For those of you who have been wearing compression socks during your horrifically long workdays, YOU ARE WINNING!
If your anything like me, you walked around for 3 and a half years in ignorance and pain lol. Now of course I noticed that a lot of my coworkers were wearing compression socks and they all raved about them. I just didn’t see how it was worth paying $15 to $30 bucks for one pair of socks. How could a pair of tight socks make me feel better? Talk about being cheap! It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my second child and read about how compression socks can help with an irritable uterus, that I actually decided to give them a try. Sure enough, my contractions improved and my legs were no longer aching at the end of my shift!
If you are in a profession that requires you to be on your feet for long periods of time, I am here to save you from pain, swelling, and the dreaded varicose veins.
* This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may get a small commission for referring you. This is of course at no extra cost to you!
So how do compression socks work?
Compression socks use pressure to decrease the diameter of the distended veins (veins become distended due to gravity and pooling of blood in the lower extremities). This increases the velocity of blood flow in the veins and the effectiveness of the valves to help return blood to the heart. In pregnancy, it can also help reduce the increase of an elevated heart rate in the mother and fetus.
When we are standing, sitting, or lying down for long periods of time, blood will start to pool in the veins of your lower extremities. This causes venous distention (varicose veins), edema, pain, and even blood clots.
So if you work in a profession that requires standing or sitting for long periods of time, go on long trips, you just had surgery, or are fighting swelling in your legs, you need compression socks.
What kind do you use?
There are five different levels of compression to choose from. You can either buy the compression socks or you can buy ted hose. Ted hose usually work better for severe leg swelling, the toes are open, and you need to have your legs measured in order to give you the appropriate size. I am yet to the point where I need ted hose, so I will stick with compression socks for now
The five different levels (these ranges change and vary with each company):
Mild compression (8-15 mmhg)
Moderate compression (15-20 mmhg)
Firm compression (20-30 mmhg)
Extra Firm Compression (30-40 mmhg)
Medical class (40-50 mmhg)
Ps. In case you were wondering, the mmhg stands for millimeters of mercury, which is a measurement of pressure. This is the same measurement used when taking ones blood pressure.
Now, when you look at buying over the counter you will see a lot of moderate and firm compression socks. Most nurses will use firm compression for those long 12-hour shifts. Both mild and firm compression are great for mild to moderate edema in pregnancy! However, if you have severe edema and need a higher level of compression, you should see your primary care physician for a prescription.
What compression socks do I buy?
Below are 3 different brands of compression socks that I absolutely love!
Sockwell was my first pair of compression socks that I bought and the reason being was that they were sold in a hospital coffee shop! Easy access lol! Needless to say they are awesome! The socks are made of wool, bamboo rayon, stretch nylon, and spandex. Despite them being made of wool, they are quite airy and light. I have never sweated in these and my feet don’t smell after a 12-hour shift!! That’s a win! They also have a no slip cuff so they stay up all day and seamless toe closure. So if you ever get irritated with the extra bit of fabric that some socks have, no worries here, they do not exist. These socks are what got me hooked on compression socks. The first time I wore them my feet didn’t hurt by the end of my shift and I had no swelling when I got home!
Go2 Compression socks:
These socks I actually got off of Amazon and the first thing I noticed after putting them on was that they have wonderful soft padding around the feet. Any extra padding on my feet during those long workdays is more than welcome in my book! These socks work great and they come in some really fun colors. I did feel like these had a little more stretch in them, which made them a little easier to put on when compared to the sockwells. Although this is nice, it probably means less compression. However, I did not notice a difference in the results after wearing them.
SB SOX compression socks:
My all time favorite! You guys, this company sent me an email after I bought these on amazon with a 20% off coupon for next purchase. Not only that but in the email they attached an e-book that goes over the benefits of exercise, diet, and sleep. They also attached two other pdf’s; a customer service guide and 10 quick tips on improving blood circulation. Talk about above and beyond for this small family owned business!
When it comes to these socks they are amazingly soft, great graduated compression, no slip cuff, anti moisture fabric, anti odor fabric, and extra padding around the heels and toes!
That’s not all! I hear the customer service is amazing. They advertise no hassle refund or exchange. You can’t go wrong!
Further more, evidence based research states that compression socks significantly reduce pain, swelling, and decreases the risk of developing varicose veins and DVTs (deep vein thrombosis/blood clot in deep vein).
I saw a HUGE difference when I started wearing compression socks to work. I went from achy swollen legs to absolutely no pain at all! I’m telling you, if you have not tried compression socks, it is worth the investment!
You won’t be disappointed! If you decide to give these a try, let me know what you think. I would love to hear your experience!