They aren’t “Project Runway” material but compression socks can keep your stride healthy. These socks – snug at the feet with a gradually looser fit on the leg – can prevent blood clots, also called “deep vein thrombosis” (DVT).
“I recommend compression socks for patients who have chronic venous insufficiency, which can lead to deep vein thrombosis,” said Anil Kumar, MD, FAAC, RPVI, Medical Director of The Vein Center at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC). “It’s best to ask your doctor if compression socks can benefit you. A physician can also advise you on the pressure rating that’s best for you.”
Still doubtful? Take a look at these four facts you may not know about compression socks.
Fact 1: You’re not alone if you wear them.
People with chronic venous insufficiency – which can mean there’s a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs – wear compression socks. But, nurses, pilots, flight attendants, runners, pregnant women and people recovering from surgery also pull on compression socks to prevent blood clots.
Fact 2: They’re not your mother’s compression socks.
Stripes, polka dots, camouflage…today’s compression socks come in a variety of designs. What hasn’t changed is that compression socks reduce swelling, promote circulation and relieve tired legs. Today they just do their work with a little more style.
Fact 3: You can, and should, wear compression socks most of the time.
Compression socks should be part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth. Keep your compression socks by your bed, so you can put them on when you first wake up.
“It’s best to wear compression socks all of the time, unless you are bathing or sleeping,” Dr. Kumar said. He also recommends replacing your compression socks every four to six months.
Fact 4: Compression socks can be easy to put on, if you know a few tricks.
Hand washing new compression socks before you wear them makes them more flexible and easier to put on. Here are some tips for putting on your compression socks:
- Sit in a chair with a back so you can lean against it as you roll on your compression socks.
- Turn the socks inside out and roll from the toe, past the heel and up your leg.
- Apply lotion or talcum powder on your legs to help the socks slide on.
- Invest in a “sock butler” (think shoe horn) if you want more assistance.
Remember, if you have a wound, make sure it’s dressed before you put on your compression socks.
YRMC’s Vein Center partners closely with Advanced Wound Care at YRMC to help people in our community. The Vein Center at YRMC is located at the YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center, 3262 North Windsong Drive in Prescott Valley. For more information, talk to your primary care physician or call (928) 759-5890.