Compression Stockings

Find the best support stockings

Compression stockings work with the pumping effect of your calf muscle to help circulate blood through the legs, preventing blood clots and other drainage disorders. Although the stockings are available with different levels of compression, each type provides noticeably more pressure at the ankle and eases off toward the knee and thigh. But how much compression do your legs really need? That depends on your leg health and the activity you are planning. Learn about the different styles and various purposes of compression socks, where to find them and how to choose the right pair for your needs.

Compression stockings are typically constructed from elastic fibers or rubber, materials that promote circulation and hold the stockings up. And these form-fitting materials bring another advantage – much like body shapers for the torso and hips, compression stockings tend to hide blemishes and smooth the legs to make for a slim and polished look.

Diabetic Socks

While the pressure of compression socks may be necessary to prevent leg injury, some medical issues demand the very opposite effect. Diabetes brings an increased risk of foot ulcers and foot sensitivity, and specialized diabetic socks are designed to prevent these problems by controlling moisture and relieving pressure. Although they are suited for very different conditions, one common feature of compression and diabetic socks is a non-binding top to allow for better circulation through the thigh.

Find the Best Support Stockings

Different levels of compression are suited to different purposes. For instance, compression stockings that you can purchase at your local drugstore will offer between 10 and 20 mmHg of pressure, while you can get stockings that have over 50 mmHg of pressure with a prescription from a physician. The widely available light-pressure socks are fine for air travel, when long periods of sitting in the same position on an airplane can induce blot clots. However, more serious conditions like lymphedema or deep vein thrombosis will require a prescription and a trip to a medical supply store.

While compression stockings typically resemble thigh-high stockings or tights, compression socks are more padded and more widely used by athletes for muscle support, injury prevention and recovery. These socks generally offer less compression than medical-grade compression tights, though they will still circulate the blood and reduce swelling, making them a good choice for air travelers as well.

These days you can find compression stockings that look just like regular hosiery, in a variety of hues to coordinate with your outfits. Jobst stockings are a popular choice for those who suffer from venous conditions, as well as for travelers and athletes, since the brand includes a wide variety of styles, sizes and colors to meet any need. Before you look online or visit a local medical supply store, speak with a physician to determine the pressure that is suitable for your legs.

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