Compression socks and diabetes

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Compression Stockings For Diabetes

Diabetes and compression stockings may seem like an unlikely duo but in reality, a major part of diabetes treatment involves taking proper care of your legs and feet. Plus, compression stockings may alleviate pain and discomfort. See if you should consider using compression socks to relieve swelling for better diabetic foot care.

Why Foot Care Is Important For Diabetics

Even though diabetes mellitus is a blood sugar problem involving how your body uses glucose, leading to too much sugar in the blood, it can also affect your feet in the following ways:

  • In some cases, diabetes causes venous insufficiency, when the vein valves in your legs improperly function, leading to swelling and skin changes.
  • Diabetes symptoms also include poor circulation, as a result, you may experience peripheral edema, which is swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet as blood pulls and collects. This can cause wounds or sores (venous or arterial ulcerations) to have a slower healing process, increasing the chance of infection.
  • Nerve damage can occur in your feet, leading to the loss of feeling. Due to this, you may not feel or notice wounds and sores on your feet until they become infected, leading to the need for amputation.

How Do Compression Stockings Help?

  • Compression stockings work by applying pressure to your lower legs in order to help them maintain proper blood flow and reduce pain and swelling (edema). By squeezing your calf and lower leg muscles blood is able to flow upwards towards your hearts and lungs and help your vein valves properly function again.
  • Pressure socks with moisture wicking and antibacterial properties help prevent wounds, sores, and infections.
  • By improving your circulation, compression stockings reduce the risk of developing blood clots or Deep Vien Thrombosis (DVT). Blood clots can travel to your lungs to cause a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which can cause heart attacks.

I Need Compression Stockings, What Do I Do?

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and think you may need to use compression hosiery, speak with your doctor. Compression stockings may help if you have experienced:

  • Being advised to start a diabetes diet and exercise more
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet
  • If you’re pregnant with gestational diabetes.

You should have an annual foot examination to identify high-risk conditions. Generally, diabetic foot exams will include an assessment of protective sensation, vascular status, skin integrity, and foot structure and biomechanics.

If you have neuropathy then you should have your feet examined during every visit.

Be sure to assess your own feet on a regular basis. Look for skin discoloration, temperature changes, swelling, cuts, and ulcers. Contact your doctor immediately if you spot any irregularities.

Diabetic Socks Vs Compression Stockings

There are various types of support socks, including diabetic socks and compressions stockings. Both are similar, however diabetic socks are nonbinding, which is important because diabetics can’t have too much restriction. Blood needs to flow freely. Diabetic socks may also have padding on the bottom and seamless features to prevent scratches and sores.

Some compression stockings aren’t too different from diabetic socks, they often incorporate a mix of the same features. However, compression socks have bands that begin at the ankle and go all the way up to the knee or higher, and diabetic socks tend to only have two bands.

Your doctor will recommend the best type of pressure sock for your individual needs.

How Do Compression Stockings Help Circulation?

How Do I Get Compression Socks?

Well, first contact your doctor to determine which type you need. Medical compression stockings come in a variety of sizes. Some go up to the knee, the thigh, and stomach. They also have varying levels of pressure.

  • 8 – 15 mmHg – Mild Compression
  • 15-20 mmHg – Moderate Compression
  • 20 – 30 mmHg – Firm Compression

Your doctor will measure your legs to determine what size you need and the amount of compression you’ll need. You may receive a prescription for compression stockings and could qualify to have them covered by insurance. Compression stockings are also available over the counter.

How To Put On Compression Socks

  1. You should put on your compression socks every morning once you wake up. If you shower or get up first, sit down and elevate your legs before putting them on.
  2. Start at the ankle and work your way up. Using a stock aid or rubber kitchen gloves to grip the socks can help you pull them all the way up.
  3. Wear the socks all day, until you’re ready to go to bed.
  4. It’s best to have two or more pairs to always have a clean set available for daily use.

If you think you may need compression stockings, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor to discover the best type to suit your individual needs today.

Diabetic socks are socks that are specifically designed to keep the feet dry, lessening the risk of a foot injury, and increases blood circulation/flow. The socks are made using superior materials that have the capability to wick away moisture. Just like diabetic shoes, the materials of the socks should be padded, fitted, and nonbinding.

What is the difference between Compression Socks and Diabetics Socks?

Compression socks are not the same with diabetic socks. Nonetheless, diabetics may also need compression socks but not usually recommended as they can restrict blood circulation. The compression socks are tighter and more binding than both diabetic and regular socks. What is the real difference between diabetic and compression socks?

i) Diabetic socks

Diabetic socks are constructed to lessen pressure on your lower foot and leg. The socks are also constructed from finer-textured clothes such as nylon, wool, and spandex merge to lessen scratch against the skin. Also, they have additional padding at sensitive point in the foot at the heel or around the toes to avoid friction injuries.

ii) Compression socks

Compression socks are exclusively constructed to relieve pain in your legs using stronger elastics. They exert pressure on your legs so as to increase blood pressure and allow blood to flow back to the heart.

Thus, the compression socks can prevent swelling in the legs and formation of blood clots. Additionally, they prevent deep vein thrombosis. The compression socks are frequently prescribed for assisting to ease discomfort caused by periods of extended sitting such as driving or while taking a flight.

What is the difference between regular and diabetic socks?

Regular socks are those that are worn by people who are not diabetic or those with no foot challenges. They differ with diabetic socks in that they’re seamless and non-elastic that can limit the blood flow in your legs and feet resulting in swelling and other foot complications.

Wearing traditional/regular socks is a bad idea for individuals with diabetes. The seam at the toe of the sock can annoy pressure points in the foot. Also, it is made of cotton material that stops moisture from evading the socks. When the skin becomes moist, it can break down causing infection.

Additionally, it is not recommended to wear the socks as they’re elastic. The elasticity is dangerous for your legs as it impairs the circulation of blood in your foot and legs.

Why do you need a diabetes socks?

Diabetics are more prone to foot infections and injuries due to the damage to their nervous and circulatory systems and even in their immune structure. It is much worse for people with diabetes neuropathy not to wear diabetic slippers, socks, and shoes as the complication can be dire. Thus, the diabetes socks ensure that your foot is protected from complications and that the circulation of blood is enhanced.

Features of Diabetic Socks

What are the most significant features to look for while buying diabetic socks? Below is a catalog of the most essential features to look for while shopping for diabetic socks:

-Seamless: Socks for diabetic neuropathy must be seamless because socks with seams can rub against the skin and result in ulcers and blisters. Any skin rub may be detrimental for diabetic feet and can result in complications.

-Non-constricting: The fit of the socks should be non-constricting and loose. It is vital to understand that tight socks can inhibit circulation. Poor circulation of blood can result in nerve damage and other serious diabetic complications.

-Padding: The socks should have an extra cushioning and padding for sensitive areas in your foot to curb injury and improve comfort. Generally, the additional padding runs around the toes, along the bottom of the socks, and at the heel of the foot.

–Warmth: Diabetes socks should be made from selected fabrics that keep your foot warm expanding the nerves and boosting blood circulation.

–White Sole: Ensure that you buy a white sole as it is essential for persons with compromised sensation. The reason for selecting a white sole is alerting the individuals to a draining wound.

–Moisture-wicking: Keeping your feet dry aids to avert skin infections is a major consideration for diabetics. Most of the diabetic socks are constructed from a mixture of material such as bamboo, acrylic, charcoal, and polyester that propose more moisture-wicking capability than cotton socks.

–Anti-microbial: This is a significant trait for diabetic socks as it thwarts fungal and bacteria growth in the dampness prone regions of the foot.

– Soft yarns: Diabetic socks are regularly constructed from advanced quality fabrics out of material that entails bamboo so as to lessen rough scratch and shear forces on the skin.

Benefits of Wearing Best Diabetic Socks

Diabetics Socks for Happy Feet…

i) Keep your Feet Warm – Diabetes usually complains of cold feet due to poor blood circulation. Diabetic socks are usually made to help keep your feet warm. Whilst woolen socks are an ideal idea, you could also try diabetic socks that are made with silver in it. It will assist reflect body heat back to the skin and minimize heat loss.

ii) Keep your Feet Dry – Wicked germ usually loves warm and damp spots in your feet and moisture definitely surges your risk of getting foot contamination. The diabetic socks are made to ensure that your feet are dry. Materials such as wool and cotton an absorb moisture from the skin but they usually retain the moisture. However, top-rated socks are made of materials such as acrylic that doesn’t hold moisture and this is ideal for your feet.

iii) Take the Pressure Off – In case you have nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy, you may not realize that you’re placing pressure on your feet. Thus, the high-pressure locations under the feet particularly tend to increase ulcers and blisters. However, diabetic socks will help you to have proper cushioning and reduce the pressure on your legs.

iv) Assist to reduce the pain – Most of the diabetic socks are constructed using novel fabrics that can lessen the chronic pain resulting from the nerve damage. Researchers have found a synthetic fiber known as Celliant that has been found to surge oxygen and blood flow to the skin so as to lessen pin. The fiber impacts the quantity of light on the skin, which in turn influences the quantity of light that falls on the skin affecting internal procedures like enzymes activation.

v) Offers Your Antimicrobial Shield – A mixture of bacteria or fungi and an injured foot can result in treacherous infections for individuals with diabetes. Most of the diabetes socks have antimicrobial properties that can be significant in reducing the growth of fungal or bacteria.

