How Do Compression Socks Work & How Long Should You Wear Them?

Compression socks are known to have a lot of benefits and are used by many people. Compression socks helps in reducing leg swelling, especially when sitting for a longer period of time. Even runners make use of them for increasing flow of blood during exercise. It is thought compression socks help in reducing soreness. However, how do these compression socks work? Well! We will know about this in our following paragraphs and also know about how long to wear the compression socks.

How Do Compression Socks Work?

How Do Compression Socks Work?

A graduated compression socks act like a layer of muscle around your lower leg so as to improve the venous return and remove lactic acid and deliver a controlled amount of pressure. Wearing compression socks during running reduces the amount of muscle vibration. Compression socks are also advised to wear in case of DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis where a blood clot is formed in one of the deep vein of the body, mostly in the legs. Compression socks are also used by patients who stand for long, pregnant women, etc.

Compression socks are used for mimicking the pumping action of your leg muscles while you walk. What exactly happen during walk is that your muscles contract around and near the veins in the legs which aid in forcing the blood upward against gravity and back toward the heart. However, in case of specific medical conditions like poor blood circulation or varicose vein, edema, lymphedema etc; your body is not able to push the fluid out of your legs effectively, which in turn cause chronic swelling and pain in the legs. The primary concept behind the use of compression stocking for reducing swelling, pain etc is that compression sock push fluid effectively upward by using graduated compression. Your therapist determines the most appropriate height and tightness of the compression so as to meet your physical needs.

How Long to Wear a Compression Socks?

Compression socks must be used as advised by your doctor or physiotherapist. They are available in a number of sizes, colors and lengths. They are also available with different strengths of compression. You may be required to used the socks on both legs or only one leg as required. You must wear the compressions socks for at least 3-6 months and then your doctor would measure your legs again and may replace your socks as required.

You need to wear the compression socks while running, walking, standing etc and must remove during sleeping hours. It is essential to wear the compression socks for at least years if you have been diagnosed with DVT.


Now that we are known about the compression socks in case you have any pain or swelling in your legs, if you have muscle soreness in your legs then you need to visit your therapists or doctor and get the appropriate compression socks as per your leg measurement and requirement.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 24, 2017

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