How do compress socks work?



How do compress socks work?

In: Biology

I’ll try:
Your heart pushes your oxygen-rich blood down into your feet, from big arteries to small ones to little capillaries, and then it goes into the tiniest veins and starts back up, into bigger and bigger veins and finally back to the heart where it gets a push to the lungs for more oxygen.

Now, in order to keep the blood moving, especially going back up, the walls of the veins have to be pretty strong and tight, and there’s also some flappies that help it not wash back down. But they still have to be stretchy and flexible for movement and hydration changes, etc.

But like your whole body, the vein walls and flappies get a bit saggy and stretched out with age. It’s still easy to pump the blood down, but not so easy for it to climb back up.

Compression socks help support the vein walls so the blood moves back towards the heart. As the blood pressure builds, the socks push back, just like the young vein walls used to, and the blood moves up.

You don’t want creases in the socks that can cut off the flow too much, in either direction, so be sure to smooth them out and check them occasionally.

As far as selecting socks— some are prescribed by a physician. You can also buy different sizes, lengths, brands, tightness, so you should ask your physician for a recommendation. People with certain conditions should not wear them. Those “Copper” types are a scam. Many people wear mild compression socks at work when they’re on their feet most of the time and their legs ache. Others wear them on long airplane flights to prevent blood clots. Here is info on compression:

Mild compression 15-20mmHg: Prevention and relief of minor to moderate varicose veins, relief of tired aching legs, relief of minor swelling of feet and legs.

Moderate compression 20-30mmHg: Prevention and relief of moderate to severe varicose veins, treatment of moderate to severe lymphatic edema and management of active ulcers or post thrombotic syndrome.

Firm compression 30-40mmgh: Ulcer management, post thrombotic syndrome.

Think of how you water your plants with a hose. You press the hose so that the speed of water increases. Similarly the socks compress the veins. This assists veins and improves circulation. Added support to muscles is another advantage.

If you are asking in terms of exercises, majorly it is used for support and improving circulation.

Joggers and marathon runners use it as constant thumping of foot forces the blood to pool near the foot so the heart has to work extra to get the blood flowing. Wearing these help the heart to get it flowing in lesser force.