Final Thought

The study has given the difference between compression socks and diabetes socks. Diabetic socks are meant to offer the best experience for diabetic people. They’ve various benefits as discussed in the article. Also, we’ve explained various features that you may consider while purchasing diabetic socks. The compression socks have also been described and its use carefully examined. However, they’re not recommended as they’re elastic and can result in a reduction of blood circulation in the legs and foot. For enhanced circulation on your feet, you can buy diabetic foot massage machine.

What are diabetic socks?

Diabetic socks are specially designed to decrease the risk of foot injury, to offer maximum blood flow, and keep the feet dry. The best diabetic socks should have the following features:

  1. Seamless: Even the tiniest protrusion can have a severe impact on the diabetic foot. Socks with seams can rub against the skin and can cause blisters or ulcers, which may be harmful for diabetic feet.
    The best diabetic socks are seamless and knitted with inverse linking, which keeps the ends of the toe-linking thread outside rather than inside the sock.
  2. Non-constricting: The fit of diabetic socks should be loose, non-constricting and have a super stretch design. In fact, they should be loose to the point where you barely feel them!.
    Tight socks can inhibit circulation, which might be challenging for those who suffer from circulatory issues.
  3. Padding: Extra padding and cushioning for sensitive areas help prevent injury and enhances comfort.
    Normally the extra padding runs along the bottom of the sock, around the toes, and at the heel of the foot. These areas of the foot are usually susceptible to the most shock forces during activities and therefore need to be protected even more.
  4. Warmth: Diabetes can cause blood vessels to restrict, decreasing circulation to the feet.
    Diabetic socks should be made from fabrics that keep feet warm and help improve blood circulation.
  5. White Sole: A white sole is important for people with compromised sensation, as it helps alert wearers to a draining wound. Stains from infections, open cuts and sores that require immediate attention will be very visible on a white sole.
  6. Moisture-wicking: Many socks today are knitted with special yarns that are infused with advanced technology to help maintain a healthy foot. Synthetic yarns such as polyester and nylon are able to move moisture out of the sock and quickly dry up. A dry foot environment helps prevent skin infections and keeps feet comfortable for long periods.
  7. Anti-microbial: Good diabetic socks are treated with anti-microbial technology to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the moisture prone regions of the foot, keeping it healthy. Eliminating bacteria and fungi also eliminates the bad odors in your feet!
  8. Soft yarns: Diabetic socks are often made from finer texture fabrics that feel super soft against the skin. Bamboo fibers are an excellent option that reduce rough abrasion and shear forces on the skin.

Diabetes Mellitus

When diabetic patients need compression socks

When diagnosed with diabetes, patients work closely with their physician, diabetic educator and pharmacist on how to best take care of their health with an important emphasis on legs and feet.

People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause peripheral edema (swelling) in their feet, ankles and legs. There are many causes of peripheral edema, not necessarily related to diabetes, such as standing or sitting for long periods of time, physical inactivity, chronic venous disease, lymphedema, heredity, pregnancy, surgery and trauma and some illnesses. Peripheral edema can also be associated with diabetes complications such as heart disease, venous insufficiency, and kidney disease. Certain diabetes medications can also cause edema.

New research (1) shows that for many diabetic patients who suffer from edema, compression socks can help keeping legs and feet healthy, and allow the patient to have a more active lifestyle.

Graduated compression socks and hosiery have been proven to effectively promote venous blood flow by providing a gentle graduated support to leg veins and valves. A calf-length compression stocking goes over the calf muscle to be most effective. Graduated compression socks and hosiery come in different levels of compression. Features of the SIGVARIS Diabetic compression sock include padding sole, flat seam, non-constricting top band, yarn that breathes and wicks away moisture. Sock and hosiery and should be worn under the direction of a physician.

A mild level (up to 25 mmHg) of graduated compression will help reduce the symptoms of swelling, tired and achy legs, spider and varicose veins and other leg discomforts. Higher levels of compression are a noted caution or contraindication for a diabetic patient (2). Your doctor can help to determine the correct amount of compression to help reduce the swelling in your legs.

Contraindications: peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD), diabetic foot ulceration.

(1) Wu Stephanie, et al. Control of lower extremity oedema in persons with diabetes with mild compression socks: a pilot study, 2011.
(2) Stemmer Robert. Strategies of treatment by compression and mobilisation. Switzerland: Ganzoni & Cie, 1995.

Benefits of compression therapy

Diabetic patients should talk to their doctor, pharmacist or diabetic educator about SIGVARIS Diabetic Compression Socks, as they could be the right choice if:

  • Patients have been advised to change their diet and increase their physical activity
  • Patients are experiencing swelling in their feet, ankles or legs
  • Patients are currently pregnant and are experiencing gestational diabetes

Most diabetic patients will benefit from less swelling when wearing SIGVARIS Diabetic Compression Socks. However, not all diabetic patients should wear compression. If a diabetic patient has severe arterial insufficiency, a compression sock may not be right treatment. And, if any discomfort is noticed while wearing this garment, it must be removed and the patient should consult a doctor.

Diabetes: SIGVARIS Solutions

With so much emphasis placed on proper diabetic footwear, it is important that diabetic socks have the correct size, fit, fiber and construction. Most diabetic socks are soft, provide padding on the sole of the foot, and should adapt to the foot/leg without wrinkles. They may be seamless or have a “flat seam” against the toes/foot. The fibers should wear evenly, instead of leaving thin spots where friction can occur and offer moisture-wicking properties to minimize the risk of infection and blisters.

Available in North America, SIGVARIS Diabetic Compression Socks offer all these same features, plus the benefit of 18-25mmHg graduated compression. They are designed with the diabetic patient in mind. This soft padded sock is made with DriRelease® yarns with FreshGuard® to wick away moisture and provide odor control. Extra attention has been made to provide a flat interio seam on the toe guard, as well as a more comfortable top band.

Unlike some diabetic socks, which are measured by shoe size only, SIGVARIS socks provide a custom-like fit by measuring your ankle, calf and lower leg length to determine your size. Look at this difference as “medicine for your legs”!

