Category Archives for Health

What are Compression Socks?

Are compression socks good for you? The short answer is, ‘yes.’

Compression socks, also called compression stockings, are specially designed therapeutic socks that stretch and help exert pressure on your leg to encourage blood flow. The socks are recommended for anyone whose daily routine or activities forces them to spend many hours sitting, standing or lying down.

So, if you are a writer or someone who sits all day working online; or a doctor, a nurse, a pilot or a passenger on a long flight, then you need these socks. Pregnant women, athletes, patients on bed-rest or people at risk of varicose veins need these stockings to help prevent the discomfort of swollen legs, pain and aching as well as potential blood clots.

Why compression socks? It has more to do with benefits as the socks’ design improves the way blood flows in the legs, especially up the body.

Why do you need to put one compression socks then? Partly, it’s because “prevention is better than cure,” and having these socks on might be the difference when it comes to avoiding potential health problems.

Who else would need compression socks?

In many cases, people will go for compression socks after a recommendation from their healthcare provider. However, it doesn’t have to be medical reasons that make one wear the stockings.

The benefits of these socks can also extend to the average person. Apart from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins, this type of socks is advisable for those using birth control pills; those with leg ulcers; or those whose family members have a history blood clot disorders.

If you are getting into any of the jobs or situations mentioned above, then it is paramount that you find yourself a good pair of compression socks. Because they can be worn by anyone, the socks also come in different makes and at varied costs. Read on to find out the different considerations you need to make before acquiring a pair for yourself.

But before we get there, let’s clear one question many people have bearing in mind that we have said anyone can wear compression socks.

Who might need professional advice to use compression socks?

We have noted that compression socks are mostly safe and can be worn by most people without running into any sort of complications or side effects. However, there are certain categories of people who might need to get professional advice before they use these stockings.

If you have a skin infection, pulmonary edema or peripheral neuropathy, then it is advisable to talk to your health care provider before you buy and use compression socks. Peripheral neuropathy may see the user fail to register how tight the compression is and thus affect blood circulation. Others likely to find compression stockings uncomfortable or could be affected by its use are people with peripheral artery disease. These people may face problems when the socks end up affecting oxygen flow in the legs due to poor blood flow.

In short, a person with any of the following should not wear compression socks unless they have been advised to do so by their doctors.

  • Dermatitis
  • History of leg swelling
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Peripheral artery disease,
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Note that some of the infections and conditions listed above could actually worsen when one uses compression socks, especially when the chosen socks are tighter than advised.

What should you consider when buying compression socks?

For someone who spends long hours sitting, standing or lying in bed, then getting the right compression socks is necessary. Here are a few considerations to make as you go out to purchase socks to help prevent challenges like leg swelling or DVT.

Get the right fit

The key here is to avoid getting socks that are either too loose or too tight. But while you need to be keen, you don’t have to worry as compression socks usually come in sizes that correspond to shoe sizes.

While there may be up to 5 different types, knowing your shoe size should help you get the right fit. In determining the right fit for you, pay attention to measurements of your ankle and calf.

When picking the right length as shown below, it is important to then consider how long the sock can be to reach the knees or thigh. For better comfort, go for knee-high compression socks.

Pressure ratings

As mentioned earlier, compression socks have different pressure ratings and it’s good to pick one that is at the right level for your specific need. For those seeking comfort that spends long hours sitting or standing, and need comfort as well as prevent problems, then they would be advised to go for the 15-20mmHg pressure compression socks.

Those with some kind of swelling should buy compression stockings with a pressure level of 20-30mmHg. If you are affected by a condition like varicose veins, or DVT, (among other conditions), then go for socks that have a pressure level at 30-40mmHg.

What is the right length for you? –

This consideration might be due to your taste, which means one can go for a knee-high pair, or thigh-high stocking. You could also fancy a foot-less design, but this choice means you might need to consult a specialist to determine whether they are suitable for your specific condition.

Where do you buy the compression socks?

Developments in e-commerce mean that it is much easier and even cheaper to get compression stockings online.

While this is good for the fast-paced world we live in, the general piece of advice is we buy our first pair at a physical medical facility or store. This is so because we then get to access the services of a professional who can help us pick the right fit as well as take us through the process of properly wearing the socks.

Other considerations include:

  • Finding out if your health insurance can pay for the compression socks
  • Find out if your health care provider recommends it
  • Ensure you have the correct measurements of your legs taken

What level of compression (or pressure) is good for you?

The market has compression socks that offer pressure based on 4-5 levels, which means that one would need to pick the level that best aids blood flow as well as relieves discomfort. We measure the level of compression in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and pressure levels increase in line with the level of compression required.

A healthy individual seeking a compression sock for comfort will go for the lowest pressure levels of under 15 mmHg. This is ideal for people who are only concerned about impact standing or sitting for long hours. The other levels are 15-20 mmHg, 20-30 mmHg, 30-40 mmHg, and 40+ mmHg.

