ELI5, How Do Compression Socks Work?


I’m curious as to how compression socks help your legs when you have bad circulation. What is the science behind it that allows you to be on your feet without getting fatigued and swelling when you wear them.

In: 19

Due to the compression, the arteries can relax and the veins get a boost. It’s important for people at risk for circulation problems. It’s highly questionable whether it improves blood flow for athletes, but it doesn’t do them any harm, and it may have a psychological effect.

The socks are supposed to compress the lower (more distal) parts of your legs (ex:near the ankles) more than it would compress the upper parts of your legs(just below your knees for example) it helps your blood circulate back to your heart more efficiently, instead of pooling at your extremities

Humans are paying the price for being upright. Our peripheral circulation (not downwards, but upwards – back to the heart) is sluggish because of gravity and because our veins (back to the heart) lose elasticity as we age (as with the rest of our body), so they can’t help push the blood back uphill. So fluid seeps out out into the rest of our tissues (feet, ankles, legs) and just stays there. Not healthy. It’s aggravated by anything that slows the flow any more (being fat, pregnancy, prolonged standing, genetics). Compression socks or stockings just press gently on the tissue to give a bit of oomph to the sluggish uphill flow, and reduce the boggy collection of fluid in our extremities.