Compression Stockings

  • Men
    • 8-15 mmhg Compression
      • Mini Crew
      • Crew
      • Knee High
    • 12-16 mmhg Compression
      • Low Cut
      • Crew
      • Knee High
    • 15-20 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 20-30 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 30-40 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 40-50 mmHg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Ribbed
      • 8-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
    • Economical
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Cotton
      • 12-16 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Athletic
      • 8-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Durable
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Petite & Short Length
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Open Toe
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Wide & Full Calf
      • 10-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Big & Tall
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Ankle Support
  • Women
    • 8-15 mmhg Compression
      • Mini Crew
      • Crew
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 12-16 mmhg Compression
      • Low Cut
      • Crew
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 15-20 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 20-30 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 30-40 mmhg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 40-50 mmHg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Sheer
      • 8-15 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Opaque
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Economical
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Ribbed
      • 8-15 mmHg
        • Crew
        • Knee High
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Cotton
      • 12-16 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Athletic
      • 8-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Petite & Short Length
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Durable
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Wide & Full Calf
      • 10-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Open Toe
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 40-50 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Ankle Support
  • Clearance
    • Men
      • 8-15 mmHg
        • Knee High
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • Athletic
      • Knee High
        • 8-15 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Jobst
      • Juzo
      • Medi
      • Sigvaris
    • Women
      • 8-15 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Other
      • Athletic
      • Knee High
        • 8-15 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Thigh High
        • 8-15 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Pantyhose
        • 8-15 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Juzo
        • 12-16 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Jobst
        • 8-15 mmHg
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Medi
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
      • Sigvaris
        • 15-20 mmHg
        • 20-30 mmHg
        • 30-40 mmHg
  • Maternity Support Pantyhose
    • Maternity 8-15 mmHg
    • Maternity 12-16 mmHg
    • Maternity 15-20 mmHg
    • Maternity 20-30 mmHg
    • Maternity 30-40 mmHg
  • Athletic Compression Socks
    • Athletic 8-15 mmHg
    • Athletic 12-16 mmHg
      • Low Cut
      • Crew
      • Knee High
    • Athletic 15-20 mmHg
    • Athletic 20-30 mmHg
    • Athletic 30-40 mmHg
  • Diabetic Compression Socks
    • Knee High Socks
    • Crew Socks
    • Low Cut Ankle Socks
  • Travel Socks & Stockings
    • Men
    • Women
  • Single Leg Stockings
  • No Silicone Thigh Highs
    • 20-30 mmHg Compression
    • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • 40-50 mmHg Compression
  • No Silicone Arm Sleeve
    • 15-20 mmHg Compression
    • 20-30 mmHg Compression
    • 30-40 mmHg Compression
  • Knee High w/ Silicone
    • 15-20 mmHg Compression
    • 20-30 mmHg Compression
    • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • 40-50 mmHg Compression
  • CHAPS
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
    • 40-50 mmHg
  • TED / Anti Embolism Stockings
    • Knee High
    • Thigh High
    • Waist High
  • Stocking & Skincare Accessories
    • Jobst
    • Juzo
    • Mediven
    • Sigvaris
    • Other
    • Get em on
    • Get em off
    • Keep em in place
    • Wash em
  • Specialty Compression
    • Stump Shrinkers
  • Orthopedics
    • Achilles Support
    • Ankle Support
    • Elbow Support
    • Knee Support
    • Wrist Support
    • Rigid Braces
  • Lymphedema Treatment Products
    • Compression Arm Sleeves
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Compression Gauntlets
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Compression Gloves
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
  • Gift Certificates
  • Jobst For Men
    • Jobst For Men 8-15 mmHg
    • Jobst For Men 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Jobst For Men 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Jobst For Men 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Jobst For Men Ambition
    • Jobst For Men Casual
      • 15-20 mmHg Knee High
      • 20-30 mmHg Knee High
      • 30-40 mmHg Knee High
  • Jobst Activewear
  • Jobst Opaque
    • Jobst Opaque 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Jobst Opaque 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Jobst Opaque 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Jobst Relief
    • Jobst Relief 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Jobst Relief 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Chap
      • Pantyhose
    • Jobst Relief 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Chap
      • Pantyhose
  • Jobst Sensifoot
    • Low Cut
    • Crew
    • Knee High
  • Jobst w/Sensitive Band
    • Opaque
    • Ultrasheer
  • Jobst Sport
  • Jobst soSoft
    • 8-15 mmHg
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Jobst SoftFit
    • Women’s
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Men’s
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Ultrasheer
    • Opaque
    • Ambition
  • Jobst Athletic Supportwear
  • Jobst UlcerCare
  • Jobst Upper Extremity
    • Arm Sleeves
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Gauntlets
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
  • Jobst Ultrasheer
    • Jobst Ultrasheer 8-15 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Jobst Ultrasheer 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Jobst Ultrasheer 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Jobst Ultrasheer 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Jobst Zippered Stockings
  • Juzo Attractive
    • Juzo Attractive 12-16 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Juzo Attractive 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Attractive 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Attractive 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Juzo Basic
    • Juzo Basic 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Basic 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Basic 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Juzo DreamSleeves
    • Arm Sleeves
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Gauntlets
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
  • Juzo Naturally Sheer
    • Juzo Naturally Sheer 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Naturally Sheer 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Naturally Sheer 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Juzo Silver Sole Socks
    • Anklet
    • Low Cut
    • Crew
    • Knee High
  • Juzo Silver Soft
    • Juzo Silver Soft 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Juzo Silver Soft 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
  • Juzo Value Socks
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Juzo Upper Extremity
    • Arm Sleeves
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Gauntlets
    • Gloves
  • Juzo Soft
    • Juzo Soft 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Soft 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Juzo Soft 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Seasonal Tie Dye
  • Juzo Varin
    • Juzo Varin 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Juzo Varin 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Juzo Varin 40-50 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris Athletic Recovery
  • Sigvaris Allure
    • Sigvaris Allure 15-20 mmHg
    • Sigvaris Allure 20-30 mmHg
  • Sigvaris Access
    • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 15-20 mmHg Compression
    • 30-40 mmHg Compression
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris 550 Secure
    • Sigvaris Secure 20-30 mmHg
    • Sigvaris Secure 30-40 mmHg
  • Juzo Power Comfort
  • Sigvaris Casual Cotton
    • 146 Women’s Casual Cotton
    • 186 Men’s Casual Cotton
  • Sigvaris 189 Business Casual
  • Sigvaris Microfiber Shades
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg

  • Sigvaris 962C Cushioned
  • Sigvaris 230 Cotton
    • Sigvaris Cotton 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Sigvaris Cotton 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
  • Sigvaris Midtown Microfiber
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Socks
  • Sigvaris Cushioned Cotton
    • 142 Cushioned Cotton 15-20 mmHg
    • 182 Cushioned Cotton 15-20 mmHg
    • 360 Cushioned Cotton 20-30 mmHg
  • Sigvaris 602 Diabetic Socks
  • Sigvaris 780 EverSheer
    • Sigvaris EverSheer 15-20 mmHg
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Sigvaris EverSheer 20-30 mmHg
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Sigvaris EverSheer 30-40 mmHg
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris 750 Midsheer
    • Sigvaris Midsheer 20-30 mmHg
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris Performance Sports Sock
  • Sigvaris Performance Sports Sleeves
  • Sigvaris 852C Daily Comfort
  • Sigvaris 860 Select Comfort
    • 860 Select Comfort 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 860 Select Comfort 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris 840 Soft Opaque
    • 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris 120 Sheer Fashion
    • Knee High
    • Thigh High
    • Pantyhose
    • Maternity Pantyhose
  • Sigvaris Zurich
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
  • Sigvaris 770 Truly Transparent
    • Sigvaris Truly Transparent 20-30
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Sigvaris Truly Transparent 30-40
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
  • Sigvaris 500 Natural Rubber
    • Sigvaris 500 Natural Rubber 30-40 mmHg Compression
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Sigvaris 500 Natural Rubber 40-50 mmHg Compression
      • Calf High
      • Thigh High
    • Sigvaris 500 Natural Rubber 50-60 mmHg Compression
  • Mediven Active
    • Medi Active 16-20 mmHg
    • Medi Active 20-30 mmHg
    • Medi Active 30-40 mmHg
  • Mediven Assure
    • Mediven Assure 16-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Mediven Assure 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Mediven Assure 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
  • Mediven Comfort
    • Mediven Comfort 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Mediven Comfort 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Mediven Comfort 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
  • Mediven for Men
    • 8-15 mmHg
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Mediven Forte
    • Mediven Forte 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
    • Mediven Forte 40-50 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
  • Mediven for Women
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Mediven Motion Sport
  • Mediven Patriot
    • Medi Patriot 20-30 mmHg
    • Medi Patriot 30-40 mmHg
  • Patriot by Medi
    • 15-20 mmHg
    • 20-30 mmHg
    • 30-40 mmHg
  • Mediven Plus
    • Mediven Plus 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • Mediven Plus 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Mediven Plus 40-50 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
  • Mediven Sheer & Soft
    • 8-15 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
    • 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
      • Maternity Pantyhose
  • Mediven Upper Extremity
    • Arm Sleeves
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Gauntlets & Gloves
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
  • LympheDivas
    • LympheDivas Arm Sleeves
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • LympheDivas Gauntlet
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
  • CEP Sport Socks
    • Running
    • Skiing
  • CEP Arm Sleeves
  • CEP Leg Sleeves
  • CEP Apparel
  • CEP RxOrtho
  • SmoothToe
    • Knee High
    • Crew
    • Quarter
    • Low Cut
  • Knee Support
  • Ankle Support
  • VO2fx
  • Compression Wraps
    • Arm
    • Calf
    • Foot
    • Knee
    • Thigh
    • Liners
    • Wrap Accessories
  • Zensah
    • Ankle Sleeves
    • Zensah Arm Sleeves
    • Compression Socks
    • Leg Sleeves
    • Apparel
  • Powerstep
  • Activa
    • 9-12 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 15-20 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 20-30 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
      • Pantyhose
    • 30-40 mmHg
      • Knee High
      • Thigh High
  • Truform
    • Men’s
    • Women’s
      • 8-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
  • Therafirm
    • Men’s
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Women’s
      • 10-15 mmHg Compression
      • 15-20 mmHg Compression
      • 20-30 mmHg Compression
      • 30-40 mmHg Compression
    • Core-Spun
      • 10-15 mmHg
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
    • Core-Sport
    • TheraSport
    • Sheer Ease
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Ease Opaque
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Knee High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Ease Microfiber
      • 15-20 mmHg
      • 20-30 mmHg
  • Therafirm Upper Extremity
    • Arm Sleeves
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Gauntlets
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
    • Gloves
      • 20-30 mmHg
      • 30-40 mmHg
  • Duomed
    • Advantage
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Calf High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Calf High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
      • 30-40 mmHg
        • Calf High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
        • Maternity Pantyhose
    • Freedom
    • Patriot
    • Transparent
      • 15-20 mmHg
        • Thigh High
        • Calf High
        • Pantyhose
      • 20-30 mmHg
        • Calf High
        • Thigh High
        • Pantyhose
    • Relax
  • CSX
    • Sport Socks
      • Knee High Sport Socks
        • Knee High 15-20 mmHg
        • Knee High 20-30 mmHg
      • High Cut Ankle Socks
      • Low Cut Ankle Socks
    • Calf Sleeves
    • Orthopedics
  • CEP Sale

Do you know what to wear on your feet? The right socks and shoes can prevent complications and improve your life with diabetes. Find the footwear that’s right for you.

