Finding Knee Pain Relief with Compression Socks
For those who suffer daily from joint tenderness and swelling, it can seem hard to complete even the simplest of tasks. Whether they are just trying to go about their daily business running errands and going to work, or they are an athlete who needs to perform under pressure, the symptoms of arthritis pain are no joke. Arthritis pain can be an endless struggle, which only seems to get worse with time. Wearing compression socks or sleeves to alleviate the pain and swelling of the joints has been beneficial to many and seems only to be growing in popularity. So, what are compression socks, and how can they help with the symptoms of arthritis and joint pain?
Do Compression Socks Help?
Arthritis suffers can experience swelling (caused by a buildup of fluid in the joints), increased knee pain, soreness (also known as deep-vein thrombosis), and numbness in the lower extremities, all of which can lead to mobility issues. Those who suffer from the above symptoms may greatly benefit from simply using compression stockings as a safe and natural way to treat the adverse effects arthritis has on the body. Some of the most notable benefits of compression socks include:
- Increased circulation in the feet and legs
- Reduced irritation and swelling
- Relief from pain, joint stiffness, and sore muscles
- Prevention of cold feet due to improved circulation
While there is still too little scientific data to back up the use of compression socks for the treatment of arthritis, many who suffer from arthritis pain do report feeling a benefit from using them.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
Compression socks work by applying pressure to the joints where pain and swelling occur, helping to increase the blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow in the affected areas by up to 30 percent. Creating better overall blood flow and circulation not only helps treat the immediate symptoms of arthritis but helps to prevent new ones from developing. Compression socks help those who wear them to gain sensation back into the lower limbs and can a be used to support the muscles and joints that need added stability while helping to manage pain.
What do Compression Socks Look Like?
Compression socks or sleeves are designed to give the most amount of pressure at the lowest point of the body. The length of the stocking or sleeve depends on two things; the amount of pressure needed to increase blood circulation and the type of arthritis that is being treated. The amount of pressure applied by the socks will increase, working its way down the leg with the most amount of pressure being applied at the ankles and toes. The change in pressure helps to dilate the veins, increasing blood flow, which then aids in reducing inflammation. Compression socks can be short, covering only the ankle or the calf, or long, coming up to the knee or as high as the thigh. Socks may be purchased with toes or toeless depending on personal preference.
How do Compression Socks Feel?
Compression Socks come in a variety of strengths ranging from mild to very high compression and should be chosen regarding the amount of pain that is being experienced. In the case that maximum compression socks are needed, a doctor will have to fit the patient for specific measurements and write them a prescription. With patients who also experience arthritis symptoms in the wrists and hands, or who are older, putting the socks on and taking them off can be a struggle. Patients will sometimes forgo their maximum strength prescription socks for a medium or low strength stocking because they are simply easier to use. A stocking aid can be a helpful tool for those who experience trouble getting the socks on or off and can be purchased from a drugstore or online. When picking out a size, one should measure the circumference of their leg. The sock should fit snuggly enough around the leg, so it stays on but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. A compression sock or sleeve should only be worn during the day or during times of activity and should not be worn during the night to avoid blood clots and problems with blood flow unless otherwise instructed by a doctor.
Who Should Wear Compression Socks?
Anyone who suffers from arthritis can benefit from wearing compression socks. Those who suffer from an inflammatory form of arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have reported the most significant benefits because of the anti-inflammatory properties of the stockings; however, those suffering from osteoarthritis have also seen results. When picking out the correct pair of compression stockings, it is important to first speak with a doctor to make sure that compression therapy is the proper form of treatment especially if one or more of the following is a health factor:
- History of diabetes
- History of blood clots
- Circulation problems
- Skin Ulcers
A doctor can help find the appropriate fit and strength for compression socks and sleeves as well as take measurements for a prescription if a maximum strength compression stocking is needed.
What Are Some Highly-Rated Compression Socks?
There might seem to be an overwhelming amount of compression socks to choose from on the market. Many brands don’t offer much more compression or support than an average pair of socks, while others are found to be too tight, making them potentially dangerous and end up causing more harm than good. Each of the options below can easily be purchased online or from an authorized retailer. These are the brands that stand out from the rest:
Primes offers moderate compression pressure to alleviate fatigue, swelling, and varicose veins symptoms. These socks were designed with the help of foot and vein specialists and offer multiple sizing options, including a large calf selection. They are easy to slip on and off and won’t cut off circulation or leave indents on the skin. They are available online through the company’s website.
Built from high-quality, comfortable, and breathable materials, these socks can be purchased in many different designs and patterns. While they are not great for those with large calves, they are a mild compression option and can be purchased from Amazon.
These socks provide tight compression with a small price tag. Made from comfortable, breathable fabrics, SBSox come in a variety of colors and can be purchased from Amazon.
Alvada stockings are an excellent option for people who are looking to relive heal and foot pain. They offer an ergonomic design with no-slip cuffs and can also double as a night splint to keep feet firmly in place while sleeping. Alveda socks can be found for purchase on Amazon.
No matter the source of the pain, with the help of comfort and technology working together, it is possible for those suffering from arthritis symptoms to get back on their feet again. It can be as easy as speaking to a doctor to see if compression therapy is a step in the right direction to leading a happy, productive, and healthy lifestyle.