Should you wear medical stockings or diabetic socks? Much of this depends on many factors, the main reason is medical.
Compression socks were originally developed by the medical industry to aid in a variety of medical conditions. They are often referred to as graduated or gradient compression, which means the pressure is tighter at the base of the sock, and gradually lessening as the sock goes up the calf.
Why Use Compression Socks?
These type of medical stockings are used for those with diabetes, deep vein thrombosis, and for after surgeries. The gradient is defined in terms of millimeters of mercury (mmHg) to measure the amount of pressure being exerted from the sock onto the foot. They help force oxygenated blood back up to the heart for recirculation. Compression socks are made from a specific fabric such as spandex, Lycra, or rubber in order to be able to apply pressure in a certain area of the leg, ankle or foot.
Compression Socks are used commonly by those in professions where standing for long periods of time is essential to the job, such as nurses or flight attendants. They are also recommended for those who travel often to prevent blood clots from occurring from sitting for a prolonged time. These special socks can also aid in prevention of varicose veins.
Athletes also wear compression socks to minimize muscle fatigue. More research has been done on compression gear and the results are leading to positive results. Wearers often describe their feet as being more energized, and less tired at the end of the day. The rejuvenation helps in the prevention of possible future leg or foot problems. Those wearers who have active lifestyles or are involved in sports, say compression socks heal fatigue and aid in recovery of sore muscles.
The benefits are numerous such as keeping legs and feet healthy. Since the 1950’s compression socks have been used for reducing and maintaining edema caused by simple lifestyle conditions. They are able to allow people to continue on with an active lifestyle.
Diabetic Socks are Not Compression Socks
Diabetic socks are a nonbinding soft sock which is designed to provide no compression benefits. Instead, the purpose is to allow blood to flow in regular capacity in the feet and ankles. Diabetics need these loose-fitting socks to prevent foot ulcers and keep circulation healthy.
Diabetic socks prevent neurotic pain from happening due to tighter socks. Diabetics will use these socks, but other people can also use them if they need a relaxed fit sock, preferably with full-cushion soles. Control moisture is another big feature of diabetic socks, helping to reduce any risk of infection. Another benefit is the seamless toe-closures, which reduces the pressure and blistering caused by normal or compression socks.
There are many different varieties available such as cotton blends with a stretch stitching at the top, non-cotton with antimicrobial properties included and a plain non-binding for circulatory problems. For excessive edema there are extra wide socks.
White is the preferable color for those who have sores or open wounds, allowing wearers with compromised sensation to be alerted of a draining wound. It is always recommended to seek the help of a medical professional to choose the correct diabetic sock. You may be advised to wear either diabetic socks or a compression socks if-
- You have been advised to change your diet and increase physical activity
- If you are experiencing swelling in your feet, ankles or legs
- If you are currently pregnant and are experiencing gestational diabetes
Poor circulation is no fun, and can become a reason not to take on a more active role in health, often making the problem worse. If your feet and legs ache, or are tired, the less you are going to want to head outside for exercise.
The causes of poor circulation to the feet and legs can include excess weight, age, or nerve damage or other conditions such as alcoholism, vitamin deficiencies, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and lack of exercise.
Poor circulation can evolve into a serious condition and even more complications. If you are experiencing this, you can improve the situation with the use of compression socks. Talk to your family physician if you are experiencing any of the above problems.