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Why do people with diabetes need good socks and shoes? Diabetes often slows blood circulation to and from the feet. If blood doesn’t flow well from feet to the heart, legs and feet will swell (called edema). If blood gets stuck in veins, it may form blood clots that can travel to your lungs (pulmonary embolism) or brain (stroke), which can be fatal.

Arteries bring blood from the heart to the feet. In poorly controlled diabetes, arteries can be blocked with scar tissue and fat deposits. This is called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). According to the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, people with diabetes have two to four times the risk of developing PAD compared to those without diabetes.

Endocrinologist Bonnie W. Greenwald, MD, says, “Poor blood flow makes it harder for the body to heal, which increases the risk for skin ulcers and gangrene, or tissue death.” The end result can sometimes be amputation of a foot or leg.

This is where shoes and socks come in. The right footwear can protect feet from injury and infection. It can also improve circulation through the lower half of your body.

Diabetes socks
Diabetes socks protect feet from injury. According to the medical equipment company Sigvaris, “Most diabetic socks are soft, provide padding on the sole of the foot, and should conform to the foot/leg without wrinkles,” which could irritate the skin. They shouldn’t have anything sharp in them, so they are often seamless or have “flat seams” against the toes or foot.

The Sigvaris site says, “The fibers should wear evenly, instead of leaving thin spots where friction can occur. They should offer moisture-wicking properties to minimize the risk of infection and blisters.”

Diabetes socks protect skin but don’t improve circulation. To push blood out of the feet and calves and back to the heart, you need something stronger.

Compression socks
Compression socks are tightly knit, close-fitting socks that gently squeeze your feet and legs. Some doctors have warned against using them in diabetes, for fear they could squeeze arteries. Recent studies, though, have found mild compression safe and helpful.

A 2012 study followed 18 patients for four weeks. All had diabetes and edema in their calves and feet. They were fitted with stockings and told to wear them all the time they were awake for four weeks. Over the four weeks, their calf and foot swelling came down, and there were no signs of circulation problems.

Compression stockings must fit perfectly. Wrinkles or bunching will defeat the purpose and can irritate the skin. Michelle Huie, founder and president of VIM & VIGR, a company that makes high-end, stylish compression stockings, says her company “uses a sizing chart that looks at shoe size and calf size. We also have great customer service representatives to help people find the ideal fit and fabric.”

If you have trouble or concerns about fit, a doctor, physical therapist, or technician at a medical supply store can help.

Compression socks can be made from nylon, cotton, or wool. They should be made on special machines that guarantee a tight weave. Huie cautions that, “There are lots of brands out there that claim to be compression, but they do not use medical knitting machines, which means the customer is not receiving the full benefits of compression.”

When I was a hospital nurse, compression stockings were white, medical-looking things that yelled “old and sick.” Now you can buy attractive, colorful stocking in various patterns. Look at some choices here.

VIM & VIGR stockings sell for over $30 a pair. Other companies charge from $15–$40, but you have to be careful about quality with a lower-end stocking. Insurance usually doesn’t pay for them, but ask. Yours might be covered as medical equipment, or your Health Savings Account may cover it, if you have an HSA.

Living with compression
Compression stockings need good care, like your feet do. Reid Hospital of Indiana’s site advises washing them every day with mild soap and water. Rinse and air dry. Never put them in a dryer; don’t dry clean. Wash them in a linen bag if you machine wash.

“If you can,” says Reid, “have two pairs. Wear one each day. Wash and dry the other pair.” Stockings wear out and need replacing every 3–6 months to maintain strength. If you have more pairs to alternate, they will last longer.

Putting compression socks on can be a challenge. Put them on in the morning when your feet are least swollen. Wear them all day and take them off at night. They should feel tightest around the ankle and less tight as they go higher.

Most people put them on by rolling them down toward the heel, putting their foot in all the way and rolling and pulling them back up over the leg. A little baby powder or cornstarch on the legs might help. You can see an instructional video here that makes it pretty easy.

Shoes
This article on Healthline points out, “Good socks won’t help if your shoes are pinching your feet or causing injuries and ulcers.” Be careful to get good-fitting, not tight, shoes. Check inside them with your hands before putting them on, to make sure no fibers, pebbles, or other objects are sticking out. Avoid pointy toes and high heels.

In Diabetes Self-Management, Dorothy Foltz-Gray wrote, “Buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet will likely be a bit swollen. A good choice is athletic or walking shoes, . Break new shoes in slowly, wearing them only an hour or two a day for the first couple of weeks.” If you’re not sure whether your shoes fit well, perhaps see a podiatrist.

Move your legs
Sitting or standing for long periods leads blood to pool in your calves and feet. Walking or otherwise moving your legs every hour will help the blood flow, improve foot comfort, and prevent complications like strokes.

Diabetic Compression Socks

What Are Diabetic Socks?

Diabetic socks are specially designed to help promote foot comfort in people with diabetes. Socks for diabetics are typically padded to help protect feet and are often seamless for added comfort. However, standard diabetes socks do not help support foot health. For that, you need a special type of diabetic sock: diabetic compression socks.

What Are Compression Socks Used For?

Diabetic compression socks are designed to promote healthy circulation by gently squeezing the foot, which helps send blood flow from the feet back up to the heart. It is common for diabetes patients to experience poor circulation in the lower extremities, which if left untreated could lead to serious complications, such as blood clots. Socks that offer gentle, graduated compression (meaning the sock is tighter near the ankle and becomes gradually less tight approaching the upper calves) may help maintain proper blood flow and may help to prevent problems like blood clots from occurring. However, while studies show that compression socks can be helpful for diabetics in a preventative capacity, it is important to remember that diabetic compression socks are not approved to treat or prevent any medical condition. You should always talk to your doctor about the best ways to manage your health and follow his or her advice carefully.

Choosing the Right Diabetic Compression Socks

It is especially important to choose diabetic compression socks that fit properly. You should not wear compression stockings that are too tight, which could further restrict blood flow, defeating the purpose of your compression socks. You should also avoid wearing compression socks that are too loose, as they will not offer enough gentle pressure to help regulate blood flow as intended. Ill-fitting compression socks are also just plain uncomfortable to wear. When shopping, pay attention to sizing charts on the packaging, and don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions. Before trying diabetic compression stockings, it is a good idea to discuss the option with your doctor. He or she can give you personalized advice as to whether the option is a safe and helpful treatment for you. Your doctor may also be able to offer advice on which sizing and brands may work best for you.

Where to Buy Diabetic Socks

Diabetic socks are available online and at your local CVS. Diabetic compression socks are usually sold in packages containing 1 or 2 pairs. It is helpful to have more than one pair so that you have a clean pair to wear while you wash the other set. Diabetic compression socks are available at a variety of price points, with plenty of socks priced low for affordability. If you want to spend a little more and stock up on diabetic stockings, some products are available to purchase in bulk online.

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According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or prediabetes. It’s a disease in which the body is unable to produce or respond to the hormone insulin which results in the inability to regulate blood glucose levels due to abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates. One of the major impacts the disease has on the body is its effect on the lower extremities. That’s where compression socks can help. Find out the ways diabetes can take a toll on the human body and how compression socks can be used to manage the unwanted side effects of the disease.

Side Effects of Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that has the potential of negatively impacting almost every organ in your body including the eyes, kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, gums, teeth, heart, nerves and blood vessels. When it comes to being diabetic, the trick to keeping it under control is practicing careful awareness and management to prevent and treat side effects.

