Mr and Mrs Nutritionist

Benefits of Wearing Compression Stockings – Debunking the Misconceptions

Ladies and Gentlemen You Had Compression Stockings All WrongCompression Stockings

This article is going to be all about compression stockings.  Many people have a negative connotation with compression stockings, and think they are only for people with medical conditions.  Most people also believe that support stockings are only for ladies and they only come in a very unappealing arrange of beige and tans- also 100% wrong!

There are many different types of compression socks for men and women i.e. style, cut, and color.  There are also many different levels of compression, and they are categorized by the amount of pressure the stockings have on your leg.  Different pressure stockings can be used for different reasons, from the occasional user who has tired legs at the end of the day to severe medical needs which needs to be overseen and prescribed by a doctor.

In this article we are going to talk about the mainstream compression stockings that are suitable for most people not suffering from a medical condition.

Who Needs Compression Stockings?

Most people could greatly improve their health with compression stockings including those who travel a lot, sit for extended periods of time, stand for extended periods of time, or have aching legs at the end of the day.

How Do Compression Stockings Improve Health?

There are many reasons why compression stockings could help improve your health in a big way including:

  • Reduce swelling in your ankles
  • Prevent and stall the development of varicose and spider veins!
  • Prevent deep vein thrombosis
  • Reduce leg pain
  • Relieve swelling associated with pregnancy

Different Levels of Compression

Light compression (8-15 mmHg) – This level of compression is as light as you can get.  The main uses of such a light compression stocking are for people who’s legs have are a little tired at the end of the day, and maybe a slight bit of swelling.  With such a light compression, you might not even realize they are on, but your legs will feel better at the end of a long day.

Mild compression (15-20 mmHg) – These are a great choice for people who are on their feet all day, such as sales people, hairstylists, and chefs.  Also, these stockings can work well for some people who are traveling and may also be sitting for long periods of time.

Moderate compression (20-30 mmHg) – Moderate compression stockings are probably the most widely prescribed compression level.  The most popular use is for prevention of deep vein thrombosis, which many people are prone to especially during air travel.  This level of compression can also help alleviate the pain associated with moderate to severe varicose veins and swelling.  

Firm compression (30+ mmHg) – Firm compression stockings are most typically used in a medical setting, and are not really used for day to day use by those who do not have medical issues that require observation by a doctor.  This level of compression is mostly used to alleviate the pain due to severe varicose veins, lymphedema, or other medical needs.  

*We recommend that if you have any medical conditions to seek the advice of your physician to see if compression stockings are right for you and as to which level of compression you should use, if  you do not have a medical condition as a general rule of thumb you should use the lowest level of compression that will successfully do the job that is required.*

Not Your Grandmother’s Stockings

For many people the biggest reason that would stop them from using compression stockings is the way they look, and rightly so, everyone wants to look their best!  However, you should know that you do not have to choose between your fashion sense and your health.  Modern day compression stockings are not the ones your grandmother wears, there are so many styles and cuts of compressions stockings now that you would not be able to tell that they are not normal everyday socks, leggings, or tights.

Stockings for Women

There are currently many different compression stocking styles for women including:

  1. Knee High – These are great to wear under your jeans, yoga pants and business trousers.  Essentially they are just a tall sock that goes just below the knee.  These are great because they are beneath your pants, an no one will be able to tell that you have them on.  They are also a lot less restrictive than some of the other styles of compression stockings.    
  2. Thigh High – These are useful if you have vericose veins behind or just above the knee.  The problem with thigh highs is that they have a tendency to roll down, which can be very off putting .  Also, it is more likely that you will be able to see a line beneath your pants on your upper thigh where the stockings start.  These may work for some women who need support past their knee but do not want to wear leggings or pantyhose. 
  3. Pantyhose – These are pretty much exactly the same as your normal pantyhose, but with added compression.  If you like and regularly wear pantyhose then this will be a seamless transition for you.
  4. Leggings – Leggings are ever increasingly popular especially compared to the restrictive nature of panty hose.  You can easily swap out your everyday leggings for these compression leggings and your legs will feel much better at the end of the day.

