Compression Socks: How to Apply & How Long Until They Work

Compression Socks for Nurses: Why Nurses Should Wear Them | VIM & VIGR®

Why use compression socks?

Compression socks can be a valuable tool for people suffering from varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, or lymphedema. However, knowing how to apply them properly is essential to maximize their benefits. In this blog post, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to apply compression socks.

How to apply compression socks

Step 1:

Choose the right compression socks before applying compression socks: Compression socks are available in various sizes and compression levels, so selecting the one that fits you correctly is essential. You should consult your doctor or a professional fitter to determine which size and compression level are best for you.

Step 2:

Prepare your skin: Make sure your skin is clean and dry before applying the socks. Avoid using creams, lotions, or oils, as they can make pulling the socks on difficult and may interfere with the compression level.

Step 3:

Use rubber gloves when putting on socks: Wearing rubber gloves can make it easier to grip the socks and pull them up. This is especially true for people who have difficulty with grip strength or joint mobility.

Step 4:

Turn the socks inside out: Start by turning the socks inside out, so the toe area faces you. This toe placement will make getting your foot into the sock easier.

Step 5:

Place your foot into the sock: Put your foot into the toe area of the sock and gently pull the fabric up toward your ankle.

Step 6:

Pull the sock up your leg with one hand: Grasp the top of the sock and pull it up your leg, working in small sections. Use your other hand to smooth out the fabric as you go.

Step 7:

Smooth out the sock: Once the stocking is on your foot, use your hands to smooth out any wrinkles or bunches in the fabric. You want the sock to fit snugly—but not so tight that it causes discomfort or restricts blood flow.

Step 8:

Adjust the sock: Once it is up to your knee or thigh, adjust it to sit comfortably on your leg. Make sure that it is not twisted or bunched up.

Step 9:

Repeat on the other leg: Repeat the process on your other leg, taking care to choose the correct size and compression level for that leg. Patients can be prescribed different levels of compression for each leg based on the pathology or the nature of the underlying problem, which can be more severe in one leg over the other.

Step 10:

Check the fit: After applying both socks, check the fit to ensure that they are snug but not too tight. You should be able to move your toes and bend your knee without discomfort.

By following these steps, you will apply compression socks correctly, thus helping to maximize their benefits and improve your quality of life. If you have any questions or concerns about compression socks, consult your doctor or a professional fitter.

How long does it take for compression socks to work?

The time it takes for compression socks to work can vary depending on the individual and the medical condition being treated. In general, you may begin to feel the benefits of compression socks immediately after putting them on, such as reduced swelling and increased comfort.

However, it may take several days or weeks of regular use before you see significant improvement in your symptoms. For example, suppose you wear compression socks to treat varicose veins or spider veins. In that case, it may take several weeks to see a noticeable reduction in their appearance.

If you are wearing compression socks to prevent blood clots or other circulatory issues, it's essential to wear them as directed by your doctor. In some cases, you may need to wear them for several weeks or even months to achieve optimal results.

Do compression socks cure varicose veins?

It's important to note that compression socks are not a cure for medical conditions but rather a treatment option that can help manage symptoms and improve circulation. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions for wearing compression socks and to maintain regular check-ups to monitor your condition and adjust your treatment plan as needed.