The disease can increase the potential for blood vessel and nerve damage that can cause bad circulation, pain, cramping, changes in skin color and loss of sensation in various body parts. When diabetics experience blood vessel damage, vessel walls in the leg may lose their elasticity, which causes the valves inside to pull apart. This can be detrimental for circulating blood, because these valves are responsible for opening and closing to regulate the flow of blood in the right direction. When valves are pulled apart due to the weakening of the vessel walls, blood can then flow in two directions, one being the wrong direction that causes blood to pool in the wrong places. These circulation problems can lead to peripheral edema, which is swelling, around the feet, ankles, and legs. Because of this, foot problems are very common among diabetic patients and in severe cases, some living with the disease may experience such bad conditions leading to amputation. But it doesn’t need to get to that! If you work at combating the extremely negative impacts of diabetes you can gain the best control of the situation at hand…or foot. Compression socks can be the solution to improving the symptoms caused by nerve and blood vessel damage.

What Are Compression Socks?

Compression socks are a special type of stockings that fit snuggly on a person’s feet and legs. They are typically made of stretchy fabric that has been tailored to place more pressure around the ligaments compared to other types of socks. Many will feature what is called “graduated compression,” which means the subtle pressure that wraps around the ligaments is tighter towards the bottom of the foot and ankle area and gets looser the higher up the garment is on the leg.

Who Uses Compression Socks?

A large scope of people look to compression socks as their go-to foot gear for various reasons. Compression socks work by putting pressure on the legs and feet in order to encourage better blood flow. So essentially anyone looking for pain relief in their lower limbs can benefit from wearing compression socks. Those who have just gotten surgery, experience varicose veins, struggle to move their legs or stand all day for their occupation gravitate towards this type of sock. Athletes, pilots, pregnant women and diabetics also benefit greatly from wearing them.

How Do Compression Socks Work for Diabetics?

The meticulous and intentional design of compression socks promotes the flow of oxygen-rich blood via the arteries to the muscles so that they can relax. At the same time, veins are pressured to push more blood flow back to the heart so that circulation can be moved along. The physics of this scientific, graduated pressure design can effectively promote blood flow to the limbs that have been suffering from diabetic complications.

Compression socks can help combat symptoms of the disease by reducing swelling, aches, pain, and fatigue in the legs and feet. They are a viable non-invasive treatment method for diabetic patients suffering from poor circulation and nerve damage to the feet and legs. Compression socks work to improve nerve sensitivity and continuously stop swelling from occurring.

Diabetics must also be more cautious of foot injuries, such as cuts or scrapes. When these go unnoticed, the combination of poor circulation and the body’s limited ability to repair these ulcers can result in life-threatening conditions. Extra padded, properly fitted compression socks that are resistant to wrinkling can help prevent cuts from shoes by reducing the chance of friction.

Where to Buy Compression Socks?

Compression socks can be the support you need in managing your diabetes and getting its side effects under control. If you’re ready to keep pushing through the daily struggles of diabetes and get that circulation moving in your lower extremities, it’s time to invest in a high-quality pair of compression socks.

PRO Compression offers world-class compression socks that address the problems diabetics can experience. Our socks will work to increase blood circulation in your lower ligaments by helping to reduce swelling and aching. Not all diabetics experience the same conditions, so you’ll want to choose the compression sock that addresses your specific needs. You can shop for either compression socks that cover both your feet, ankles, and calves or compression sleeves that mainly wrap around the calf area. Both these options will apply about 20 – 30 mmHg of pressure on your ligaments and the graduated compression feature will apply the most pressure at the ankle level and gradually decreases compression as you move up the socks or sleeves. This works to force blood upwards and reduce swelling.

Experience all the great benefits PRO Compression socks provide for diabetics of all walks. You can gain control of the disease’s negative effects by starting from the bottom up and purchasing a life-changing pair of socks that will ease your pain and promote better health.

Health Socks, Compression Stockings, and Socks for Diabetics

Health Socks – Why They Are Better Than the Rest

Socks have vastly changed and improved throughout the years to meet the needs of people who want to have and maintain healthy feet. Wearing quality made socks can dramatically improve the health of your feet so don’t settle for the cheaply made socks because there’s a good possibility that they’re made from poor materials. Most cheap socks are made from 100% cotton and unfortunately there’s a misconception that people have about this material. Most think that 100% cotton socks are great for feet; but they’re actually more harmful than good because this material absorbs moisture and does not wick it away – in fact, it holds it in and causes a perfect environment for bacterial and fungi growth that can cause athlete’s foot and bad foot odor. The moisture can also cause blisters, calluses, and hot spots when combined with heat and friction. Socks made out of synthetic fibers or cotton blends are ideal because these materials are durable, lightweight, and hug feet better; some even have anatomical designs to ensure an optimal fit so that there’s less chances of bunching within the shoe that can cause blisters or chafing. Healthy socks made out of synthetic blends have features that absorb moisture, then wick it away from the foot to reduce moisture build-up. Proper cushioning is also essential for comfort and in some cases, to help reduce fat pad atrophy (the thinning of the fat pads of the foot that serve as natural pads that cushion impact).
Socks for Healthy Feet
Just about anyone can benefit by wearing healthy socks, especially those who exercise and have active jobs. There are numerous styles of orthopedic socks available from hunting socks, to safety steel toe socks, to athletic socks, and even socks that can be worn with dress shoes at the office. Healthy socks can be the first line of defense against unwanted foot problems such as athlete’s foot, foot odor, blisters, corns, calluses, and in some cases, depending on the amount of cushioning, fat pad atrophy. One doesn’t have to wear the same socks for every activity. Industrial workers might want to invest in socks that protect toes against toe plates found in most work boots, while professional women might want to invest in healthy dress socks that not only wick moisture, but also have Spandex integration to provide a more hugging fit. Brands such as Aetrex and Sockwell offer numerous styles for various activities. Their socks are made out of synthetic fibers and come with moisture wicking features, have light padding in key areas at the heel, ball of foot, and toes, and fit snug to the skin to reduce blisters.

Please note: For those suffering from diabetic foot problems or edema, there are healthy socks that are specifically designed for those conditions. Please read below for more information.

Compression Stockings, Socks, and Hosiery – Who Should Wear Them

Young or old, male or female, active or less active, compression socks may be the answer to great-feeling, healthy looking legs. The light compression ranges (less than 20 mm Hg) are preventative and can be worn by anyone. They have a dramatic benefit to individuals who stand or sit for long periods of time or have any risk factors, making them predisposed to venous disorders. Frequent air travelers are just one potentially at-risk group, especially those passengers on long flights in coach class seating.

About Compression Stockings, Socks, Hosiery:
Compression therapy has been repeatedly proven to not only be an extremely effective way to treat venous disorders, but also prevent them from occurring. Proven by medical research, stockings are effective in reducing leg symptoms only when the compression is graduated (the pressure being greatest at the ankle and sequentially less up the leg). Today incredibly sheer, lightweight and fashionable products are available in compression stockings.
The circumference of the limb and the superficial veins will physically be reduced by the compression of the hosiery. When the size of the veins is decreased, blood flows faster, therefore helping prevent blood from pooling and the chances of developing thrombus. Valve functioning can also be improved by compression therapy. Proper functioning is allowed when the vein diameter is reduced and the valve cusps are moved back to a proper overlapping position. Compression stockings can strengthen the varicosity, making it less visible and less symptomatic.
Today’s styles of graduated compression socks are extermely attractive and comfortable to wear. These support socks have the look and feel of normal dress, casual, or athletic socks with the therapeutic benefits of graduated compression therapy. Lower compression support socks are available for preventative measures to reduce foot and ankle swelling and are great for air travel or when on your feet all day.
As preventative support or for varicosities below the knee, support socks are a great choice. With recent advanced in knitting technology, many new styles of graduated compression socks are now available, including dress socks, casual patterned socks, and athletic support socks with CoolMax® moisture-wicking fibers.
Support Socks & Hosiery are available in many different compression/support ranges:

  1. Light: Sheers, 9-12 mm Hg, Fashionable sheer support – the look of regular pantyhose with therapeutic benefits. Preventative support, relief from long periods of standing or sitting, relief from tired, aching legs, mild ankle and foot swelling, mild spider and varicose veins, muscle cramps.
  2. Light to Moderate: Light to Moderate Support, 15-20 mm Hg, Fashionable sheer support – the look of regular pantyhose with therapeutic benefits. Preventative support, relief from long periods of standing or sitting, relief from chronic tired, aching legs, mild ankle and foot swelling, mild varicosities without edema, muscle cramps.
  3. Moderate: Moderate opaque support, 20-30 mm Hg, – the look and feel of fashion tights with microfiber softness. Relief of heaviness and fatigued legs, relief from chronic aching legs, relief from chronic ankle and foot swelling, relief from varicosities without significant edema, post sclerotherapy.
  4. Firm: Heavy Support, Surgical Weight, Standard opaque professional-medical surgical weight suport hose. Indicated for chronic foot/ankle swelling and venous insufficiencies.
  5. Anti-Embolism: Opaque medical grade anti-embolism 18 mm Hg (thrombo-embolic deterrent stockings) for pre- and post-surgical procedures. Thrombo deterrent, prevention of venous stasis and thrombo/embolism formation in recumbent (non-ambulatory)patients, post-surgical procedures.

