What are the Benefits of Compression Socks?
Compression for medical purposes is something that has been used humans for a long time, with great results. The first mention of compression therapy can be traced back to about 3,600 years ago, in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, which is believed to be the oldest surgical document in the world. At that time, in the era of Hippocrates, a doctor mentioned that compression bandages were used by him on a patient for the purpose of preventing blood from pooling in the legs, according to an article on Today's Wound Clinic. Fast forward a few thousand years and we are in the current era.
Medical knowledge and technology have evolved considerably since the times of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. But, one thing that has not changed is our use of compression therapy. Instead of being used in the form of bandages, it has now taken the form of compression gloves and socks. So, what are the benefits offered by them that has made them so popular for thousands of years?
How They Help the Body
Compression socks have been found beneficial in improving blood flow, according to a study published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science. Veins are designed by nature to have one way valves. These valves allow the flow of blood in only one direction, from your organs and extremities to your heart for cleansing. When our veins do not work efficiently, the chances of blood pooling in the lower extremities increases.
Compression socks use a specialized weave of strong elastic to apply pressure on the muscles in ankles, feet and lower legs. This compression helps the blood in the legs to move back to the heart. This helps in reducing pain and inflammation in the legs, while also making them feel lighter.
Compression socks also offer a variety of other benefits, such as reducing orthostatic hypotension, which can lead to unsteadiness or light headedness when you stand. They help prevent venous ulcers, and the development of deep vein thrombosis in your legs. They have also been found to be helpful in reversing venous hypertension and improving lymphatic drainage.
Pregnant women can also use these socks to prevent pooling of blood in their legs and reducing elevated heart rates of the mother and child.
Why Athletes Use Them
Compression socks are hugely beneficial for athletes. Being involved in a strenuous workout or excessive exercising, such as a steep hike, tempo bike ride or a long run can restrict circulation and overburden the veins with tension. This leads to the lower half of the body feeling achy and swollen. The support from the compression socks helps in improving circulation and provides much needed relief to the fatigued muscles, while also alleviating foot pain and shin splinters. This also aids the post workout recovery for athletes.
Another way these socks help athletes is by protecting them from a variety of outdoor conditions. The coverage provided by these socks protects athletes from the risk of insect and mosquito bites, exposure to poison ivy, or even just cuts and scratches. This is especially helpful for hikers and runners who love to explore wooded areas.
Compression socks are a great way to get relief from pain in the feet and legs, caused by a variety of ailments. If you are suffering from any of the mentioned conditions, get your own pair of compression socks today.