From pro athletes to neighborhood runners, chances are you’ve seen someone wearing the tight, stretchy garment known as compression socks. Beyond the fashion statement that bright and fun patterns bring, these socks actually serve a number of practical purposes and uses. Read on for the top 3 uses for compression socks.
- Increase circulation
Compression socks or stockings—which are available in various lengths and styles—gently squeeze your legs and/or feet to move blood up your legs. The result is reduced leg swelling and potentially even a lower risk for blood clots and other circulation disorders.
- Improve athletic performance
Some athletes and sports enthusiasts wear compression gear, such as compression socks and compression sleeves, on their legs and arms. The belief is that better blood flow while active will keep oxygen flowing to the muscles, which in turn will help prevent tissue damage. In addition, this improved blood and lymph circulation may help muscles recover quickly—meaning less soreness and cramping.
- Heal from medical conditions
Wearing compression socks or sleeves may help improve blood flow in people with or at risk for circulation problems, including deep venous thrombosis (a type of blood clot), varicose veins, or diabetes. Individuals who have just had surgery may find these socks helpful in their recovery, as do patients who are bedridden or inactive. In addition, compression sleeves may help provide extra pressure along the fascia ligament, which is good news for people with plantar fasciitis or other heel pain.