Any individual with symptoms of venous disorders should consult a physician to ascertain the correct therapy for the specific leg condition. The physician should determine the style and compression level.

Diabetic Socks – Their Health Benefits

Diabetic socks are an extremely important for diabetics because they can aid in the prevention of diabetic foot wounds and other foot problems from occurring. Those suffering from diabetic neuropathy of the foot have to make foot care an immediate priority because this condition may lead to loss of sensation, which means if injuries or diabetic foot ulcers go undetected, infection can occur; and if not treated properly, can lead to amputation. This is why diabetic socks are crucial to maintaining healthy diabetic feet. Socks for diabetics are designed to protect feet from external damage, minimize irritations, offer no or light compression, provide therapeutic benefits, reduce pressure points, and offer comfort. There are numerous women’s diabetic socks and diabetic men’s socks that relieve pressure, have seamless designs, wick moisture, are antibacterial, and come in extra-large sizes for enlarged feet.

Socks for Diabetics – Important Features to Consider
There are several things diabetics should look for when shopping for diabetic socks. Different brands offer various styles and each style offers different important features.

  1. Seamless Design: Seamless socks are ideal for diabetic feet because they fit close and snug to the skin. There will be fewer chances of seamless socks wrinkling or bunching in shoes causing potential irritation, chafing, and blisters from occurring.
  2. Light or No Compression: Compression socks are recommended for diabetics with swollen feet. Proven as an effective treatment, compression therapy improves valve functioning to allow faster and proper blood flow to feet. This is accomplished when compression is graduated, or when the pressure is greatest at the ankle and is gradually reduced up the leg. Light compression 15 MM HG or no compression socks are recommended.
  3. Non Binding Tops: Socks with binding tops can cut off circulation to feet, which could prolong the healing process due to lack of blood flow. When diabetics experience foot injuries, it’s imperative that they take all measures necessary to heal properly; and wearing socks with non binding tops will allow proper blood circulation.
  4. Wicking: Socks with moisture wicking features will help diabetics keep their feet dry from sweat. Moist sweaty feet can be a breeding ground for bacterial infections and disease-causing fungi that can cause major damage to diabetic feet. Socks with CoolMax® fibers are highly recommended. CoolMax® fibers are lightweight and designed to wick moisture away and speed evaporation of foot perspiration.
  5. No 100% Cotton Socks: Socks made from 100% cotton are extremely bad for diabetic feet. Although 100% cotton is soft, the material has no moisture wicking abilities. Socks made from 100% cotton are less durable and wear out faster, which can cause friction that can irritate the skin. Cotton blend socks made from 60% less cotton and blended with acrylic, nylon, or rayon are recommended.

Diabetic Socks Unisex – Transdry/Copper

We all know the struggle of finding comfortable and good looking socks that at the same time them being technically engineered with your feet safety in mind. Finding good looking diabetic socks for men can be hard, right?

Diabetic socks designers always have in mind the main goal of wearing diabetic socks: to protect a diabetic’s foot from several different types of dangers. Humidity, bad circulation, and broken skin are perils that diabetics should fear.

Diabetic socks are designed to be both gentle and non-binding while wicking the sweat away, as well as being thick and protective. Type 2 diabetics over time can develop both loss of feel in the feet and lower legs due to bad circulation.

The loss of feel leaves a diabetic at risk for any type of skin break or injury to not be noticed, and the bad circulation leaves the diabetic healing slowly and poorly. This can lead to unhealed open wounds, and infection which can become systemic. Something as common and small as a blister can become a very large health issue.

The socks should be specifically designed to non-restrictive and un-binding in order to disallow bad circulation. Diabetic socks keep the feet dry and prevent any kind of microbial growth, including that of bacteria and fungi. The weave should be thick and protective in particular to insure that the feet are comfortable and protected. Shoes are not replaced by socks, but having the additional cushion to protect the feet from cuts and blisters is a great, hassle free precautionary measure.

Socks themselves are an important cloth article, and can be used to add style to any man.

You might be thinking if there has been created a pair of diabetic socks of such high quality, and exceptional engineering that is both convenient, safe and extra comfortable while being able to use it in any type of situation. Well, the good news is that Pro-Tect diabetic socks designers have all of these flaws in mind when creating the perfect pair of socks for you.

That is why we, at Pro-Tect, having your needs in mind have designed our diabetic socks for men to be comfortable, safe and overall have a good look which complements mostly any wardrobe. Whether you want to use them for doing sports, or for fine dressing, our diabetic socks for men fit any type of style and situation you might imagine.

These are a lot of promises, so here are some of the most important features that make our diabetic socks for men such a good accessory for you. What are they?

TransDRY treated cotton- Ensures extraordinary, soft comfort while being extra-absorbent wicking away humidity. TransDRY dries up to 50% faster than normal cotton. All of these features ensure that your feet will be dry and safe from humidity, while being EXTRA comfortable. If you use this exceptional quality fiber you will see for yourselves how good our diabetic socks are compared to regular socks. You know what happens with regular socks, after doing a little bit of extra physical activity they get all wet with sweat. With TransDRY treated cotton this will become just a bad dream.

Copper Oxide / Copper Defense- Potent anti fungal and anti bacterial properties. It aggressively reduces odor and helps mitigate foot festering while promoting skin rejuvination. Engineered with your safety in mind, we made sure our socks provide the greatest technological properties out there. Making them not only absolutely comfortable but diabetic friendly.

Comfort Construction- Pro-Tect Diabetic Socks are designed with your comfort in mind. The maximum stretch top band is non-binding and un-restrictive, without sagging, doesn’t restrict circulation your leg circulation. Non-irritating seams

Heel: Deep Pocket “Y-Heel”.

Toes: Full cushion ring toe, seamless feel, deep “Y-Toe” that eliminates bunching.

Pro-Tect Diabetic Socks are Made in USA- They have been manufactured in North Carolina since 1970. We are proud to announce that our company has been producing high quality, technical socks for three generations!

Apart from all these great benefits, we wanted to prove they are all real and work that’s why our Technological Properties have been tested by NASA. We are proud to have our products supported in this manner. For such a low price, you will get maximum comfort, safety and convenience. So why not try them out today?

The wound care arena of the 21st century offers the practicing clinician a wide array of products and technologies to utilize in the management of diabetic foot ulcerations. Our patients are benefitting from the explosion of emerging technologies and evidence-based algorithms are helpful in guiding treatment interventions. Some technologies are innovative and a reflection of modern discoveries while others like medicinal applications for copper were in use in ancient times.

Copper has been used for centuries as a disinfectant of fluids, solids and tissues. It is known to have both natural antibacterial and antifungal properties. Constant exposure to high copper concentrations is toxic to microorganisms yet resistance is extremely rare. There are several theories given for the potent biocidal activity of copper. These theories include: alteration of proteins and inhibition of their biological assembly and activity; plasma membrane permeabilization; and membrane lipid peroxidation.1

As a vital trace element, copper is known to be safe and tolerated by humans. The United States National Academy of Sciences Committee recommends a daily allowance of 0.9 mg of copper for normal adults. Common naturally occurring dietary resources of copper include vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains and fruits, as well as shellfish, avocado and beef. Given that copper is present in the earth’s crust, most of the world’s surface water and ground water used for drinking purposes contains small amounts of copper.

Copper is required for the normal function of many human tissues including skin and is postulated as an important cofactor in angiogenesis and wound repair. Copper is necessary (along with iron) for the formation of hemoglobin. It also plays a role in keeping bones, blood vessels and nerves healthy. Copper is involved in numerous biochemical reactions in human cells. Copper is a component of multiple enzymes. It is involved with the regulation of gene expression, mitochondrial function/cellular metabolism and connective tissue formation as well as the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron.2 Copper levels are tightly regulated in the body.

