Support when you need it: compression socks and stockings

Compression socks are not just for long-haul flights or seniors. Compression socks and compression hosiery can help support your legs if you are standing for much of your day, and improve circulation if you are sitting for much of your day. Medical grade compression stockings are often recommended for circulatory conditions resulting in poor blood flow to your legs, such as varicose veins (swollen veins), and lymphoedema (swelling in your tissues).

How compression stockings work

Compression stockings work by applying gentle pressure to your lower legs. So, in addition to medical uses, you can use them to reduce aching legs, leg pain, and provide relief from conditions such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain), thanks to the support given by the elasticated stocking to the muscles of your foot.

Tired, aching legs? Wondering if compression stockings could help?

Call us and book an appointment with our team at one of our three local foot clinics in Ontario. We’re happy to help with advice and fitting if required.
• Stratford foot clinic
Ingersoll footcare clinic
London footcare clinic

Every day compression wear

Compression stockings come in varying levels of compression. Over the counter mens’ socks and ladies’ hosiery are available with a degree of compression, measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). These are usually either:
• 8-15mmHg for those sitting or standing for long periods
• 15-20mmHg of pressure for those who are prone to swollen legs, when travelling or when pregnant
These level of compressions are ideal for you need a little extra support but have no medical conditions affecting your legs.

Higher levels of compression socks and stockings

Medical grade stockings offer higher level of compression, usually either in the 20-30mmHg or 30-40mmHg ranges.
• 20-30mmHg is the most commonly prescribed compression level by doctors for painful legs, varicose veins, oedema and types of low blood pressure.
• 30-40mmHg compression stockings are usually prescribed for more severe conditions, in the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
These strengths of compression hosiery gently squeeze your vein walls together, maintaining blood flow to your legs and back to your heart, and helping to reduce swelling. Medical grade compression stockings can also help with conditions where joints and muscles become inflamed or swollen, such as arthritis and joint pain.

You should only wear the higher levels of compression as recommended / prescribed by your podiatrist or your physician. At Hunt Footcare, we may recommend you wear support or compression stockings at your consultation, or your GP may prescribe them to you as part of post-operative care or a medical condition.

How to fit compression socks

Medical grade compression socks should always be fitted by a health care professional to ensure they offer the correct level of pressure for your requirements. Our team will check they are the correct fit for you, and also show you how to put them on and take them off properly – there is a definite “knack’ to that! For those with concerns around strength in wrists or bending, we can advise you on aids to help you get your stockings on. You should always have two pairs of compression socks, so one pair can be washed while you wear the other. Compression hosiery should always be hand-washed and air-dried (i.e. not on direct heat). You should have your fit checked and your stockings replaced every 3 to 6 months, as advised by us or your medical team. This ensures they are the correct fit and retain their elasticity.

Compression socks for sports

Compression socks are popular with runners, as Runner’s World magazine explains: (1)
“Compression kit is designed to help you move faster when you’re running and recover faster afterwards. They work by improving the rate that your body pumps waste-ridden blood out from your legs and nutrient-rich blood in; this reduces the amount of lactic acid building up.”
The jury is still out on the benefits of wearing while running, but they have been shown to benefit recovery.

No more ugly compression stockings!

We know that compression hosiery is not usually know for its good looks! That’s why we stock the range of Sigvaris compression socks, hosiery and stockings for every day wear, pregnancy, travel and sports. According to the level of compression required and where, you can choose your style, colour, size, length and more. For athletes and fitness fans there are a range of great-looking compression sports socks for men and women.

Looking for help with compression stockings?

Call us for an appointment at any of our three local podiatry clinics in London, Ingersoll and Stratford Ontario.

• Stratford foot clinic
Ingersoll footcare clinic
London footcare clinic

Published On: May 11, 2021