“Only old people need to wear compression stockings” or “it can cut off your blood supply”. Many such misconceptions exist about compression stockings. This misinformation prevents people from enjoying the numerous benefits of compression therapy for maintaining healthy veins.
Compression stockings are a highly effective tool in preventing and managing various chronic venous and lymphatic issues such as varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and lymphedema. In addition, they are an everyday necessity for people who spend long hours standing or sitting like doctors, nurses, waiters, pilots, teachers, etc.
The benefits of wearing compression stockings are incredible, but the false information and dated image of these socks prevent people from giving them a fair chance.
We are here to bust 4 of the most common myths about compression stockings to help you better understand how compression stockings can benefit you!
Clearing Top 4 Misconceptions about Compression Stockings
Myth 1: Compression socks are only for people with a medical problems.
Truth: Compression socks can benefit everyone.
Compression socks are of 2 types – medical and support. While medical compression stockings are the gold standard in the management of venous and lymphatic disorders, support compression socks have numerous benefits for all adults! Support compression socks are different from medical ones in the amount of compression they give. Support socks provide mild graduated compression and do not require a doctor’s prescription. They are safe for anyone to use!
Support compression socks promote healthy blood circulation, support proper vein function, and eliminate any pain, heaviness and swelling in the legs. Therefore, they are a great way to keep your legs healthy. Wearing support compression socks is especially important for those who are at a higher risk of developing venous conditions due to a genetic predisposition (hereditary condition), pregnancy, age, or a lifestyle that requires you to sit or stand for long hours at a time.
These support socks are also used by athletes around the world to boost blood flow in the legs, thus enhancing performance and recovery.
Myth 2: Compression socks are used to treat orthopedic injuries.
Truth: The main purpose of compression socks is to promote blood and lymph flow in the legs.
Many people confuse compression socks with orthopedic or musculoskeletal compression sleeves that support joints, tendons, and muscles. Compression socks are designed to give ‘graduated’ compression to the limbs. This graduated structure helps promote blood and lymph flow back towards the heart. Therefore, compression socks are meant to support the circulatory system.
While compression socks are used to prevent and alleviate any pain and swelling in the legs, these garments are only recommended by the doctor if the cause of the pain and swelling is venous insufficiency (improper blood flow) and not musculoskeletal.
Regular compression bandages or support wraps that are intended to support and stabilize joints are better suited for treating orthopedic injuries.
Myth 3: Compression Stockings are Uncomfortable
Truth: Compression stockings that are the correct size for you and give ‘graduated’ compression are highly comfortable.
The comfort of compression socks depends entirely on the fitting of the garment and the quality of the compression.
No matter which compression grade you are advised to use, the compression that these stockings provide must be ‘graduated’. This means that the compression must be highest round the ankle and then should slowly (or gradually) reduce going up the leg. It is this structure that helps push blood back up towards the heart. Wearing a wrongly made garment can actually make your blood circulation worse! Thereby feeling uncomfortable.
The size of the stockings you wear is also important. The correct size will result in correct compression. Wearing a larger size will reduce the compression it gives, not allowing you to get the most out of your garment, and smaller size can choke your blood circulation making your condition even worse.
Always choose a trusted brand and refer to the sizing chart when buying compression socks!
Myth 4: Compression Wear is Not Fit For Warm Weather
Truth: Compression stockings made with the right fabric blend are comfortable in all weather conditions
Wearing an additional layer of clothing in warm weather is already unpleasant. On top of that, if this layer is suffocating and uncomfortable, they can’t blame you for tapping out.
The trick here is to choose a breathable fabric! Cotton compression stockings are ideal for warm weather conditions as they keep your legs cool. Synthetic materials that are soft and thin can also be comfortable to wear in the summer months.
Compression stockings and other compression garments are helpful devices for anyone who wants to take care of their venous health.
They are comfortable and can be worn anywhere, anytime, and for long hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Are there alternatives to compression stockings?
Ans: Compression wraps are a popular alternative to compression stockings. They are convenient to wear and take off, making them a great alternative to compression stockings.
Q2. Can compression socks make things worse?
Ans: Compression stockings that are too tight can cut off circulation, which is why getting your medical compression stockings properly fitted is crucial.
Q3. Is it okay to cut the toes out of compression stockings?
Ans: Never cut off the feet on any of your compression stockings. This will not only ruin the garment but also affect the compression they give. Open-toe compression stockings are available if you prefer to wear slippers or open-toe shoes with your compression socks.
Q4. When should you not wear compression stockings?
Ans: Compression stockings are safe for everyone to use. However, if you suffer from conditions such as diabetes, peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or rheumatoid arthritis, please only use compression garments under the guidance of your doctor. Never self-prescribe!