Does your job require you to be on your feet for most of your day? If so, how do your feet feel by the end of the day? Tired? Achy? Sore? Do you dread thinking about doing it all again tomorrow?
Comfortable shoes can only get you so far. When you spend all day on your feet, you need reinforcements to get you through a long day. Compression socks can be the solution to keeping your legs feeling more energized. Compression socks can be good for anyone on their feet all day.
How Does Compression Work?
Everyone has a series of arteries and veins that circulate blood throughout the body. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the muscles throughout the body, while veins carry blood back to the heart for reoxygenation. Veins have the disadvantage of working against gravity. When a person is on their feet for significant portions of the day, that blood can get sluggish and pool in the legs, causing swelling and the all-to-present tired and achy feeling.
Gradient compression is specifically where the garments are tightest near the ankle and gradually decrease as they get higher on the leg. This effect gives the veins a boost and encourages blood to flow back toward the heart instead of pooling. The result is an improvement in swelling, a decrease in tired, achy legs, and a literal burst of energy to the legs.
What Compression Level is Best?
Compression products are measured in millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated mmHg. The larger the mmHg, the more compression is contained in the stockings. Gradient compression levels feature two numbers – for instance 10-15mmHg. This means that the compression level at the ankle is 15mmHg and the compression gradually decreases to 10mmHg.
Therafirm branded compression products are produced in four compression levels to meet a wide range of needs. Light compression, or 10-15mmHg is sufficient for many people, as it is ideal for those that sit or stand for long periods of their day and are designed to help improve circulation and prevent swelling. Mild compression, or 15-20mmHg, is the preferred level among most wearers. In addition to improvement of circulation and prevention of swelling found in light compression, the additional pressure can also help to improve or prevent mild varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and other mild vein issues.
In turn, Moderate compression, 20-30mmHg, adds subsequent conditions that it can help to improve or prevent, such as lymphedema, venous insufficiency, and other more significant vein issues in the legs. The highest compression level, Firm compression, or 30-40mmHg, is typically prescribed by a physician for treatment of advanced vein disease. Visit our guide to compression levels for more information.
Advice for New Wearers
The good news for anyone that experiences tired, achy legs from long hours spent on their feet is that compression products are available for everyone. You do not need a directive from a doctor to try it.
When wearing compression for the first time, be prepared for it to feel tighter than your normal socks or stockings. This tightness is the compression doing its work. If the tightness is too uncomfortable, take them off and try again later. Compression is something that may take some getting used to.
Make sure that your socks or stocking lie flat against your skin. Don’t allow the socks to fold or bunch up. They also need to be the right length, so it is imperative that you’ve been properly measured. Visit our instructions for how to measure for your gradient compression.
WebMD, Cleveland Clinic
Compression products should not be worn and are contraindicated if you have any of the following conditions: Severe arterial insufficiency, cutaneous infections, acute dermatitis, wet dermatosis, uncontrolled congestive heart failure, skin irritations, allergies to dyes.
This is only general information and is not meant for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Always consult your physician or other health care provider about all health concerns, conditions, and recommended treatments.