Compression socks are specialized socks or hose designed to provide support and increase blood circulation. The main purpose of compression socks is to provide graduated pressure on the lower leg and foot. This graduated pressure serves to initiate and support proper circulation to decrease the risk of blood clots and other circulatory problems like edema, phlebitis, and thrombosis.
Here’s how they work: When someone is bedridden or unable to move from sitting, standing, walking, and reclining positions in a normal fashion, the body’s ability to circulate blood to all extremities of the body is hampered. Instead, gravity takes over and blood pools in the lowest part of the body—the legs and feet. The key to understanding how these socks work lies in knowing about their graduated pressure application. Throughout an average day, the body pumps blood to all of the extremities as equally as it can. Gravity, however, often causes blood to pool in the lower legs and feet. Compression hose or socks, which are made of special material and designed to apply pressure in all the right places with just the right amount of pressure, keeps the blood flowing through the body rather than allowing it to pool.
Compression hose or socks are an essential piece of wearable medical equipment that can serve to enhance the quality of life of patients suffering from blood clots, those who are prone to producing blood clots, people with diabetes, and those with circulatory and heart diseases. Compression socks and hose are also helpful for people dealing with chronic leg cramps.
It is important, however, that compression socks and hose be used properly. That is why you need to purchase them from someone trained in the proper fitting and use of compression hosiery.