Copper toxicity is extremely rare in the general population. Wilson’s disease is a genetic disorder in which the body cannot rid itself of copper. This results in copper deposition in organs and serious consequences such as liver failure and neurologic damage.

While there is a lack of concrete evidence to prove the efficacy of copper for several conditions, there is substantial anecdotal experience that warrants further research. The use of copper bracelets in the treatment of arthritis has a long history. There are research reports suggesting that copper salicylate may reduce arthritis symptoms more effectively than either copper or aspirin alone.3

Other medical conditions possibly associated with the therapeutic use of copper include macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, osteoporosis and even cosmetically in skin rejuvenation. However, copper has been used for years. It is well tolerated for prolonged and widespread human use as exemplified by female use of copper intrauterine devices (IUDs).

Assessing The Potential Of Copper In Wound Dressings

In an animal model, Borkow and colleagues studied the safety and biocidal properties of a non-stick dressing containing copper oxide particles.4 Recognizing the potent antimicrobial activity of copper, its role in the wound healing cascade and demonstrated low skin irritation, the authors hypothesized that Band-Aids containing copper would not only prevent wound contamination, but also promote wound healing.

The researchers utilized a partial thickness porcine wound model for the study.4 They created 12 deep punch biopsy wounds (12 mm x 5 mm in diameter). They treated six of the wounds with the copper test dressing and the other six wounds with control commercial dressings. The study authors performed macro- and microscopic evaluations, and recorded results at day three and day seven after the wounds were created. Researchers concluded that the test dressing demonstrated a high broad-spectrum biocidal efficacy and was well tolerated without significant adverse event.

What The Research Reveals About The Benefits Of Copper In Socks

In a pilot in vivo study involving 56 patients, Zatcoff and co-workers found that the use of copper soled socks facilitated improvement in the common manifestations of tinea pedis including erythema, scaling, fissuring, burning, itching and vesicular eruptions.5 The study authors noted that no patients worsened or showed adverse reactions while wearing copper-oxide impregnated socks.

Currently, there is technology that incorporates copper oxide in the manufacturing process of textiles such as socks. Given the demonstrated antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral benchwork studies that researchers have done, introducing copper into fabrics may have significant clinical ramifications.

Based on the strong in vitro data and some in vivo data, the Miami VA Healthcare System is currently involved in an IRB-approved multicenter study to provide evidence-based medicine on the possible efficacy and safety of using copper oxide impregnated socks as a preventative measure for diabetes-related lower limb and foot ulcers.

Copper oxide may be easily incorporated into textiles such as socks as well as dressings. Copper oxide is the most naturally occurring and abundant form of copper available. Being a non-soluble compound, it allows a slow and steady release of copper in the presence of humidity and moisture, which is ideal for use in socks. Researchers have hypothesized that the antimicrobial and antifungal properties of the copper socks may decrease the incidence of itching. They may also help prevent cracks and fissures that may be part of the causal pathway leading from ulceration to secondary infection, and even amputation in the high-risk diabetic population.6 In the presence of peripheral neuropathy and vascular disease, often a simple skin breakdown or irritation can result in limb-threatening infections.

In addition to exploring the use of copper textiles in the medical community, we have also seen the incorporation of copper textiles into the military sector. When copper technology is integrated into military clothing and footwear, it offers the additional potential antimicrobial and antifungal benefits as well as an improvement to skin appearance to those serving in the military. Veterans of the armed services throughout the world are exposed to harsh weather conditions and moisture immersion, and often do not have the ability to change footwear regularly.

Cupron Medical produces copper infused socks and was recently selected by the Israel Defense Forces to supply antimicrobial socks. With this selection, the Israel Defense Forces became the first army in the world to supply its soldiers with antimicrobial socks based on the innovative copper-based technology.

Final Notes

There are exciting laboratory bench work studies currently being conducted to explore the scientific role copper may play in wound healing processes such as angiogenesis. Studies are also looking at the bactericidal and fungicidal properties of the element. There are also clinical studies such as our multicenter study that are exploring the preventive aspect and application of copper impregnated textiles.

Why not add copper oxide to socks if there may be a strong prevention aspect? Could wound biopsies prove low local levels of copper that impair wound healing? Could supplementation with topical copper (and in what form) facilitate wound closure? The bridge between basic science and clinical relevance will hopefully prove to be beneficial for our high-risk patients in the near future.

Dr. Rothenberg is the Director of Residency Training and is an Attending Podiatrist with the Miami Veterans Affairs Healthcare System.

1. Borkow G, Gabbay J. Putting copper into action: copper-impregnated products with potent biocidal activities. FASEB J. 2004;18(14):1728-30.
2. Philips N, Hwang H, Chauhan S, Leonardi D, Gonzalez S. Stimulation of cell proliferation and expression of matrixmetalloproteinase-1 and interleukin-8 genes in dermal fibroblasts by copper. Connect Tissue Res. 2010;51(3):224-9.
3. Mehtar S, Wiid I, Todorov SD. The antimicrobial activity of copper and copper alloys against nosocomial pathogens and Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolated from healthcare facilities in the Western Cape: an in-vitro study. J Hosp Infect. 2008;68(1):45-51
4. Borkow G, Gabbay J, Dardik R, et al. Molecular mechanisms of enhanced wound healing by copper oxide impregnated dressings. Wound Repair Regen. 2010;18(2):266-75.
5. Zatcoff R, Smith M, Borkow G. Treatment of tinea pedis with socks containing copper-oxide impregnated fibers. Foot (Edinb). 2008;18(3):136-41.
6. Borkow G, Zatcoff RC, Gabbay J. Reducing the risk of skin pathologies in diabetics by using copper impregnated socks. Med Hypotheses. 2009;73(6):883-6.

Best Socks for Diabetics

Taking proper care of your feet is incredibly important to anyone with diabetes. Diabetics often suffer from poor circulation and neuropathy, which can lead to very serious foot problems including infection and in some cases amputation. Finding a sock that will increase circulation, reduce moisture around the foot, and limit the formation of blisters or ulcers should be a priority for diabetics.
When looking for the right diabetic socks, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Compression: Light compression socks (8-15 mmHg) will increase the circulation in the legs, helping to energize the legs by bringing fresh oxygenated blood to the feet and ankles. Increased circulation can also help heal minor wounds or muscle injuries on the leg and feet more quickly.
  • White Socks: Diabetics tend to have low nerve sensitivity in their feet, also called neuropathy. This means that if you stub your toe or step on a sharp object during the day, you might not immediately realize you’ve injured your foot or broken the skin. Wearing white or light colored socks – that will easily show blood – can be incredibly helpful in these situations as you will be quickly alerted when you remove your shoes that you have injured your foot.
  • Moisture-wicking Fabric: A wound on the foot can be extremely dangerous for a diabetic as the body has a much more difficult time fighting infection and healing. By wearing socks that wick away moisture and kill bacteria, diabetics can reduce the chance of infection. Socks that are woven with silver and copper thread can kill 99% of bacteria on the foot. Additionally, many diabetic socks are made with moisture-wicking polyester or acrylic fabrics.
  • Seams: Regular socks often have seams at the toe and heel that can irritate sensitive skin by rubbing against it throughout the day. This daily irritation can lead to the formation of blisters or open wounds. To avoid this, only consider seamless socks that minimize pressure points on the foot.

If you’re looking for diabetic socks, with or without compression, be sure to check out our diabetic socks page. There are several types of socks that have low compression and plenty of cushioning to prevent blisters and abrasions. These socks are available in crew, low cut, and knee-high sizes and in a wide range of prices.
Different Sizes of Orthopedic Socks

Orthopedic socks are a great way to attain or maintain healthy feet and legs. Certain types of orthopedic socks, like compression socks and diabetic socks, are specially designed to support and provide compression therapy.

They come in a variety of types, sizes, and lengths from ankle-high athletic socks to high-compression stockings. They each have unique benefits to wearing them.

Compression Socks

Compression socks, specifically, are made to provide gentle pressure to ankles and legs. They promote better blood flow through the veins on a person’s lower legs and foot regions up to the heart.

Compression socks can also help reduce swelling in the ankle and lower leg areas and prevent the accompanying pain and discomfort associated with that swelling.

The Uses of Orthopedic Compression Socks

There are many different orthopedic uses for compression socks. Here are a few:

Athletic Use

Athletes Wear Them

A lot of athletes wear compression socks to perform better in various sports such as soccer, track, and football, among many others. In 2018, a study regarding orthopedic sock use in soccer players reported that some of the athletes showed improved performance results after wearing these socks.

Compression socks are also worn after a sporting event or even an intense workout. They have been known to help with a faster recovery time.

