Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How to Choose Which Compression Socks to Buy

Searching for a first pair of compression socks can be confusing to many patients. Often the information that has been given is simply that compression socks will help a problem, but the specific pressure of sock that works best is not always explained to them. Choosing a pressure that is too light may be more comfortable, but won't help symptoms enough. Choosing a pressure that is too tight will help the symptoms but compromise comfort and blood flow unnecessarily. Compression socks are best chosen based on the symptoms a patient wants to control. Here is a guide to the pressure choices and how to choose which compression socks to buy:

Lightest Pressure: Socks with a 15-20mmHg compression are considered mild to medium pressure. If swelling of the legs and feet is minor, this may be the right pressure. It is also good for early and light varicose veins, as well as a way to help prevent tired legs at the end of a long day.

Medium Pressure: Socks which go between 20-30mmHg of pressure are fully in the medium pressure category. If legs are not just tired but aching as well, this may be a better choice than mild pressure socks. This is the lightest pressure that should be used for edema issues, and it can also help moderate varicose veins. Patients who have healed vascular ulcerations should use this pressure to help prevent new ones.

High Pressure: Socks that are in the 30-40mmHg category are considered high pressure compression socks. High levels of edema and varicosities can be managed with these socks. This is the kind of socks that are usually required post-surgery to prevent vascular ulcerations or post surgery edema complications. These are also less comfortable than other socks, and can take time to get used to.

Compression socks may seem like a small fix, but the pressure on vascularly compromised areas can be a very important part of the healing and maintenance process of legs and feet. Choosing the right pressure for the problem will go a long way in making sure that problems are kept in check.


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