’s finally time to get moving again.
You may have noticed some athletes wearing compression gear when working out. While they won’t make you perform better at the exercise, compression socks and compression sleeves help reduce recovery time after a hard workout. The socks and sleeves keep the veins working efficiently during a workout so the blood gets back to the heart and the blood gets to the muscles to deliver the much-needed nutrients during exertion. A lot of runners tend to wear compression sport socks to help the blood work against gravity during their marathon. The sport socks have wicking properties to pull away the sweat, a padded sole and an Achilles support to reduce inflammation.
If you’re still not sure why your doctor recommended support hose, give them a call. Once you know what you need, come see us. Our friendly staff will be happy to show you our complete line of compression socks for men and compression hose for women. You’ll find something that suits your style and medical needs.