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Are there compression “socks” for other parts of the body?

Compression socks seem to be a great non-surgical solution to improve blood circulation. However, I am confused about whether they should be worn regularly or only after surgery. When should compression socks be worn? Are there compression “socks” for other parts of the body?


Doctors Answers (5)

Compression gradient hose worn on the legs help reduce venous volume and congestion which improves venous blood flow against gravity from the legs back to the heart and again be recirculated. The hose compression is too low to effect arterial blood flow so compression contributes primarily to improving venous flow and fluid accumulation in the tissues including edema. TED hose are beneficial after surgeries to help improve venous blood flow and reduce the risk of developing a DVT with TED hose having a relatively mild (weak) compression. Higher compression hose may be worn following vein treatments and with certain other procedures. Some athletes in highly aerobic sports such as bicycling have found that leg compression improves their performance in training and competition. Compression hose is also beneficial during pregnancies, with leg varicose veins, and with frequent prolonged standing (such as with teachers and nurses). There is no real benefit to sleeping in the hose as venous blood and fluids can flow spontaneously back to the heart when laying down. Compression garments are also available for the arms and hands which benefit patients with varicose veins or vascular malformations of the upper limbs.

Prescription strength compression should only be used after a physician's evaluation.

Most people do not require compression hose for daily use. However, those that travel/sit a lot for pleasure or work, in a car or by plane, should be in the habit of wearing them. This, along with hydration, flexing leg/thigh muscles and walking regularly, reduces the chance of a deep vein blood clot. People who work standing for prolonged periods of time also benefit from a low grade (15-20 mmHg pressure) compression hose. It can reduce fatigue. Compression for other areas such as the arms are confined to medical necessity such as lymphedema in the arm after mastectomy. People who suffer burns often wear a compression garment to reduce keloid scarring.

There are compression devices for other parts of the body such as the hands or arms when someone has lymph edema. They are best to wear when you are walking, on your feet all day, or flying or driving long distances. Graduated compression hose are made for when you are standing, whereas TED hose are made for when you are in bed.

Depends on all the health issues you have. Appropriate evaluation with a history and physical will get your answer.

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