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Compression Socks

January 6, 2019 | A. Teav

Foot Clinic

You may have seen athletes on T.V, or know of a friend/family member who wears compression stockings. You may be wondering whether they are good or bad for you to wear as well, or have some questions about their utility in everyday life. Here is some important information on compression socks and how they may help you.

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks are an elastic garment that wraps around the legs, and which is designed to apply pressure to help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling. Compression socks are made to fit snug and tight around the ankle, but this tightness decreases as you move further up the leg.

How do they work?

Veins contain several valves that open and close to help blood flow back to the heart. But when such valves do not close properly, blood can pool down the legs, causing increased swelling. Over time, the pooling will cause unsightly varicose veins. The principal function of compression socks, therefore, is that they help veins to circulate blood back towards the heart from the lower extremities by applying graduated compression up the legs. In so doing, they aid in preventing blood pooling in the legs and, ultimately, reduce any swelling in the lower extremities. The level of compression in the socks is measured in millimeter mercury (mmHg), which will vary depending on one’s condition(s) and require different levels of compression for prescription.


Compression socks are generally prescribed to treat conditions like:

  • Lymphedema

  • Thrombosis

  • Phlebitis

  • Varicose veins

  • Leg ulcers


Other reasons that people may wear compression socks may relate to tired, heavy achy legs and feet during pregnancy, during long travels to prevent vein conditions, or during sports/physical activities to help with quicker recovery and to reduce soreness after competitions.



Compression therapy is covered by most insurance providers. Call your Chiropodist for more details.

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