The Science Behind Compression Socks

How Do they Work?

The loose fitting nature of compression socks increases blood flow to the lower legs which in turn, increases the muscle’s supply of oxygen. Muscles need oxygen to reduce lactic acid. Lactic acid is a product of cellular respiration, which is your body’s way of making energy, and builds as a result of over exertion of your muscles.

Lactic Acid Removal

Lactic acid build-up can be extremely painful and inhibits muscle functioning. Increasing oxygen production to these areas where lactic acid builds up is crucial for athletes and those who are on their feet for long periods of time. Compression socks are often worn by runners and nurses alike to alleviate this problem.

Treatment for Varicose Veins

Compression socks also help minimize the development of unattractive varicose veins, otherwise referred to as spider veins. When on your feet for an extended period of time, blood starts to settle down in the ankle. This pooling, built-up fluid causes swelling and pain, and also is what causes varicose and spider veins. Compression stockings for varicose veins direct the flow of blood upward toward your body, rather than letting it settle down in the ankle, thus preventing spider veins from developing.

Blood Clot Prevention

When sitting for extended periods of time, blood may start to clot. Compression socks help prevent blood clotting by ensuring constant blood flow through the lower extremities. People at a higher risk of experiencing blood clots include those who take oral contraceptives, are pregnant, have cancer, have recently had surgery, are elderly or obese, or have a family history of blood clots. If you’re prone to blood clots and are immobile for extended periods of time, be sure to wear a pair of compression socks.

Wondering if you should be wearing compression socks? Read through the Who Should Wear Compression Socks page.