The pressure sock first showed up, in a basic form, when cavemen walked the Earth. It has long been known that applying pressure to areas of swelling, especially in the most dependent extremities (parts that hang lowest when upright) is a good way to aid the body in returning that excess fluid into the circulatory system.
A Game Changer For Edema
The most common sense thing that is helped by pressure stockings or socks is for swelling in the feet, ankles or lower legs. These problems can be caused by a lot of different health issues, so it is important to establish why swelling is present. It can appear in a normally healthy person during pregnancy or in the presence of a traumatic injury to underlying tissues. However, other problems that aren’t temporary in nature might be the cause. After your doctor or practitioner recommends that you use a compression sock as part or all of your treatment for lower leg or foot swelling, make sure that you are directed to use the type best for you and your health.
Making Circulation More Effective
By applying pressure to key areas, compressions socks can help prevent pooling of intracellular fluids in areas where people are most apt to get it – the low legs and feet. Prevention of gross edema, and improvement in areas where severe swelling was problematic, can help problems like insufficiency of the veins. If the veins can’t fully return deoxygenated blood back to the heart to be circulated, fluids pool, causing swelling. Placing pressure to the legs and lower body is an old remedy for increasing blood pressure in the case of severe blood loss from trauma. Knowing this helps to illustrate how returning pooled fluids to the circulation can be beneficial on the whole. While having swollen ankles or feet is unsightly, the bigger issue is the problems that are caused by stores of excess fluids in the tissues. It is not considered a normal circulatory problem to have swelling, and returning the normal state of equilibrium to the circulatory system is a goal of treatment. Determining the reason for swelling is essential, so that any medicines, treatments, or other curative measures can be taken to prevent further swelling or worse swelling in the future, if possible.
Decreasing The Presence of Life Threatening Clots
DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is the phenomenon of stasis of blood in the veins of the lower legs (usually in the calves, but not always) leading to the formation of blood clots. These clots can break away from the legs, then travel to places like the lung, heart, or brian, where they can wreak havoc and become deadly.
An association with compression stockings and a decrease in DVT was established in the infancy of modern medicine. The constant pressure provided by these socks or stockings decreases venous stasis (pooling of blood in the veins, which isn’t returned to the heart as quickly as a healthy body should), and by preventing this dangerous environment – an environment that is ideal for clotting to occur without any preventative measures – the incidence of clots being thrown from the lower legs is decreased.
Some people are at risk for this even when sitting in place for several hours or more. Even normally healthy people are at risk for Economy Class Syndrome – so named for all of the normally healthy people who suffered heart attack, stroke, or clots in the lungs after long flights. In a certain number or adults, sitting with knees bent for hours at a time can lead to clots forming in the legs. It is recommended that all people move about to some degree, if possible, during long flights. Wearing compression socks or stockings further prevents this problem. Also, post op patients are in most cases fitted with compression stockings or socks to prevent clots, as well as those with history or predisposition for DVT. It is an economical, non-invasive way to prevent a life threatening problem.
Pain Relief for Varicosities
For those who suffer from varicose veins, it is a relief to apply the constant, all-over pressure of a compression sock or garment. Often, people with painful varicosities will wear compression socks alone to control pain from the veins while they are at work or up and about. The wearing of these socks or stockings doesn’t prevent varicose veins, but it does help decrease pain in existing veins that cause problems.