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Compression Socks – What Are They For? Pillars Of Wellness

multicoloured compression socks

All you need to know about compression socks

The heart plays a crucial part in the machine that is the human body. It fulfills the significant role of pumping blood around the body. Blood is the liquid that flows in our veins, the messenger of the body. It delivers oxygen and food to the organs and carries away waste materials. Its movement is very vital to our proper functioning. A disruption in its flow can often cause severe problems. It is to aid the flow of blood around the body that people have come up with blood-thinning medication, or compression socks, among other things.

The human body is indeed a complex machine, where every single cog fulfills a detrimental task. The body is designed to be self-sufficient. Every single organ performs its function to perfection. Most traditional healing is therefore just about helping the body perform better. Alternative therapy and yoga often use the term ‘healing’ as a means to return the body to its balanced state.

What is the blood that flows in our veins?

Blood has fascinated the scientific and poetic mind for centuries. It appears in poems and literature as a signifier of affection in relation to the heart, and familial attachment. Medically, some of the most common diseases in the world are related to the blood. All in all, it is the major reason why the human body is 70 percent water.

Blood consists of plasma, red blood cells, and white blood cells. Out of these, plasma takes up 55 percent of blood content. Plasma is a yellowish liquid that consists of vitamins and other important minerals. Moreover, red blood cells carry oxygen around the body and are responsible for the red color of blood. White blood cells are the body’s natural defenders and fighters.

Blood-related health issues usually fall under the umbrella of circulatory diseases. Blood clots, blood cancer, and anemia are some of the most prevalent disorders of the blood. The rate of blood cancer is very high in Canada. Let us consider this study by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada. It estimates that 138,100 Canadians are living with, or are in remission from various kinds of blood cancers.

Blood clots and other such problems can be prevented or eased with physical therapy and other such techniques. This brings us to compression stockings and how they serve to help the circulation of blood.

What are compression socks and what is their function?

Compression therapy is a part of physical therapy techniques used to improve circulation. This resembles of stockings and pantyhose. However, they are manufactured under strict medical conditions.

Compression stockings, as their name makes it clear, compress the legs in order to improve movement. The pressure exerted assists in the flow and circulation of blood. Basically, their function aids blood in the following manner. The blood in our bodies requires to work against gravity to return to the heart. The legs are the farthest from the heart. Sometimes, due to blood thickening or possible clotting, movement becomes difficult. Generally, a lack of blood or improper circulation can cause numbness and heaviness. This can help with aching legs, swelling, and prevent blood clots after physical trauma or surgery.

Different Kinds of stockings

Depending on the medical condition you have, compression socks need to be worn for some length of time. They also come in varying grades of pressure. They are also manufactured in different lengths. For instance, they can be thigh-high, or knee-high. In some cases, it can also be made waist-high.

Some people might require these for longer lengths of time. In addition, they come in varying shades and colors. Before deciding the grade and length of a pair, it is wise to consult a medical professional or a physiotherapist.

Who should get these socks?

At Pillars of Wellness in Burlington, we often get clients who are suffering from numbness in their feet. Some of these conditions are due to medical conditions that reduce the ease of blood flow. An example of this is diabetes. We also refer compression socks to people who have just undergone some kind of surgery or injury. The wearing of the socks eases the numbness in the feet and subsequent discomfort.

These socks are often prescribed to:

    People at risk of getting Deep Vein Thrombosis. DVT is when blood clots appear in veins deep in the body. It can happen to anyone, but it mostly occurs after a traumatic injury or surgery. The most common areas of effect are the legs and the feet.
  • Pregnant women. Pregnant women often complain of swollen feet and aching legs. Compression stockings of a mild grade can act as massage instruments. They keep blood from pooling in the lower body.
  • People who have varicose veins. Varicose veins are bulging veins. Generally, the bulging occurs due to the pooling of blood in the veins.
  • The elderly. The human body deteriorates in function as you grow older. This includes the deterioration of the venous system. Moreover, it can help ease the pain and other issues related to circulation problems in old age.
  • Sportsmen. Athletes often develop problems of circulation. They usually wear these socks after swelling or injuries if prescribed.

People who have to sit for long lengths of time can also use these socks. It allows stopping the stagnation of blood.

When should you get these?

Only use and buy compression socks under expert advisement such as a chiropractor. The list below features some cases where experts do not advise these:

  • Intense swelling in the legs
  • People with open wounds and skin diseases or infections
  • Individuals who suffer from congestive heart failure
  • People who suffer from Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Persons who suffer from Peripheral artery disease

The reason you should get a medical opinion on these socks is to understand what grade of pressure will be best suited to your particular condition. Some diseases do not require a large amount of pressure, and wearing these socks might just be uncomfortable. Therefore, always make sure to get a professional opinion such as a chiropractor before getting these.

Laurent Pinci
Laurent Pinci
Pillars of Wellness is a truly Integrated Healthcare Centre providing a high degree of collaboration and communication among health providers.