Compression garments/socks are specialized medical devices designed to help many disorders such as venous disease and edema.
How do they help? They increase your blood circulation, decrease inflammation and swelling.
As we move and create a muscle pump in the leg (or arm) the garment compresses and pushes the fluid back up the limb avoiding swelling and pooling.
When the tiny valves in our legs weaken they can cause swelling and varicose veins. Compression with help. While genetics play a role in developing varicose veins, lifestyle factors like diet can also contribute to vein problems. Vascular health is so important to us, and can be helped by watching our weight, blood pressure, nutrition and lifestyle.
When deciding on which compression garments are best for you, you should consult your physician. Health history is a big factor. Those with DVT, skin issues/infection, and diabetics may not be able to wear compression or the doctor may suggest a low compression sock.
Always find a reputable compression fitter. There are many options when picking what’s best for you. Compression isn’t a basic small, medium, large type of fit. Some options will include socks for petite, tall, or full calf patients. Ill fitting socks can cause more problems and cut off circulation rather than improve it.
Your fitter will also give you tips on donning and doffing, and washing instructions to keep your compression lasting for months. Hot water and heat of the dryer will compromise the compression. Compression should be put on first thing in the morning when you wake up and worn during the day only. There are special garments that can be worn while sleeping, see your fitter for more information.
So why do I love compression? Because they work! As we age our bodies don’t “pump” like they used to, and this can cause pain at night when our muscle pump
is resting. Wearing compression daily will help your legs at night. Compression socks can significantly reduce the progression of some conditions by improving blood flow.
Compression can help relieve symptoms related to poor circulation but not designed to address certain underlying conditions. Always see your doctor.
If you have questions about compression therapy, I am here to help.
Cancer Exercise Specialist/Breast Cancer Rehab