Why you should consider wearing compression stockings – words Alexa Wang
You may have an idea in your mind that compression stockings are for elderly people with varicose veins, but in reality there are lots of different uses for them, including for younger people.
In addition, these stockings can be stylish and fashionable, so your appearance should be no barrier to wearing compression stockings if you wish to do so.
What Are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are a special type of sock that puts pressure against your legs, with the highest pressure at the ankle and the lowest pressure at the thigh. This creates pressure upwards, pushing the blood back towards the heart.
There are small valves inside the veins that also pump blood towards the heart, but these valves can be affected by a number of external factors that may make them less effective. When these valves are less effective, blood is less easily circulated, and may begin to pool in the lower legs. This can cause pain and swelling, spider veins, varicose veins, and may look swollen and unsightly. Compression stockings are one method that can support these valves and help them to work more effectively, which makes the side effects and problems less likely to happen.
Numerous different types of compression stockings are on the market, but from a practical perspective you should know that they come in different strengths, with low pressure, medium-low pressure, and medium pressure. Low pressure stockings are available at most fashion retailers and are not usually used for medical reasons. Medium-low and medium pressure stockings are more commonly used for medical or sports reasons.
When Do You Use Them?
There are a number of different uses for these stockings, particularly if you are interested in sports, are pregnant, or go on a lot of long-haul flights. If you are an athlete, compression stockings may be useful to help you recover from exercise, and also may be useful during exercise to help your muscles and circulation to function more effectively. Fashionable sports stocking are available at sports stores and come in many different patterns and colours.
Going on long flights or frequently flying can cause swollen legs and ankles, and may put you at risk of developing blood clots. Using compression stockings can look modern and interesting, while also preventing this swelling. Dr. David L. Green, a hematologist at NYU Langone Medical Center notes that compression stockings are useful for reducing the chances of a blood clot forming, because the stockings create pressure on the veins and makes it easier for good circulation to occur. He also explains that “legs can look puffy after flying, and it takes at least a few days for that to go away, but with the socks, they might not swell at all.” If you want to look good as soon as you get off the plane, compression stockings are a good way to prevent this swelling and will help your legs to look slim and healthy.
Another group that compression stockings can be useful for are office workers. If you sit down a lot for your job, but still want to look fashionable or are required to meet a certain dress code for your work, compression stockings can help to stop your legs from getting sore or developing varicose veins.
What Fashion Options Are There?
As younger people and broader groups of people become interested in compression stockings, the fashion industry has responded. Knee-high socks are back in fashion, and low-pressure compression socks are also more readily available. Fashion shows in the last 5 years have had models presenting lace, leather, and patterned knee-high socks, some of which are intended to provide pressure against the leg. Compression stockings are increasingly available in numerous patterns and styles, so you can continue to look fashionable.
Those with light support are available in normal clothing stores, and “incredibly sheer, lightweight and fashionable products are available in the lower compressions”. This low-compression stocking can help with slight swelling or tired legs, and can also stop thread veins and varicose veins from developing. These sheer and lightweight stockings are also able to prevent muscle cramps or pain from long periods of standing.
Nevertheless, there is no reason not to wear compression stockings if you believe they may be useful for you. With the range of patterned stockings, different fabrics available, and fashionable choices, you can reap the benefits of compression stockings without feeling or looking like grandma.