Hi there everyone, I would like to talk to you today about another great tool that is available to you in your battle with sore feet/legs, lower back pain and especially Plantar Fasciitis. This item is compression socks which now come in many forms and are no longer just the skin coloured ones that used to be available. They now come in very fashionable styles and colours. This is mainly due to their huge growth in use by athletes, runners and sportsmen and sportswomen. In this post today I’d like to give you an insight as to what compression socks are and what purpose they have. I will also be making some recommendations based on personal experience and a lot of research. So Here is my Best Compression socks for nurses – How to Heal Plantar Fasciitis post, I hope it will be of some benefit to you.
What are Compression socks?
Compression socks can be ankle-high, knee-high or thigh-high. They are elastic socks and stockings and they are designed to compress the entire length of the sock. They compress the lower leg, feet, ankles, calves and shins.
When in use, their aim is to compress the leg to reduce the diameter of the veins in the lower legs. When this reduction takes place it has the effect of increasing the blood flow velocity and makes the valves in the veins of the leg more effective, which in turn makes the arteries work better in the compressed areas.
This aids in reduced venous pressure, enhances circulation and gives great venous wall support. So to sum up in terms that are a little easier to understand. When your arteries, veins and muscles are being compressed and your blood is circulating through a smaller channel the flow of blood back to your heart is measurably improved.(This compression also offers greater protection against developing issues like varicose veins.)
These socks work because of the gradient compression throughout the sock. This means that there are different levels of compression in different areas of the sock. The compression level will be the strongest near the feet and will decrease as the sock heads up the leg. This design pushes the blood flow back up towards the heart. It is also worth noting that these socks can also be acquired with uniform compression, which gives equal compression throughout the sock and used when people are suffering with particular medical conditions such as Edema or other medical conditions.
What to take into account when buying compression socks
When choosing the right compression socks there are many factors to take into consideration – What length, compression grade and what purpose you require them for. The most popular style for nurses and medical staff are the Knee-high compression socks which cover the leg from the toe to just below the knee. This is the style of compression sock that I personally use.
Another factor to consider is the level of compression. (The higher the number of the grade the higher the compression.) These grades are measured by using the “millimeters of mercury” measurement which is a measurement of pressure, (also used in blood pressure measurement.)
Levels of Compression
8 – 15 mmHg – Mild compression – Helps to stop varicose veins forming, reduces swelling and helps to prevent and relieve tired and aching legs.
15 – 20 mmHg – Moderate compression – Gives added protection in preventing varicose/spider veins and helps to prevent DVT (Deep vein thrombosis) which makes them great for long distance travel.
20 – 30 mmHg – Firm Compression – (Medical Grade) Can be used to treat Edema and used after surgery of venous conditions to stop them from recurring.
30 – 40 mmHg – Extra firm compression – (Medical Grade) Provides additional benefits to the other strengths of compression socks and can be used to treat venous ulcers.
I would say that if you are trying to prevent varicose veins and are suffering with tired and aching legs throughout your shift then the 8-15 mmHg or the 15-20 mmHg are the compression socks for you. If your requirements are a bit more medical and you require a stronger compression then you may need one of the higher grade compression socks. A doctor should always be consulted on the use of compression socks especially the higher grade compression socks.
The Benefits of wearing compression socks
- Compression socks help injuries like Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints and calf/ankle strains and sprains to heal.
- They are extremely effective in helping to prevent injuries from occurring especially overuse injuries such as Plantar Fasciitis. They also help with Injuries caused by inflammation. (Caused by diet, lifestyle, too much exercise and medical conditions.)
- They are great for managing, preventing and treating disease complications such as CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency), VTE (Venous Thromboembolism) and Lymphodema/Lymphatic Edema.
- They are an amazing preventative measure if you suffer with tired and aching legs and will boost the circulation of blood around the body. Also, great in the prevention of varicose veins.
Which compression sock do I use
I personally use a compression sock with a 15 – 20 mmHg grade and wear the Knee-high style. I find that after I got used to them I now no longer pay them much attention. My legs do get a little warm sometimes but the benefits I am receiving from wearing these socks make having slightly warm legs sometimes more than worth it. In combination with wearing the correct shoes, doing my stretching exercises regularly and wearing these socks I have now pretty much got my sore feet, aching legs and lower back pain under control.
It used to be the case that compression socks were not in the least bit attractive and there were not too many to choose from. Well I’m happy to tell you that is no longer the case, there are an abundance to choose from and there are a lot of attractive ones on offer. I find it’s a case of you get what you pay for when it comes to compression socks so I wouldn’t just buy a pair because of the cheapest price. Obviously we all love a bargain but if you want a quality sock that will stand the test of time and fulfill your requirements then the cheapest usually do not last that long,
Right Socks, Right Shoes and Right Regime of Stretching
To conclude this post today I would like to just re-visit some points that I have talked about previously. As I’ve mentioned before I have suffered with sore feet, aching legs and lower back pain for around 10 years.
I sought out medical help, but by the time I got to an investigative appointment there was nothing to be found, and so the cycle would continue to the next time my back would lock up. I have suffered with sore feet and aching legs pretty much the whole time I have been nursing and I just put this down to the stresses to the body from our demanding jobs as nurses.
It wasn’t until a friend suggested that there were things I could do to help myself, then acting upon that advice that I started to find some relief from my ailments. I followed my friends advice and looked in to finding the right supportive and cushioned shoes and they had such a result in such a short period that I then started researching other things I could do to help myself. This is when I found out that regularly stretching and also wearing compression socks would help my situation. I started off by wearing the right shoes, then regularly stretching and making sure I managed to rest, relax and recharge of an evening.
By doing all of these things my situation and aches and pains had reduced measurably. Finding the information about compression socks, buying some and wearing them was the final piece in the jigsaw for me and I would now say that the majority of the time now I work pain-free. I do still get slightly tired legs as we do a hard Job and it is a long day but my situation is so much Improved. My husband Peter suffers with Plantar Fasciitis and again since he has started wearing the right shoes, compression socks and regularly stretching his situation has improved greatly.
The important thing if you suffer like I have, is to take action today to help yourself. So please get the right socks, the right shoes and regularly stretch.
I will be adding a detailed review of the best compression socks to the site very soon.
That’s it for today, I hope this has been of some benefit to you, If you have any questions or just need a hand please leave them in the comment box or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will do my best to help.
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