Compression socks are therapeutic hosiery that is mainly designed to increase a patient's blood circulation and provide additional leg support. These are prescribed for patients who may suffer from edema or swelling. This is often caused by blood not circulating throughout the legs and feet properly, but pooling in specific areas. Patients often experience immediate relief with compression socks.
The science behind compression socks is quite simple. The stronger prescription brands are made of rubber or spandex which creates pressure on the entire lower leg. This compresses the muscles, surface veins and arteries together and forces the blood through a smaller channel. The result is that more blood is pumped to the heart and less blood is left in the area of the feet to pool.
People who suffer from mild circulatory complications may find temporary relief by wearing a pair of dress or athletic socks for a short period of time. If the pain and fatigue continues, physicians highly recommend that a professional assesses your condition and prescribes you a compression sock that will relieve your pain and resolve your circulatory problems. If left untreated, pooling blood could form into a clot that could travel to your heart or your lungs. Blood clots have also been known to cause strokes.
It may be hard to determine whether or not your leg pain is the result of a circulatory problem, or a common muscle ache. Usually, muscle aches can be associated with activity that you have done throughout the day. People who suffer with circulatory problems will experience leg and muscle cramps without any additional activity. Also, this pain is more common when the individual is resting than when they are active.
Anyone can experience circulatory problems regardless of their age or physical condition. This is why it is important to get a healthcare professional involved early in the process to rule out any other condition that may cause edema, leg cramps and other symptoms caused by poor blood circulation in the legs.
There are health news resources and other websites available that will educate you on the signs and symptoms of circulatory issues in the lower half of the legs. While these websites are informational, they should not be used to self diagnose any condition. Only a physician will be able to prescribe you the proper type of compression socks to relieve the pain that you may be experiencing.