If you’ve been ordered to wear compression socks for a circulatory problem, chances are, you’ll be wearing them for a long time. In that case, it is crucial to learn the right ways of wearing these specialized stockings. Elite Vein Clinic can determine if you need this specialized hosiery.
What Are Compression Stockings?
Compression socks are specially-designed hosiery that applies pressure to the legs to improve blood flow and reduce swelling and discomfort.
Doctor prescribe them if you have any condition that interferes with proper blood circulation, such as:
- Varicose Veins
- People on bed rest
- People whose work require standing or sitting for long hours
- Pregnant women
Compression socks are available in various sizes, lengths, colors, and compression levels. After evaluating your condition, the doctor will measure your leg/s to ensure that the stockings will fit properly. Depending on your case, you may have to wrap your both legs in stockings, or just on one. Your doctor will monitor the progress and may ask you to replace the compression stockings every 3-6 months.
What Are Compression Socks Prescribe For?
Compression socks apply pressure around the legs, increasing blood flow within the vessels and reducing the risk of blood clotting. These can also be a part of pain management for they relax the muscles and ease swelling. As your blood flow improves, you are less likely to experience dizziness or headaches when standing up.
It is important to keep the blood moving for efficient distribution of oxygen and nutrients to the cells. If blood is pooled in one area for a prolonged period, it can turn into a potentially life-threatening clot. Blood clots can block blood vessels and migrate to the lungs and interfere with proper gas exchange.
What Is the Right Way to Wear Compression Socks?
For compression stockings to be effective, you must wear them as instructed by the doctor. The pressure is at strongest around the ankle and decreases as it goes up to your legs.
There are different ways to put on a compression stocking, and you may choose what fits your condition the most. You can try any of the two:
- Pull the unrolled stocking over your foot until it is wrapped properly around your heel and feet.
- Roll down the stocking or fold it inside out to your ankle. Afterward, unroll the stocking up the legs to the recommended height.
Consider buying a device called “stocking donner” to help you don compression socks easier. This device is particularly helpful for people who can’t grasp or pull properly due to arthritis or any other disease.
Prepare Your Legs Before Wearing Compression Socks
For best results, pat your skin dry. Moisture, whether it’s from water or lotion, can make it hard to pull on the stockings. Sit on a stable chair as you don the stocking. Once it’s on, run your hands along the seams to make sure that there are no lumps or wrinkles, especially around the ankles. Also, do not fold down the top of your stocking.
Keep your compression socks in good condition by wearing socks, shoes, or slippers over them. Also, trim your nails short and remove any jewelry.
Even a small tear or run can quickly reduce their performance. You should replace the stockings once you notice them bunching up, wrinkling, or sliding down. Worn out compression stocks won’t give you the desired results.
Always wear the compression socks as prescribed by your doctor. You may have to wear it as soon as you wake up in the morning until bedtime or throughout the day and night.
Forgetting to put them on may cause swelling, which can make it difficult to wear the compression socks again.
If swelling occurs, try to diminish it by lying down and elevating your feet. Do not force your feet or legs into the compression socks. If swelling persists and more symptoms arise, contact your doctor.
Mind Your Skin
It is also important to be observant of your legs while wearing compression stockings. Watch out any bumps, irritation, discoloration, or any changes. Contact a Scottsdale Varicose Vein Doctor if any of these do not go away after a few days because these can be signs of incorrectly-fitted socks or infection.
How to Care for Compression Socks
Keeping your compression socks in the best condition is necessary to gain its maximum effectiveness. If possible, purchase multiple stockings so you still have something to wear while the other is still in the washer.
Washing brings back the elasticity and eliminates dirt and sweat accumulated throughout the day. Here are some important points to remember when cleaning them:
· Never use warm water because it causes expansion. Use cool water instead.
· Wash them in mild detergent.
· Gentle in scrubbing and squeezing.
· Never pull or wring the stockings to avoid ruining the perfect fit.
· Never place them directly under the sun or near anything hot.