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How Plus-Size Compression Socks Help Blood Flow In Obesity

At Comrad, we realize that leg circulation issues are a concern for many people. If you are overweight, your risk for circulation problems, leg pain, and swelling may be increased. Finding the right type of support for your legs and feet is important for improving your overall vascular health.

In fact, obesity puts you at higher risk for peripheral artery disease, a condition that slows the blood flow to your arms, legs, or feet. It’s a serious condition that affects nearly 7 million Americans. Left untreated, the arteries in your limbs can develop blockages so severe that your affected limbs will need to be amputated. You are also at greater risk for strokes or heart attacks.

People who are obese, have high cholesterol, or suffer from diabetes are at risk for this condition. Symptoms of peripheral artery disease include cold legs or feet, leg numbness or weakness, sores that will not heal, and cramping. 

Doctors often recommend changing their diets, increasing physical activity, or losing weight to prevent the condition. One way to combat peripheral artery disease and help blood flow in your lower extremities is to use compression socks. 

What Are Compression Socks and How Do They Work?

Compression socks (also known as compression stockings) are stretchy socks that apply pressure to your legs and ankles. The pressure is gentle yet effective. In many people, especially obese people, the socks have relieved pain and decreased swelling. The socks tend to be more snug around the ankles and loosen up around the calves.

There are different types of compression socks available with different levels of pressure. The three primary types include:

  • Non medical support hosiery 
  • Thrombo-embolic deterrent (TED) hose/Anti-embolism stockings
  • Graduated compression stockings

Non medical support hosiery is available over the counter in most drug stores and other retailers. It’s good for tired legs, ankles, and feet. The amount of compression is the same throughout. 

TED hose/anti-embolism stockings improve circulation and reduce your chances of developing blood clots. Most people wear them after surgery and when they are on bed rest.

Graduated compression stockings, sometimes known as knee highs, come up to the knee and help prevent lower leg swelling. They provide more pressure at the ankle. These stockings usually require you to have a professional fitting.

Are There Any Side Effects For Wearing Compression Socks?

Wearing compression socks has many great benefits, but it is important that you wear them when you actually need them. Although they are minimal, here are a few possible side effects of wearing compression socks:

  • Skin irritation
  • Broken skin
  • Infection
  • Allergic reaction
  • Peripheral nerve damage from misuse
  • Inadequate oxygenated blood flow

Most of these side effects occur when you either buy compression socks that are the wrong size or you don’t put them on correctly. If you know that you are allergic to certain materials, read the labels on the socks to make sure those materials were not used in the making of the compression socks.

Where Can I Find Plus Size Compression Socks?

Many compression socks on the market are not made for larger legs. You can try to find some at your local pharmacy or other brick-and-mortar stores, but your options may be limited. 

Your best bet for finding plus-size compression socks is to shop online. That’s why we at Comrad came up with a range of wide calf compression socks to meet the needs of people who do not fit standard-sized compression socks. 

If you regularly shop at online retailers, check to see if they offer wide calf compression socks. If they don’t, your next option is to ask your primary care physician or a podiatrist if they have any recommendations. If you need custom-made compression socks, your podiatrist would most likely know who to refer you to. You can also check medical supply stores.

Are Plus Sized Compression Socks More Expensive?

No, plus-size compression socks are not more expensive than standard compression socks. According to the New York Times, compression socks typically cost up to $50 per pair. However, the actual price of the socks will vary by retailer. At Comrad, our compression socks start at $19 per pair


Hopefully, our article today helped you understand how plus-sized compression socks help blood flow in obesity. Don’t worry if you are concerned about circulation and your calves are wider than standard-sized socks. There are plenty of options available for you on the market. 

What are you waiting for? Go grab yourself a pair of wide calf compression socks today!


Compression socks: What are they and who needs them? | Riverside

Side effects of compression stockings: a case report | NCBI 

Obesity may increase risk for peripheral artery disease | Heart.org 

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic 

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