The Right Way to Wear Compression Socks
So you bought your first pair of compression socks but you’re not exactly sure how to wear them, for how long, and what they are supposed to make you feel exactly. That’s ok. We’ll explain. There’s a lot of information out there about proper compression sock use. Nevertheless, there are many different types of compression and each type serves a specific purpose. Thankfully, at Comrad we only offer true graduated compression, which basically means that the pressure is around the ankle and loosens up as the sock goes up the leg. No need to do lots of research to find the pair that’s right for you. The Companion Sock is seamlessly all-purpose, made of smart fabric to adapt to any situation, and lab-tested to ensure quality compression.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are generally used for help reduce discomfort in your lower body, though effective compression socks will lead to overall better health. Specifically, compression socks are designed to facilitate healthier blood flow by applying pressure to your lower legs. Essentially, they help with varicose veins (enlarged veins), prevent potential blood clots, and protect your body tissues from swelling.
They come in different shapes and sizes, and can be used either for your lower body or arms. With various types of compression, the higher the intensity, the higher the odds that you have serious circulation problems.
When Should You Wear Compression Socks?
Before you start wearing compression socks, you need to ask yourself a few questions to make sure they are right for you:
- Have your feet felt tired and achy recently, regardless of what you do?
- Do you spend most of your time either seated or standing? (You don’t need to be in pain to take action. The best action is usually preventative).
- Do you suffer from varicose veins and swelling?
Did you answer yes to any of these questions? If so, then you might want to consider wearing compression socks regularly.
If they are doctor-prescribed, it probably means that you should start getting used to wearing them every day. If wearing compression socks was a choice, then you can wear them as needed, though you’ll quickly come to decide that they should be part of your day to day.
Can Compression Socks Hurt Your Feet?
With any new product comes a time of adaptation. At Comrad, we try and make sure that your purchase will instantly satisfy you. It’s important that you consult our size guide when selecting your pair of Comrad socks. Purchasing the wrong size can have serious consequences. If the socks are too tight, they’ll actually act counterproductively, effectively preventing healthy blood circulation in your legs.
Even if you purchased the right size, you’re going to want to constantly ask yourself how they feel. You want them to be comfortable. You don’t want to experience discomfort. Even the slightest. Here are some ways to tell whether you should stop wearing them:
- They are uncomfortable. Do regular socks hurt? No. So why should compression socks? Check the sizing range and double check that the size you selected matches. Maybe true graduate compression isn’t right for you, in which case, you should speak to your doctor about what your options are.
- They slide down. Comrad socks are special in that they contain a slide-free cuff, so this should never be an issue. Unless you picked too big a size! If you’ve been wearing the same pair for over 6 months, you might want to consider getting a fresh pair.
- They bunch up. Per our instructions, you want them to be flat and taut. If they bunch up, then they’re probably too long. This might prevent healthy circulation and create unwanted sock-knots.
- They don’t stop the swelling. Maybe true graduated compression is not for you. You might want to consider a stronger compression sock. In which case, you’ll want to speak to your doctor about what your options are. Again, make sure you have the right size for optimal results.
- They are impossible to put on. Usually, that means they’re too small for you. Don’t shy away from the larger size in this case.
Is It Safe To Wear Compression Socks To Bed?
To put it simply: No (unless specifically recommended by your physician).
There are rumors out there that if you’re an athlete, you should wear your compression socks the night before your sport event (just like runners eat a big pasta meal the night before a race). But compression socks are not food. And that rumor is a lie.
True graduated compression is intended to be worn when you are active (and not necessarily an athlete). The sock helps the blood circulate properly and get blood back to your heart in an effort to push back against the pull of gravity. If you’re lying down, there’s not much to fight back against, and the socks will not be as effective. Since the pressure is applied to your ankle and progressively up your leg, you risk cutting off your circulation.
Some people wear compression socks overnight when recovering from surgery or because of other specific health reasons. In those cases, low strength compression is advised (as well as specific instructions from your doctor).
If you’re healthy, there’s no reason why you should sleep with compression socks on. You should put on your compression socks when you wake and take them off before going to bed. You can also decide to take them off when you are lounging. Whether to take them off when you get home from work is up to you.
How Do I Wash My Compression Socks?
If you’re wearing your socks every day, you’ll want at least two pairs. That way, you can wear one while the other is drying. To clean them, you’ll you want to hand wash them–or wash them cold in the machine–and let them air dry. It’s important to monitor how they feel. Like any item, the effectiveness of the compression will wear off after months, so you’ll want to keep an eye out for that and replace them when needed.