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What is a Compression Sock?

Updated: Sep 26, 2021

In this article, we will explain the following

We hope this article will help expand your knowledge about compression socks. If you need more answers, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us.

what is a compression sock

What is a compression sock?

Compression stockings are specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. They may be prescribed by your GP if you have a condition that causes poor blood flow in your legs, such as: varicose veins (swollen and enlarged veins) or lympoedema (when your body tissue's swell up. Compression socks can come in various sizes, color, and lengths.

Who should be using a compression sock?

  • People with or at risk for circulation problems, like DVT, varicose veins, or diabetes

  • People who've just gotten surgery

  • Those who can't leave their bed or have a hard time moving their legs

  • People who stand all day at work

  • Athletes

  • Pregnant women

  • People who spend long stretches of time on airplanes, like pilots

When is the best time to wear it and how long do you have to wear it?

The best time to wear compression socks is when you get up in the morning, because this is when the vascular system in your legs is functioning at maximum capacity and swelling has not yet occurred.

On average, you can wear it the whole day but we suggest taking them off before your bedtime to allow your body go back to it's normal state for sleeping.

You should replace compression socks between 4-6 months after 1st use because you lose the elasticity of a sock over time. As the compression socks gets worn, the elasticity stretches and over time the function of the threads gets looser. So it is optimal to replace your compression socks 4-6 months.

Benefits of Compression sock

Benefits of compression sock
  • Decrease the major veins diameter by increasing the blood flow volume and velocity

  • Helps the flow of blood to the heart

  • help prevent downward refluxing of blood to the foot or into superficial veins laterally.

  • Improve blood circulation in your legs

  • Act as vein support

  • Prevent the accumulation of excess blood in your leg veins

  • Prevent or reduce leg swelling

  • Prevent ulcer of the leg vein

  • Prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in your legs

  • Help reduce varicose veins pain

  • Reverse venous hypertension

  • Lymphatic drainage improvement

There are many benefits to a compression socks, however you should always check with your local doctor if a compression sock will benefit you.

Different compression levels?

compression sock level

Compression levels is the amount of pressure applied to your extremities, are measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The larger the number, the higher the compression. The different compression levels serve different purposes. Here is the following we were able to gather and share. Please note, you should always check with your doctor first.

  • 8-15 mmHg: This is the lightest form of compression. Socks in this compression level provide relief from tired and achy legs. They help control minor swelling by gently enhancing circulation in the legs.

  • 15-20 mmHg: This compression level provides relief from minor to moderate swelling, aching, and varicose veins. It's also great for during pregnancy. While it's great for preventing deep vein thrombosis, it's also perfect for traveling or anyone who stands or sits for long periods of time (airplane).

  • 20-30 mmHg: The compression level offers a firmer compression and can be used to treat a variety of moderate conditions. This level can provide relief from varicose veins, edema, deep vein thrombosis, and post-sclerotherapy. This level is also referred to as Class I.

  • 30-40 mmHg: This compression level can be classified as Class II compression, in this range compression socks are often prescribed to provide relief from moderate to severe edema, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis. They’re also prescribed for post-sclerotherapy and to heal active venous stasis ulcers. This level of compression should only be worn under a doctor’s supervision.

  • 40-50 mmHg: This is the highest level and should only be prescribed by a doctor. This level is typically used to treat chronic venous insufficiency and post-thrombotic syndrome. Your doctor might refer to this level as Class III.

What makes a compression sock function?

They are 2 things that primarily dictate how a compression sock can function.

The Material - can dictate how good compression works. Poor threads, poor manufacturing, can lead to poor results with compression socks. Check with your local supplier on the brand of material they are using to make your compression socks.

The Denny - Controls the level of pressure a compression sock can provide. Denny (D) can come in as 180D, 240D, 280D, 360D, 420D, etc. The higher the Denny, the higher the pressure.

This setting is done at the machine setting from your sock manufacture.

I have a compression sock, so what are the do and do not advice on the caring of your product.

The Do list

Do wash your compression stockings properly (follow wash instructions)

Do use gloves to put on your compression stockings (save a fingernail or a thread)

Do put compression stockings on first thing in the morning (best results)

Do replace every 4-6 months (elasticity decreases = less pressure)

The Do Not list

Don't put lotion on skin when wearing compression socks (oils affects the material)

Don't alter your compression stockings (don't try to design, color or spruce the look)

Don't roll up your compression stockings to put them on or take them off

Don't wear them at night (let your body relax at night and allow blood to flow naturally)

Don't use chlorine bleach to clean your stockings (bleach is strong, it may damage it)

Don't wring out compression socks to dry them (stretching = loosing elasticity)

We hope the information provided in this article can help improve your understanding about compression socks. If you have any questions about the manufacturing, it's pretty much like any other sock. Please leave comments and subscribe to us if you want future articles.


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