How to choose the best knee high compression socks?
Compression socks are specialized bandages or garments used in compression therapy for the management of lymphedema, chronic venous disease or other blood pressure related conditions.
Based on which areas of the legs the socks cover, we can distinguish between knee-high, thigh-high compression socks and maternity garments. Some models do not reach higher than the ankles, but we are only going to discuss knee-high models in this article. They are the most popular compression socks on the market. They are popular because they help the calves regenerate by increasing blood flow, but they are relatively easy to put on. They usually have a rubber band at the top which keeps the model tight on the skin and prevents it from slipping down.
Individuals who are suffering from chronic venous disease often complain about leg pains, fatigue, aching and heaviness. Compression socks are used to minimise venous pressure within the limbs. They help with the reduction of the lymph fluid – also known as edema – thus reducing the diameter of the limb. However the way these products help blood circulation also prevents several other diseases. The benefits of compression
THE GOALS OF USING COMPRESSION SOCKS
- To prevent or reduce varicose veins.
- To prevent acute muscle fatigue.
- To prevent or reduce edema.
- To speed up blood flow.
- Decrease the workload of the valves in the veins.
The best part of knee-high compression socks is that they can apply targeted pressure on any problematic parts of the lower limb. The calves muscles are exceptionally prone to muscle fatigue after a long run or walking. It is no wonder that these compression models are so popular among runners.
Similarly some models have special padding at the achilles tendon. This comes very handy for those who experience frequent pains at their achilles. The extra pressure helps the blood flow quicker to this area, and the body can heal itself. Any kind of joint pain at the ankle joints can get treated similarly.
Knee-high compression socks can do wonders in treating inflammation in the lower limbs. The pressure makes the blood flow quicker, the body transports the necessary nutrients for treating the inflamed parts, while the waste materials are washed out.
TYPES OF COMPRESSION SOCK AND THEIR USES
Compression socks or stockings come in different designs and different styles. This is because they are used for different compression grades. Below are the different types or strength, and the different styles in which they come;
20mmHg to 30mmHg & 30mmHg to 40mmHg – Medical Grade
Models with pressure of 20mmHg or higher needs the prescription of a physician before they can be used. These types are used for a variety of medical treatment, and they must be used under the supervision of a medical practitioner. Their prescription needs to be renewed annually.
8mmHg to 15mmHg & 15mmHg to 20mmHg – Non-medical Grade
Compression socks with grades of 20mmHg or less are considered to be non-medical, and they are normally used for general support and comfort with no underlying conditions. These types of socks are perfect for use during travel or for tired, achy legs. You do not need a prescription before being able to buy these.
The models with pressure below 15 mm Hg are used primarily for disease prevention purposes.
Products with varying length
As I wrote in the introduction, different models cover different parts of your legs. Since you read about all the positives of using these products, I imagine you want to use the ones that cover your whole leg. To be fair, this might not be the best idea. The longer the product is, the harder it is to put on. Not to mention that if it is made of poor quality, shoddy materials, it might cause blisters and skin burn. I advise you to use a model that covers the parts of your leg in pain, and not an inch more. This will give you the most effective recovery, with the least amount of discomfort.
Thigh High Compression Socks – These socks are used when a full leg compression is needed on one leg or both legs. They come in open and closed toe styles, with different fabric options and a lot of colors to select from. Silicon band might be used with these socks as they help with the reduction of slippage.
Knee High Compression Socks – These are available in different amount of thickness and different styles, ranging from thin ultra-sheen pantyhose material to thick cushion cotton fabric. They also come in a wide range of colors and also feature the open and closed toe styles.
Maternity Garment/ Pantyhose – When full leg support is needed, these are the recommended product for clients. They cover the lower stomach, the underbelly. This area can be swollen as the result of the developing fetus putting extra pressure on the circulatory system of the mother.
The lifespan of your compression socks will be greatly improved if you use them properly and take care of them the right way. You can make use of the following tips in order to get the most out of your garment.
Instructions for washing
- You need to wash it every day, but just in case you can’t, ensure that it is washed at least every two days.
- Don’t add additives, just standard detergent. In fact you can just use dish soaps.
- Bleachers or softeners shouldn’t be used.
- Hand washing is the most appropriate for compression socks. If you are going to use a machine, ensure that it’s on gentle cycle.
- Some models are machine washable. Always check the instructions on the packaging.
Instructions for drying
- Once you are through with the washing, put the stockings on a fluffy towel then roll them around gently in order to remove excess water.
- Do not expose them to direct sunlight.
- Do not put in a microwave or dryer.
- All in all, hang them in a dark room with good air circulation.
Which models are recommended?
The following models are all highly recommended by CompressionCarl.com. They are durable models, with excellent compression technology. They are all made of high quality, durable materials.
Mojo Performance & Recovery Socks
These models have the most advanced construction. They have a zoned cushioning system. It applies the compression to the most important parts of your leg, while providing a more comfortable, better fit. The socks were constructed with flat seams, to reduce the chance of developing blisters. The achilles tendons and the ball of the feet have extra padding.
The socks apply anywhere between 20 – 30 mm Hg graduated compression on the legs. They are excellent at reducing lactic acid buildup, and getting rid of the waste materials once they fill the muscles.
Physix Gear Sport Graduated Compression Socks for Men and Women
This graduated model was designed to last without compromising quality or comfort. It has antibacterial materials woven into the fabric in order to prevent bacteria or fungi development.
They can be machine washed, but they won’t loose their elasticity through repeated washing.
The design of this model is very comfortable. It has a minimum number of seams and stitches in order to prevent chaffing, blisters or other skin traumas.
Danish Endurance Graduated Compression Socks
These models boost your circulation and provide you with all the positives of compression therapy without making a big dent in your budget. They are made of quality materials, but are offered for a cut price.
The product applies between 16 and 20 mm Hg graduated compression on your legs. They fit your legs perfectly, and are available in a variety of colours. They are medically tested, they help the valves in your veins, flush out the waste materials from the muscles quickly and help muscle recovery.
These socks are made of a mixture of polyamide, elastane and lycra. This combination provides a firm but elastic combination. It keeps your legs dry and germ-free even during the most demanding workouts.
Knee high compression socks can treat your calf muscles like no other product can. They can reduce muscle soreness, get rid of swelling or varicose veins in the lower legs. If you frequently feel pain in your calves or around your achilles tendons, these products might well be the best thing for your recovery.