Should YOU Wear Compression Socks?

Compression socks (or compression stockings) are socks of various length designed to gently squeeze the wearer’s legs and ankles. This added pressure can help improve circulation, reduce swelling and discomfort and prevent blood clots from forming in the legs.

Doctors often prescribe compression stockings for people who have been diagnosed with chronic venous disease or varicose veins. Compression stockings are also prescribed for patients who are laid up following surgery or an injury, either in the hospital or at home.

But not every compression stocking user has venous problems. Some athletes find compression socks improve performance and speed up their post-workout recovery. For people who spend their workday standing, compression socks may help reduce fatigue, discomfort or swelling by increasing blood and oxygen flow in the legs and feet. Pregnant women may also find compression socks reduce swelling and discomfort in the legs, feet or ankles.

This is how compression stockings work.

Compression stockings are specially designed to improve circulation and prevent blood clots from forming in the legs. They are made from a type of elastic that fits very tightly around the leg with the tightest portion at the ankles.

  • Compression socks are designed to help “squeeze” blood that pools in weakened leg veins upward and out toward the heart. The pressure exerted by the stockings reduces the diameter of the leg veins and improves blood flow, which, in turn, relieves pain and swelling.
  • Compression stockings come in various pressure grades, which are measured—like blood pressure—in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Your doctor can help determine if compression stockings will improve your circulation, and can recommend a pressure grade appropriate for your condition or health goal.
  • You can purchase compression socks at pharmacies, stores and through online retailers. Depending on the type of compression sock, you may need a doctor’s prescription and a professional fitting for best results. If compression socks are prescribed by your doctor, insurance may cover the cost of the stockings. Check with your insurance provider to find out if compression therapy is covered.

Learn more about compression therapy.

Memorial Home Medical Supply offers a range of compression socks and related products. Their team can help fit you for your socks and provide education on use. Fun patterns, opaque styles and supportive maternity wear options are available.

Because the stockings – naturally – have a tight fit, they can be difficult to put on, especially for the first time. Memorial Home Medical Supply staff offer tips and tricks to make the process easier as well as devices to help you more easily put on your stockings.

For more information, visit or call 217-788-4663.