Do Compression Stockings Work?
What’s the deal with compression stockings? Perhaps your healthcare provider or physiotherapist has recommended them. And now, you want to know a little bit more about them. Below, we’ve got all the details regarding compression stockings and whether or not they work, as well as how to use them.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression stockings, sometimes called compression socks, are worn to apply gentle pressure to your lower legs. This can help increase blood flow, preventing blood from pooling in your lower limbs. In turn, they may help reduce swelling and pain.
Compression stockings also have a ton of other benefits. Your doctor or physiotherapist may recommend them for any of the following reasons:
- To increase circulation in the legs
- To give the veins more support
- To prevent blood pooling in the legs
- To decrease swelling
- To help decrease lightheadedness upon standing
- To prevent venous ulcers
- To decrease the pain associated with varicose veins
- To enhance lymphatic drainage
- To prevent clotting in the legs
Additionally, they may prevent your legs from becoming tired or sore. But what else should you know? Let’s dive in!
The Safety & Use of Compression Stockings
Is it safe to wear them at night? How long should you wear them for? These are very common questions when it comes to compression socks and how they should be used.
While compression stockings can be worn throughout your day, it is not recommended to wear these socks at night or when you are lying horizontally for long durations. When you lie down, your legs are at the same level as your heart. This means gravity does not have the same effect on your blood as it does when you are sitting or standing.
On the other hand, some individuals may be recommended compression socks after surgery. As such, they may wear them in bed. However, these are commonly the exceptions. Generally, you won’t be recommended to wear them to bed.
Usually, your healthcare provider will give you instructions relating to you and your condition. You may only have to wear the compression socks when walking or performing physical activity. Or in other cases, you may be required to wear them all day long. It depends on your situation and why you are using them.
Who Should Wear Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are suitable for a wide variety of people. Seniors with poor circulation may find them helpful in avoiding lower leg swelling or other problems. Athletes might even use them to help accelerate their recovery. Pregnant women are also sometimes recommended to wear compression socks to reduce swelling and decrease pressure on their veins.
Yet, as many people as compression socks may help, there are also those who should avoid wearing them, including individuals with a skin infection, extreme leg swelling, peripheral artery disease and dermatitis with delicate skin.
Finding the Right Compression Stocking For You
What is the best compression stocking? It comes down to selecting the compression stocking that is suitable for you and your health situation. There are different levels of compression, such as mild, medium and firm. There are also different lengths, such as ones that come up just over the ankle and others that come up to just below the knee.
We suggest that you always go with what your doctor or physiotherapist has recommended. They know you and your situation the best, which means they are your best source of advice when it comes to choosing the right compression socks for you.
Contact Us Today
At ADM Ottawa Physio, our expert team of physiotherapists is here to help. If you are experiencing issues with your lower legs, don’t hesitate to contact our clinic today. From there and if needed, we can help determine what compression stockings are best suited for you and your needs.