Best Compression Stockings For Poor Circulation
Do you have poor circulation? Do you often experience uncomfortable cramping in your legs? Or do you perhaps have swollen feet or ankles? Compression stockings for poor circulation can really help you. With their graduated compression, they can dramatically increase the circulation of blood in and around your legs.
In this guide, we outline how compression stockings can help increase circulation, the various types available, and provide you with the best compression socks for circulation available today.
Compression stockings help those with poor circulation but are also commonly used for a range of other applications including:
- To help against tired and aching legs, especially for those who spend a lot of time on their feet (such as nurses)
- To help reduce the pooling of blood and swelling of feet, ankles and lower legs in pregnant women
- To reduce and prevent varicose and spider veins
- To help those with edema
- To boost athletic performance by runners
- To help treat plantar fasciitis
How Does Compression Help Circulation?
Compression garments help to improve circulation in two main ways:
- Compression stockings help to increase circulation by squeezing on the veins which reduces their diameter. In the same way that squeezing the end of a hose nozzle will increase the flow of water out of a hose, by squeezing the veins, blood is forced to flow faster.
- Compression stockings are generally graduated which means they have a range of compression over the length of the stocking or sock. They are tightest around the ankle and have decreasing compression strength up the leg. This guides blood upwards and helps to increase the flow of blood towards the heart.
These two functions work together to essentially act as a pump, increasing the flow of blood around the legs and up towards the heart.
Types Of Compression Socks For Blood Circulation
There are two main types of compression socks. These are graduated compression socks and TED hose, also known as anti-embolism stockings. They both function in very similar ways, however for the purposes of general blood circulation improvement, graduated compression socks are more appropriate. Anti-embolism stockings are more specifically designed to help anti-ambulatory patients who are recovering from surgery and require compression to reduce the likelihood of developing DVT.
Graduated compression stockings are the most commonly used type of compression garment for the legs. They come in a large variety of styles, lengths, and compression strengths. They are often referred to by a variety of different names such as compression socks, support socks for circulation, compression stockings and leg stockings for poor circulation. These names are used to describe the same garment.
There are two main ways in which these compression stockings vary: by length and compression strength.
Compression stockings for poor circulation usually come in either knee length or thigh length, however, it is also possible to find full-length compression pantyhose.
For graduated compression stockings, there are four main ranges of compression strength. Compression strength is expressed in millimetres of mercury (mmHg) and as a range, with the higher number being the compression strength around the ankle and the lesser compression strength being at the top of the garment.
The four ranges of compression strength are 8-15 mmHg,15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, and 30-40 mmHg. The first 3 ranges can be purchased easily online or over the counter, however, 30-40 mmHg will generally require a prescription from a doctor.
How To Use Compression Socks To Help Circulation
When using compression socks to improve circulation there are a few factors to consider:
First, you will need to decide the length and compression strength which is most appropriate for you. As for length, this will depend on the area which needs increased circulation. The most common length is knee length as the lower legs are generally the area which have the worst circulation. However if your entire leg requires a boost in blood circulation, then either thigh length or full-length compression pantyhose will be more appropriate.
As for the compression strength, in most cases either 15-20 mmHg or 20-30mmHg will suffice. It is important to realize, that if you have never worn compression stockings before, they will at first feel uncomfortable due to their increased tightness. You may want to consider transitioning into a higher compression strength by first wearing lower compression, for example 8-15 mmHg.
Compression socks should feel snug but should never feel uncomfortably tight. If you have worn compression socks for a few days and still find them uncomfortably tight, it is recommended that you decrease the compression strength.
Your compression socks will only help your blood circulation when they are worn. This means, to see the full benefits you should wear them all day and everyday while you are trying to increase your blood circulation. For this reason, it is recommended that you purchase more than one pair so that you have a backup for when you need to wash the compression socks.
Compression stockings will lose compression after a few months and will need replacement. If you are wearing compression stockings for extended time periods it is therefore recommended that you replace the compression stockings every 4 to 6 months.
If you have never worn compression socks before, it is recommended that you seek the advice of a medical professional before wearing them. In some cases, for example, those with peripheral artery disease, compression socks can actually reduce and constrict the flow of blood. Compression stockings are not suitable for everyone.
Best Compression Socks For Circulation
If you're wondering which are the best compression socks for circulation, the good news is that there is a huge number of brands selling compression socks for circulation and you can easily find an inexpensive pair on Amazon.
Of the various brands selling compression stockings for blood circulation, there are a few standouts which you should consider.
For overall quality and best value, it is difficult to look past three brands. Therafirm, Futuro and Truform. Each sells a range of compression socks and stockings in different lengths and compression strengths. Our top picks from each are below.
If you are looking for a brand which sells stylish and fashionable compression socks, we can highly recommend two.
Sockwell are well known in the compression sock industry for their fashionable compression socks. Providing all the benefits that you would expect from high-quality compression socks, you can wear these all day without sacrificing your style. Our favorite:
Another favorite brand which sells stylish compression socks is VIM & VIGR. With a growing reputation for cute and fashionable compression socks and stockings, their compression quality is high and will more than meet your needs. Our favorite:
Compression Stockings For Poor Circulation: Final Words
Hopefully this guide about the best compression stockings for poor circulation has been informative and helpful. If you are in doubt as to whether compression socks can help your circulation, purchase an inexpensive pair and you will quickly see how helpful they can be. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.