Work Use

In today’s day in age, it feels like there are two types of jobs. One where you stand/move around all day and one where you sit at a desk all day. Each have their ups and downs. But when it comes to your legs, both types of work are at a disadvantage.

Standing/Moving All Day: Professions like teachers or nurses barely ever have a chance to sit. And because of the constant standing posture, blood can quickly accumulate in their lower extremities, causing swelling, pain and other discomforts. If left ignored, the condition could get worse and injuries could happen. Luckily, compression socks help push the flow of blood up through your legs and to get it pumping back into your heart.

Sitting All Day: Desk workers or even professions such as airline pilots tend to sit way more than they stand, and understandably so. However, when you sit for long periods of time, you can easily develop a condition called Deep Vein Thrombosis (or DVT). DVT is when a blood clot forms in a vein deep inside your body, usually in your legs. It’s a very painful condition and if the blood clot were to break loose, it could be deadly. Wearing compression socks can not only help reduce the pain and swelling once DVT occurs, but it can help prevent DVT from happening at all.

Travel Use

Air Travel Can Cause Swelling

Like sitting at a desk at work all day, when you travel, you are also in a seated position for long periods of time. So, you too have to worry about conditions like Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Only now, if you are traveling by air, you have the added bonus of feeling the effects of the changes in the barometric pressure in the airplane’s cabin.

Ever wonder why you feel bloated and swollen when you get off an airplane? That’s because the “cabin altitude” most airplanes in the air is equivalent to the same air pressure of an altitude of around 7,000 feet above sea level. That’s almost 1,500 feet higher than Denver.

Compression socks can help reduce that swelling and bloating feeling as well as drinking a lot of water.

Pregnancy

Pregnant Women Wear Them

A whole slew of changes are happening in a woman’s body when she becomes pregnant and a lot of these changes might feel like they’re coming out of nowhere. Like swollen feet and varicose veins that you never had before.

Compression stockings (aka “compression socks”) can help with that. They are frequently worn by pregnant women. And it’s safe to do so. Sometimes even doctors recommended.

Wearing compression stockings can help reduce swelling, protect you from those nasty varicose veins, and even lower your risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis, which pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing.

Diabetic Use

Diabetes is a condition that involves body-wide susceptibility. It can disrupt circulation, causing horrible damage to blood vessels. Blood vessels that feed limbs, the heart, kidneys, the brain, and even eyes. Over time, worst-case scenarios can include foot and leg amputation, kidney failure, heart disease, and blindness.

Orthopedic doctors often prescribe compression socks for diabetics who suffer from circulatory problems. Compression socks can help reduce leg/foot/ankle swelling and decrease pain often reported by diabetics.

Stop Varicose Veins

Other Orthopedic Patient Uses

  • Plantar fasciitis sufferers often find compression socks comfortable to wear.
  • Surgeons often prescribe the medical type of compression socks to be worn by patients who undergo various surgeries that impact the legs, feet or circulatory system.

Plantar Fascia

What Do Compression Socks Do?

Like Magic! But Science, actually.

We’ve already discussed that compression socks improve the wearer’s blood flow by pushing blood from their lower extremities – legs/ankles/feet – back up towards the heart. Why is that important? Well, the heart re-oxygenates those blood cells. Then those newly oxygenated cells flow outwards, giving oxygen and life throughout the body.

We’ve also discussed that some people with various circulation related health conditions who experience frequent leg and/or ankle pain wear these socks for pain relief and swelling reduction. But how do compression socks actually work?

Foot Health 101: How Compression Socks Work

How Compression Socks Work

Compression socks work by applying steady pressure to engorged and sluggish veins within the lower legs, ankle area, and feet.

As more blood is pushed upwards by the compression sock, the vein’s diameter can often shrink, bringing pain relief and other circulatory discomforts.

Since the pressure of a compression sock is consistent, they can help prevent any backflow of blood as it attempts to reach the heart. This backward blood flow surge often occurs in patients with heart-pumping issues and/or a variety of blood circulatory conditions.

The steady compression of these special socks can lessen any blood backflow that could travel laterally into the superficial veins of the feet (aka varicose veins).

These socks are often made from various elastics, like rubber, that is stretchy and provides the compression action desired.

Why Are Orthopedic Doctors Recommending These Socks?

Your orthopedic doctor may prescribe compression socks. But they don’t have to be prescribed. There are so many benefits to wearing them that healthy individuals have also joined the bandwagon.

Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks

ComproGear Compression Socks

  • Prevents Blood Pooling in the Legs
  • Boosts Leg Circulation
  • Lessens or Prevents Leg Swelling
  • Provides Support to Calves and Ankles
  • Might Aid in Better Sport Performance
  • Provides Needed Support to Tender Veins
  • May Help Prevent Venous Ulcerations
  • Helps to Correct Venous Related Hypertension
  • Can Minimize Pain from Varicose Veins
  • Helps Prevent DVT & Other Harmful Blood Clotting Conditions
  • Can Lesson Dizziness & Other Risk Factors from Orthostatic Hypotension Symptoms
  • May Indirectly Improve Lymphatic Drainage

For Orthopedic Use: The Main Types of Compression Socks

In general, there are two main types of compression socks available.

  • Graduated Compression Stockings or Socks
  • Anti-Embolism Stockings (often called TED hose)

Graduated Compression Stocking

Toeless Compression Socks

In Graduated Compression Stockings, the compression level is “graduated.” Basically, the compression level is designed to be the greatest at the ankle region and as the sock or stocking moves up the leg, the compression gradually decreases.

There are multiple types of Graduated Compression Stockings, coming in all shapes, sizes, lengths, colors, and material choices. There are leg sleeves, toeless socks, knee-length socks, thigh-high socks, or even full-waist hosiery.

Graduated Compression Socks also come in different levels of compression, usually measured in millimeters of mercury (or mmHg).

All styles are available to men and women alike.

Prescription Not Required:

You do not need a prescription for graduated compression socks. You can find them at many online or offline retail stores. However, sometimes these compression socks can require a special fitting to ensure the proper medical compression strength. It is best to research the available options making special note of their proposed usage recommendations.

First-time compression sock users are urged to take the time to properly put them on and evaluate each one for effect and comfort. And remember it’s important to wear proper fitting shoes as well.

Anti-Embolism Compression Socks

Higher grade compression stockings are also available, but they usually need to be prescribed by a doctor. These are called Anti-Embolism Compression Socks. Often you’ll seem them be referred to as TED hose or Thrombo-Embolic Deterrent hose.

These stockings are usually used to prevent the risks of serious circulatory problems like Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and other blood clotting conditions.

What Causes DVT?

DVT occurs when something prevents your blood from circulating normally. Injuries, surgeries, certain types of medications and even sitting for a long period of time can cause this.

Certain Risk Factors Include:

  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Being Overweight or Obese
  • Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Injury
  • Surgery
  • Genetics or Family History
  • Heart Failure
  • Prolonged Bed Rest or Sitting

Cautions When Wearing Compression Socks

Even though compression socks can provide many health and comfort benefits, there are some cautions to take when wearing these supportive garments.

Proper Fit is Critical

Measure the Size of Your Leg Before Buying

First and foremost, any style of orthopedic sock or compression hosiery needs to fit properly for maximum health and comfort benefits and to avoid fit related adverse issues.

Prescribed compression stockings especially need to be properly measured and fitted by a medical professional trained in the use of these stockings.

As for non-medical compression hosiery, follow the size and usage directions found on the package label or insert.

Anyone using orthopedic socks should know their legs and perform the proper daily foot care to determine if there are any marks, skin irritations or other skin changes.

Always check the width of your shoes while wearing these socks. There should be ample toe space, and the shoe should not cause indentations, pinch off the skin, or squeeze the foot.

Avoid Infections and Allergy

Rash on Foot

Irritation or a reddened rash could indicate a possible fungal or bacterial infection. These symptoms should be immediately assessed by a physician.

Itchiness could indicate an allergy to the elastic bands, other stocking material/packaging ingredients. Always wash your compression hosiery before you wear them. If the sensitivity gets worse, try finding a stocking made from a different material.

Some Special Cautions

  • Diabetics should always perform regular foot care when wearing compression hosiery.
  • Certain foot conditions should be evaluated by a doctor before wearing support socks or hosiery.
  • Stop wearing the compression socks immediately if numbness, tingling, or pain occurs while wearing them.

Final Thoughts

Get a Pair of Orthopedic and Compression Socks for Yourself!

Compression socks and other types of orthopedic socks can be terrific supportive wear. They have shown some remarkable and promising results when used correctly. The most important factor to consider when purchasing compression socks

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