What do compression stockings do and what are the benefits of using a compression stocking?
Prevent Blood Pooling with Compression
The calf muscle is sometimes referred to as the "second heart". It helps to pump blood back up to the heart and when sitting still, it really isn’t doing much. This causes blood to pool in the lower extremities. Moving around helps to keep blood flowing from the lower legs back up to the heart. However, this effect is offset when more time is spent standing or sitting in one spot.
Improve Blood Flow with Compression
Compression socks help to offset this effect by applying a pressure "gradient" up the leg. Fitting more snugly around the ankles, the compression stocking gently decreases in pressure moving up towards the top of the sock near the calf. This effect can improve blood circulation in the legs and throughout the body. Increased blood flow can also reduce swelling, decrease the risk of blood clots forming and minimize leg discomfort.
Offset the Health Effects of Sitting or Standing for Long Periods of Time with Compression
If you sit for long periods of time at work, compression stockings may be beneficial for you. These benefits also extend to those sitting through long flights or travelling long distances in a vehicle. Alternately, if your day involves being on your feet for long periods of time, compression stockings may provide relief.
Compression stockings may also help with muscle recovery time and pain minimization after strenuous exercise.
As always, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, consult with your doctor before using compression stockings.