Compression Socks 101
Compression socks have become a staple accessory to a caregiver’s medical uniform. Today, compression socks are a must-have for your medical footwear needs and the options are limitless! You can sport fashion socks, whimsical prints, solid colors, knee-high, wide calf, leg sleeves and more – but, where did compression socks come from? Why did they come about? Are they really necessary? Continue reading below to find out about the history of compression socks.
What Are Compression Socks?
Also known as compression stockings, compression socks are a specially designed garment of clothing that is meant to help prevent or stop the progression of certain vein diseases. The socks are typically worn around ankles, calves, or thighs to help with blood flow and relieve venous pressure. Some of the vein diseases the socks help manage are varicose veins, phlebitis and deep vein thrombosis. In some instances, compression socks can be used to help treat edema.
How Do Compression Socks Work?
The elastic compression garments that are worn around the leg compress the limb to reduce the diameter of distended veins and increases blood flow as well as valve effectiveness. Wearing compression socks helps to decrease venous pressure and alleviates heavy and aching legs.
These socks also help increase circulations and prevent the formation of blood clots. They’re usually tighter at the ankles and become less tight towards the knees and thighs. Since the socks compress surface veins, they can force circulating blood through narrower channels, thus increasing arterial pressure and causing more blood to return to the heart rather than towards the feet.
When Did Compression Socks Come About?
It is said that the origin of compression socks can be traced to ancient Rome and Egypt as many people used a similar leg garment to treat and bind injuries. In the caves of Tassili in Sahara, drawings of soldiers with bandaged lower extremities can be traced back to as early as the Neolithic period (5000-2500 BCE). The Greek physician Hippocrates treated his patients’ leg ulcers with tight bandages, physician Galen used wool and linen compression bandages and physician Oribassius also treated leg ulcers with tight bandages.
Modern compression socks can mostly be traced back to a time before WWII where companies in Europe developed compression stockings to alleviate men and women who suffered from venous problems. In the early 1950s, Americans began to sport compression socks too.
In the 1980s, after studies found compression socks capable of reducing blood lactate volumes, gradient compression socks were invented. It wasn’t until later, during the early 2000s that different levels of compression (8-15 mmHG and 15-20 mmHG) were found to be effective against leg swelling and discomfort.
Today, compression socks come in different styles and gradients. They’ve become a daily part of a caregiver’s uniform and are now available in plenty of fashionable and comfortable options. At Uniform Advantage, we offer a variety of socks and compression to choose from. Our medical socks feature graduated support for extra comfort and reduced swelling. Whether it’s for you or a caregiver in your life, compression socks reap many benefits and are a fantastic way to support yourself while you support others.
Check Out Some Of Our Compression Socks
These compression socks features 10-18 mmHG gradient compression. The fabric content is 95/5 nylon/spandex with a knit style and knee length.
These Think Medical UA exclusive socks showcase fun colors, cute sloths and a dessert favorite! The socks have a 10-14 mmHg gradient compression and a fabric content of 90/8/2 nylon/elastic/spandex.
These flamingo compression socks will provide the comfort you seek for those long shifts. The 10-14 mmHg gradient compression promotes better blood flow throughout the lower leg. They are made out of 90/8/2 nylon/elastic/spandex.
The Save the Polar Bears compression socks have a 12-14 mmHg graduated compression, a comfort welt top band, heel and toe pockets. They have a fabric content of 87/13 nylon/spandex.
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