Compression Socks: When to Wear Them

Many doctors and websites recommend compression socks as a solution to chronic issues relating to circulation. These include anything that can cause neuropathy or a lack of blood flow.

However, compression socks are more than a non-invasive medical treatment – they are also a useful piece of clothing for any activities that activate or tire out your leg muscles. Knowing when to wear them can improve your recovery time, reduce swelling, and improve your quality of life in general.

  1. When you’re diabetic

If you’re a diabetic, it may be time to research compression socks. They aren’t recommended to be worn all the time, but the gentle pressure applied to your lower extremities can help with blood flow and reduce swelling.

This is important for diabetes sufferers because the condition affects nerves and circulation. With compression socks, you can increase blood flow back to your heart, invigorate nerves, and prevent the condition from deteriorating as quickly.

  1. When you’re going for a run

Whether you’re an athlete or just health-conscious, many of us know the feeling of post-workout leg soreness after a good run. This is caused by a buildup of lactic acid in your calf muscles that needs to be recycled back into your body by blood flow. That’s where compression socks come in.

By applying gentle pressure to your calf muscles, compression socks can improve your circulation right after your workout and on your off day as well. This energizes your legs to be ready for another workout and prevents them from feeling tight, sore, and painful in the meantime.

  1. When you’re going to work

Many people have to stand for work and not everyone who does so planned to be so physically active. People like teachers and cashiers probably didn’t consider the physical toll that standing all day can take on their legs. The same lactic acid buildup that makes runners’ legs sore can affect them as well.

That’s why compression socks can help them just as much. Worn either during work or right after, compression socks can reduce swelling and increase circulation for those that stand a lot for work, making the long work week seem not quite as bad.

  1. When you’re cold

This seems silly, but compression socks are not simply long socks. The compression aspect keeps your muscles at a more stable temperature because of increases in regular circulation.

This means that when you go walking in the cold, compression socks help regulate your body’s natural response to heating up your extremities.

They even work similarly to make you cooler on a hot day by increasing the efficiency of the same process, this time by supplementing your body’s attempts to cool you down. Circulation is how your body regulates itself, so improving circulation improves your condition in general.

  1. When you’re going off-road

Compression socks are high and tight enough to be a nice defense against scratches from sticks and brambles. If you plan on walking outside or in the woods, you may want to pull up your compression socks.

This is especially true for people with diabetes, whose cuts heal more slowly and who may already have the socks for the reasons previously mentioned. Protecting your legs is just an added bonus.

The Takeaway

There are obvious and not so obvious times to wear compression socks. Athletes know that increased circulation improves their performance and reduces their workout recovery time. Diabetics know that help with blood flow will improve their neuropathy.

Many people beyond that, however, would benefit from compression socks, such as those who stand all day for work. Knowing when to wear compression socks can help you make the most of them and keep your pain down.



Alex is the co-author of 100 Greatest Plays, 100 Greatest Cricketers, 100 Greatest Films and 100 Greatest Moments. He has written for a wide variety of publications including The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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