Compression socks: when do you need them?
There are a number of different factors that can cause complaints in your legs. For example, your legs can suffer when you stand a lot, or when you sit for a long time and move little. This can increase the pressure in the blood vessels, which means that the blood vessels widen. The valves in the blood vessels have difficulty closing and as a result the blood containing waste products and fluid is insufficiently removed. Therapeutic elastic stockings provide enough pressure to close the valves in the dilated arteries, increasing circulation and helping the body drain blood and lymphatic fluids.
Complaints where compression socks offer a solution
There are many different symptoms in which a compression sock, compression stocking or pressure stockings can help and reduce pain and discomfort. For example, there may be a heavy, tired or painful feeling in the legs with load, especially when walking, standing or sitting. The legs and ankles can also become thicker and white spots can develop at the ankles due to fluid accumulation. Another symptom is the sudden appearance of veins on top of the legs and experiencing leg cramps and restlessness when you try to sleep at night. These symptoms can point to certain conditions.
Compression socks for edema
Edema is caused by problems within the blood circulation, so that too little fluid is removed from the body. This manifests itself in fluid accumulation, which mainly occur in feet, ankles or knees. Often this is the result of an underlying condition, so be sure to consult a doctor if you think you may be experiencing edema. Examples of underlying conditions include thrombosis (problems with blood drainage) and lymphedema (damage to the lymphatic vessels). If you suffer from edema, it is wise to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day to stimulate blood circulation and to eat as much salt as possible, because salt retains moisture. In addition, it is smart to wear support stockings or compression socks to stimulate blood circulation.
Wearing compression socks after surgery
Have you just had surgery on your knee, for example? In that case, it is wise to wear compression stockings during the recovery period to ensure that the superficial vascular system remains compressed in the standing and sitting position. The stocking prevents excessive pressure in the skin and veins and the formation of moisture. They also maintain the blood flow in the arteries, so that, for example, the formation of “open legs” can be prevented.
Compression stockings for heart failure
Heart failure can cause you to suffer from fluid (oedema) in the legs. Since heart failure is a chronic condition and healing is often not possible, you will continue to suffer from edema in the legs without compression therapy. This means that permanent compression therapy is necessary. It is important to work with mild compression therapy in heart failure (bandages and therapeutic elastic stockings in a lower pressure class), because otherwise too much fluid will be 'pressed' into the bloodstream at once, which can make you short of breath. The stockings put pressure on the blood vessels, muscles and the lymphatic system, so that any edema present in the legs can be drained.
Compression socks for thrombosis
With thrombosis , there is a blood clot in one of the blood vessels. Because of this blood clot, the blood no longer flows through the blood vessel as it should. As a result, oxygen is no longer transported through the blood vessel. This is extremely dangerous for the body, because it blocks the oxygen supply to one or more parts of the body. To prevent this, it is wise to wear compression socks to stimulate blood circulation.
Compression socks for varicose veins
When blood vessels increase in size and twist, they can become varicose veins. These veins are visible on the outside of the leg as squiggly blue-purple lines. If the valves in the vein no longer close properly, blood can flow back into the vein and accumulate in the blood vessel, causing varicose veins. This can result in swollen legs, a throbbing sensation and itching around the varicose vein. To prevent the worsening of the varicose veins, it is wise to avoid sitting still for long periods and to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Wearing compression socks also helps, since the pressure of the stocking stimulates blood circulation and thus prevents the development of new varicose veins.
Compression socks for intermittent claudication
When the arteries in the legs are narrowed, arteriosclerosis (or plaque formation) can occur. Fatty substances accumulate in the arteries, which reduces the blood supply to the legs and you can suffer from shop (intermittent) claudication. This can involve pain, cramping and numbness during and after exercise. A healthy lifestyle is very important when treating claudication. Things like quitting smoking, losing weight, eating healthy and exercising are of great importance. If necessary, medication may be prescribed to control blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. To prevent pain, it is wise to wear compression socks, as they promote blood circulation by putting pressure on the leg.
Compression socks and wounds
A small wound to the foot or toes can cause unexpected major problems. If you retain fluid in the legs, it is possible that the wound does not heal and only gets deeper and bigger. When a person is healthy, a wound often heals spontaneously, but fluid build-up and feet and legs make healing difficult. Fluid is a major problem in wound care and makes recovery difficult. As the first phase of the treatment, the leg must be bandaged because a compression stocking is not desirable for a wound. When the wound has healed, it is important to wear compression socks as a permanent aid to keep the blood circulation going in the leg.
Compression sock aid: donning aids for compression socks
If you or someone else in your environment suffers from one of the above complaints or diseases and decides to wear compression socks, there is a good chance that putting them on and taking them off can be difficult. The higher the pressure class of the stocking, the tighter and stiffer the stocking becomes. This means that it can take a lot of strength to put on the compression stockings with only the hands, especially if you suffer from back pain and/or have less strength in your hands. Various sock aids are available that can support you in this and make putting on and taking off the stocking easier and less physically intensive. Think of Steve gloves for more grip, or for example a "glide" solution such as the Steve Glide Clipper or Steve Glide Dolphin. If you are looking for a little more comfort and you have no trouble bending over, we recommend the Steve EasyON. Need ultimate comfort and a donning aid that doesn't require you to bend over? Then Steve Complete is the best option.