Compression socks and stockings have become very popular. Not only are they a fad, they also offer huge potential benefits for your leg health. Whether you're pregnant with swollen feet, have some nasty varicose veins, are recovering from surgery, or are an athlete looking to use compression stockings to improve your performance, there are many benefits to wearing compression stockings. The question is, which type of compression socks is best for you? If you ask yourself what compression stockings do I need, read on. There are many different types of compression socks available - each suitable for a different application. In this guide, we'll look at the differences in compression stockings to help you decide which is best for you.
Types of Compression Stockings and Socks
Compression stockings and stockings can be divided into two main types. These are called gradient compression stockings and thromboembolic deterrent hoses, also known as TED hoses or anti-embolic stockings.
TED tubing is used for post-operative recovery and prolonged immobilization where significant blood circulation is required. On the other hand, graduated compression socks or stockings are more common and are suitable for a variety of applications. They are commonly used to treat swelling, varicose or spider veins, DVT, pregnant women, and those who spend a lot of time on their feet.
length of compression stockings
In terms of length, compression socks are usually knee length (the top is above the calf but below the knee) or thigh length. Short compression stockings that provide compression only on the ankle area, such as plantar fasciitis and full-length pantyhose compression stockings, are also available.
Deciding which length of compression socks is best for you really comes down to why you need compression socks in the first place. The most commonly used length for compression stockings is knee length. This is because compression stockings are most often used for swollen calves, runners or athletes who want to improve their performance, varicose or spider veins, pregnant women, and people who work standing up all day, such as nurses. In these cases, knee length compression is usually just enough.
Longer lengths are often required when patients are at risk for DVT or have severe varicose or spider veins. People with significantly reduced blood circulation due to, for example, recovery from surgery or prolonged immobilization are more likely to need longer-length compression stockings because they promote circulation over a larger area.
Compression stockings are generally divided into four main compression strength groups:
8-15 mmHg: mild compression
This compressive strength is suitable for those seeking relief from muscle fatigue and pain in the legs. For those who work standing up or sit for long periods of time, it will promote rejuvenation and reduce fatigue. This will help reduce minor swelling in the feet and ankles.
15-20 mmHg: Moderate compression
The next compressive strength increase, this category is perfect for those with more severe leg fatigue, pain and heaviness. It also helps reduce swelling in the legs, feet and ankles. For the prevention and relief of minor varicose and spider veins. Another popular application of this compressive strength is to prevent DVT during long flights.
20-30 mmHg: tight pressure
This firm level of compression is suitable for more severe varicose and spider veins. It is often prescribed as a post-operative treatment and also helps prevent veins from appearing. Indicated for the treatment of lymphedema as well as venous ulcers and post-thrombotic syndrome. This compressive strength does take some getting used to and can be uncomfortable at first.
30-40 mmHg: additional compression
On the upper end of the compression spectrum, this category applies to severe cases of the above. We do not recommend using this level of compression without first seeking the advice of a medical professional.
Do I need socks or stockings?
Socks and Stockings
If you've searched our catalog and wondered why you might need short compression socks instead of long compression socks, we've broken down the differences for you here.
Compression socks, regardless of length, help improve blood circulation. They keep blood flowing back to your heart by applying tension around your feet and gradually reducing the pressure as the sock moves your leg up. While compression socks are good for everyone, everyone doesn't need the same socks.
Socks and Stockings
One of the nice things about short compression socks is that they look like regular socks if you like the stuff. Our socks (often called compression running socks) are designed for runners. Moisture-wicking fabric helps prevent blisters and irritation while resisting odors. The sock's impact cushioning makes every step softer, while the added arch support and cushioned heel and toe provide ultimate comfort, allowing you to focus on running forward, not your feet. If you suffer from shin splints, pairing running socks with your sleeves will give you the extra comfort you need to stay focused.
On the other hand, long compression socks can help in a variety of situations, not just running. Whether you're sedentary, recovering, working on your feet for long periods of time, traveling, or training at the gym, longer socks help improve circulation and reduce swelling.
Compression isn't just for runners. It's for everyone. Make sure you get the right socks to meet your specific needs.
What should I pay attention to when buying compression socks?
Here are some important factors to keep in mind when looking for your next pair of socks or stockings:
Materials - Pay attention to the materials being used. The Crazy Compression Socks are made from lightweight, breathable micro-nylon with humidity control. Nobody wants sweaty feet! Moisture-wicking material helps keep feet dry and comfortable. (Oh, and the comfort of the people in your room! Let's not forget them.)
Durability - There's nothing more annoying than buying a new pair of socks, only to have them break down in the wash. Or, fall in love with a pair of compression socks that stop working after a year. That's why our socks feature a durable heel and toe design and come with a lifetime warranty.
Sizing – Compression socks are only valid if they are the right size. If you choose a size that is too small, the compression will often be too strong, hindering your performance or recovery. If you choose a size that's too large, you run the risk of rolling up the socks and not distributing the compression the way they're designed. When worn, the socks should lie flat against the skin, with no wrinkles or folds.
What is the purpose of compression? Why do I need compression stockings?
You may need a TED hose if you have just had surgery and are expected to be immobilized for an extended period of time, or for other reasons. If you have limited mobility but need improved circulation to help relieve conditions such as swollen feet, varicose or spider veins to prevent DVT, or if you are an athlete who needs compression to improve performance, you will need graduated compression stockings.
What is the area that needs to be compressed?
Similar to the reasons for using compression, the length of compression garments you need depends on the area where you need them. The most common lengths are knee-length compression stockings, however, if compression is also required in the thigh area, then thigh-length stockings will be more appropriate.
How much compressive strength do you need?
The last question you want to ask yourself is how sick you are, or how much stress you need. You can use the guide above to give you directions. In most cases, 15 to 20 mmHg or 20 to 30 mmHg will be most appropriate. If you have never used compression stockings or stockings before, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a medical professional. This is especially true if you plan to wear a stronger compressive strength, such as 30 - 40 mmHg.
Transition to higher compression ratios
Another factor to consider when deciding which compression socks you should wear is whether you want to transition to stronger compression by wearing a smaller compression first. If you've never worn compression socks before, they can be very uncomfortable at first. This is especially true if you jump straight into 20 - 30 mmHg or 30 - 40 mmHg. In these cases, the lesser pressure is usually worn first to get used to the feel.
If you have never used compression stockings before, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a medical professional. In rare cases, compression stockings or socks may not fit. So it's best to stay safe at all times. We hope this post on different types of compression stockings and stockings was informative. If you are still questioning, what compression socks do I need, feel free to comment below.