Best Compression Socks for Nurses
As a nurse you work long hours where you are constantly on your feet and this can lead many nurses to suffer from lower leg pain, fatigue, edema, and varicose veins. Compression socks were first used to combat deep vein thrombosis and the formation of blood clots but many people are finding compression socks beneficial in their daily lives. The same compression socks that are being prescribed to your patients can help care for your legs as well. Through the use of gradient compression, compression socks are found to help reduce lower leg pain and discomfort and help prevent unwanted venous conditions as well as combat fatigue and leg pain.
What are Compression Socks?
Compression socks come in many different shapes, sizes, lengths, and tightness. They are used by many different groups of people including elderly, those suffering from venous disorders, athletes, bed ridden patients, and long working professionals. Most compression socks use gradient compression, this just means that the compression starts out tightest at the ankle and then slowly decreases the amount of pressure as you work up the leg.
Compression socks often come up to the knee and are the most popular type but some types do go all the way up to the thigh. Compression stockings are similar to hosiery in that they cover the entire leg and come up to the waist. A compression sleeve covers the lower leg but does not include the foot. The type of compression sock/stocking you want to but will be determined by your own comfort level.
Benefits of Compression Stockings:
- Decreased fatigue
- Decreased aches and pains
- Decreased swelling
- Prevention of spider veins and varicose veins
- Prevention of dizziness
- Prevention of blood clots
- Prevention of venous disorders
How Compression Socks Work
There are two main ways that compression socks work to provide relief. Compression socks increase the amount of pressure being placed on the tissue in your lower legs. By placing pressure on the tissues under the skin it can help reduce swelling. Compression socks do this by pushing excess fluids like lactic acid that would cause swelling and cramps back into the venous system capillaries to be later cleared out. Clearing out unwanted fluids will help decrease recovery time, prevent cramps and minimize fatigue.
The second benefit compression socks provide is that they prevent the tiny superficial blood veins from filling with blood. This blood is there for flowing back into the main veins of the circulatory system and being circulated back throughout the body. When there is more circulation it means that more oxygen is being delivered to the tissues in your body that are working and in need of it. This also means that the blood is not flowing backwards and pooling in the superficial veins. Blood pooling can be the cause for leg complaints, cramps, and skin changes.
Things to Consider When Buying Compression Socks
Compression socks tightness is measured in mmHg and studies have found that 10 mmHg do not have a high efficiency of decreasing lower extremity fatigue. Most professionals say that compression pressure between 15-20 mmHg is best. Size will also matter when purchasing a pair, measure the circumference of your ankle, calf, thigh, and leg length depending on the type of sock you with to buy.
Here is a quick review of the best compression socks:
1. Vitalsox Performance Socks
Vitalsox has been making compression socks for almost 2 decades and their product is one of the most popular and low cost products on the market. These are your typical knee high compression socks with graduated compression between 12-20mmHg. The foot aspect of this sock had some padding for extra comfort and midfoot compression that supports the arches and heel. The Vitalsox technical Silver Drystat material stops the growth of bacteria and fungus while also wicking moisture away from your skin. This compression sock comes in different sizes and many different colors.
2. Sockwell Circulator Compression Socks
These compression socks are known for being very comfortable! They include an ultra-light cushioned sole as well as arch support for the foot. The compression level is set between 15-20mmHg so they are definitely recommended for all day daily wear. With their special Accu-fit technology these socks will stay in place all day, you will not be constantly pulling them up and adjusting them. They also come in some great vibrant colors.
3. CompressionZ Compression Socks
If you are looking for some compression socks that are a lot of fun then CompressionZ is a great brand. They have a variety of colors and patterns and still provide graduated compression for faster muscle recovery. Compression levels are a bit stronger in these socks being between 20-30mmHg but reviews still promote comfort and a decrease in fatigue and leg cramps.
4. Fytto Compression Pantyhose
These compression stocking are best for someone who is looking for something a little more versatile. These can be worn under your scrubs or as formal tights on a night out. Compression is set at normal levels of 15-20mmHg for optimal benefits. Features include a non-binding waist to prevent irritation during longer wear time and added cushioning on the sole of your feet.
5. Besta Sports Compression Sleeve
If you prefer a compression sleeve over the whole sock then this s a great pair to purchase. This compression sleeve provides comfortable lightweight calf compression to help increase your stamina and strength and easing muscle fatigue and pain. Made with nylon this sleeve is made to be comfortable and maintain their shape all day and full elasticity for months. The material has a moisture wicking feature and do not itch or irritate your skin.