If you are planning to have a long international flight, then a compression sock with 15-20 mmHg will help you avoid leg swelling or DVT.

Pressure levels above 20mmHg are suitable for use by those affected by varicose veins and edema. Patients who have just had surgery and are likely to stay in bed for long hours also use such compression socks to help prevent potential blood clots.

Conclusion

There is a lot one would need to know about compression socks, but the basic idea is that it is advisable for those likely to sit or stand for long hours or due to medical reasons. Go on and find one pair of compression stockings and explore its benefits. 

The 4 Easy Ways To Improve Your Blood Circulation

Circulation is actually the blood flow through your body. Your heart pumps the blood around your body and distributes it to all parts of it body in order to ensure good health. You must have heard that the elderly have poor circulation, as it decreases as a person ages, while young people have a good circulation. In any case, a proper blood flow also ensures that your brain gets enough oxygen to work properly. If there is not enough oxygen, it is very likely that your brain will start having trouble, which reflects on your overall performance. In this article, we reveal the easy ways to improve your blood flow!

Do not get overweight

A healthy body will have a healthy circulation and there will no problem. The overweight body fights the circulation, as the fat “closes” the arteries and prevents the proper blood flow. For this reason, it is imperative to avoid obesity and overweight in any possible way, as it is much harder to treat this problem than to prevent it on time. On top of that, overweight literally kills the ability of the body to take oxygen from the blood.

Exercise regularly

It is proven that an exercise increases the blood flow and ability of the body to take enough oxygen that the brain uses. A lack of physical exercises not only reduces this ability but also increases the risk of developing other cardiovascular diseases. Another thing that you will get through the regular exercises is that you will help your blood vessels to expand more. This allows the body to use more oxygen, which in returns offers easier relief of your muscles. This means that your body will be able to endure much more effort and harder physical activities without “breaking”.

Eat a lot of fish

Fish is known to be one of the most useful food for your body as it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids that improve circulation and prevent cardiovascular diseases. All kinds of fish are good for health, but salmon, tuna and sardines contain the highest amount of these acids. Eating a tuna fish every two-three days will drastically increase your cardiovascular health and improve your circulation. In case you are vegan, you can buy supplements that contain these acids as the replacement for the actual fish. You can buy these in any pharmacy or supplement store.

Drink tea regularly

Tea is the great antioxidant that enhances health and improves circulation. Green and black tea are the most popular teas that are good for cardiovascular health and better circulation. Therefore, the tea improves the health of blood vessels, which in return prevents possibility for a stroke and problems with veins. Once you eliminate the problems with veins, you improve your circulation and blood flow. Have a habit of drinking at least one cup of green/black tea per day, ofto ensure that this great antioxidant “flushes” your body and removes the toxins. You can order many types of these teas online or buy them in any pharmacy.

Conditions That Confirm You Need To Wear Compression Socks

The compression socks are a form of hosiery that is created to ease up the pain in legs that occur due to the venous disorders. These disorders are results of the poor blood flow, which can cause blood clots if not treated properly. The socks use elastic fabric that applies pressure to the leg, ankle or feet and as a result, you have increased arterial pressure that produces a good circulation of blood. People do not often pay attention that much to this problem as they think that it is nothing serious. Therefore, we will explain the most common reasons and symptoms when you should get these socks to improve your health condition and prevent further possible complications.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

As your body has a constant physical activity or inactivity, it is very likely that the veins inside your legs will become clogged. A blood clot is a lump of blood that changed its liquid form into the solid-like state where it clogs the blood vein or artery and causes pain and other problems. DVT or deep vein thrombosis occurs when your veins are clogged with the blood clot that prevents the proper blood flow. Though it can happen on any part of your body, it is usually formed in the lower parts of your body. So, how can you know that you have DVT?

The DVT causes swelling and pain, especially on touch. Also, your skin may be warm at that part of the DVT formation and there is no limitations whom this can happen. Generally, the risk of developing DVT is bigger after you had a surgery or if you are overweight. Smoking can also cause DVT. Therefore, have in mind that it causes serious problems as the blood clot can travel all the way to your lungs and block an artery, which is called pulmonary embolism. This condition requires a surgical procedure to remove the blood clot. In any case, have in mind that DVT is a serious condition and it has to be treated properly.

Varicose Veins

The basic explanation of this state is enlarged veins. This happens because of the walking activity that increases the pressure in the veins that are in the lower part of your body. The symptoms of varicose veins include aching pain, dark purple color of veins and increased discomfort. Alternatively, a patient may feel a slight numbness in the legs as well as the burning feeling.

Poor blood circulation

The poor blood circulation may start not only because of the increased physical activity but also because of some of the other problems and conditions. The main symptoms include fatigue, joint cramping, numbness and cold feet, even though the outside temperature is way above the normal room temperature. This not only affects the overall quality of life, but also increases the risk of developing serious conditions that can harm your health. One of the main causes for this problem is atherosclerosis which occurs upon building up plaques inside your veins.