Stockings For Men

  1. Knee High – For men the primary stocking option is the knee high.  Most men typically do not suffer with varicose veins above the knee as much as women so the knee high should be sufficient for most men.  There are many different patterns and styles to choose from including patterns and styles that would seamlessly go with a business suit or to wear under your jeans or workout pants.

Possible Dangers of Wearing Compression Stockings

You should be aware that compression stockings are not recommended for everyone, and that certain people could actually endanger their health from compression stockings.  There are specific medical conditions where people should either avoid or be extremely cautious when wearing compression stockings.  Compression stockings can cause harm in certain situations including:

  • Are ill fitting, can restrict circulation
  • People with heart failure and certain heart conditions
  • Oozing dermatitis
  • Advanced peripheral neuropathy

Mr and Mrs Nutritionist’s Final Message

Compression stockings, are a simple fix that can be hugely beneficial for most people.  Our goal is to change the common misconception that compression stockings are only for those with medical conditions.  

Please let us know in the comments if you have bought compression stockings and if and how they have improved your health.    

As always if you enjoyed this post please share us with your social media friends and family!

 

References

Compressionsocks.pro. (2016). About Compression. [online] Available at: http://compressionsocks.pro/learn/about-compression [Accessed 20 Mar. 2016].

Dr. Segal’s Compression Socks. (2014). 8 Reasons Why Compression Socks Make the Best Christmas Gift!. [online] Available at: http://www.drsegals.com/8-reasons-why-compression-socks-make-the-best-stocking-stuffer [Accessed 20 Mar. 2016].

10 Comments

  1. Derek

    Very nice read!

    I honestly have never even heard of compression stockings, but now that I have I can relay this information to my girlfriend. She stands 8 hours a day 5 days a week at work and is always saying how her legs hurt and feel super tired when she gets home. I will be sure to pass this information on to her to check them out.

    Thanks for the information.

    Reply
    1. Maggie (Post author)

      Hi Derek,
      I’m sure your girlfriend will benefit immensely from support stockings if she is on her feet all day for work. Let us know if she feels better after a long day with some compression stockings on!
      Thank you for your comment.

      Maggie

      Reply
  2. Uwais Aboo

    apart from the great benefits of these stockings, living in the Southern Hemisphere means we approaching Winter, this would be great to keep me warm.

    Reply
    1. Maggie (Post author)

      Hi Uwais,
      Yes, keeping warm is also an added plus of compression stockings. Although you can always wear them in the summer too, there are great stockings on amazon that are made to keep you cool as well as wick moisture away!

      Maggie

      Reply
  3. Matt's Mom

    Oh, I knew there was a reason I love long stockings! I have just one pair of compressions stockings but now that I see the benefits, I will be buying more pairs! I love the red ones you have listed! I have bookmarked this and will look them over again so I can get some. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Maggie (Post author)

      Thank you for your comment. That is great that you wear compression stockings and feel the benefits! It is amazing how many different styles and colors there are for sale now for compression stockings!

      Maggie

      Reply
  4. Nikki

    Great post Maggie. I knew of some of the benefits to compression socks, but I didn’t know all of these. I wish I knew that they can prevent swelling during my pregnancies!

    Reply
    1. Maggie (Post author)

      Hi Nikki,

      I am very pleased that you were able to pick up some more knowledge in regards to the benefits of compression stockings. It seems many people, especially pregnant ladies, are unaware that compression stockings are able to help with swelling during pregnancy. If you know any pregnant women suffering with swelling send them a link to this post!

      Thanks,

      Maggie

      Reply
  5. Marc Parsons

    Wow Maggie!

    Wish I had found out about the advantages of compression stockings / socks a few years ago when I was walking through a pair of safety shoes every 2 or 3 months.

    I always just assumed they were for sever medical conditions. Super glad I found your post and I definitely plan to give these a try… Especially with winter coming up over here.

    Thanks for sharing Maggie!

    Reply
    1. Maggie (Post author)

      Hi Marc,

      Thanks for your comment, that’s a shame you didn’t find out this information a few years ago, your legs must have been really sore and tired! Let us know if and how compression socks improve how your legs feel at the end of the day.

      Thanks,

      Maggie

      Reply

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