Good circulation is a critical component of your overall health. If you have blood flow problems, you could experience aches and pains, coldness and numbness, muscle cramps, blood clots, and other discomforts. These issues are particularly problematic if you’re a runner. After all, you want to live an active lifestyle, but symptoms of poor circulation in your lower legs threaten to ruin your plans.
The answer could be to start wearing compression socks. As the name suggests, this simple solution comfortably compresses your lower legs, providing numerous benefits when worn in conjunction with your athletic pursuits.
Benefits of Compression Socks
Whether you have a high risk of complications due to poor circulation, or you simply want to decrease the achy, heavy feeling in your legs after a run, compression socks may help. Consider the many benefits of this simple addition to your athletic wardrobe:
- Increased blood flow: Graduated compression socks are particularly effective at improving circulation in the deep veins of your legs. They provide more compression at the ankle and gradually decrease pressure further up the leg, promoting blood flow upward toward the heart.
- Prevention of aches and cramps: Good circulation ensures your muscles receive the oxygen they need to function correctly. Oxygenated muscles are less likely to feel achy and cramped, even after a strenuous workout.
- Improved recovery: Compression gear is clinically proven to aid in recovery and delayed muscle soreness after a hard run by improving circulation and oxygen flow through the body.
- Prevention of blood clots: Medical professionals have long prescribed compression garments to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in high-risk patients. Clots that form in deep veins are dangerous because if they break off, they can travel to the heart. Obstructed blood flow between the arteries and lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism, can be fatal.
- Reduced swelling: For many people, varicose veins are a source of swelling in the legs. This condition is caused by poor circulation that causes blood to pool in the veins. By helping the blood flow more easily, compression garments can reduce swelling in the lower extremities.
While compression socks are safe and beneficial for most people, it’s wise to talk to your doctor before purchasing them. You may want to avoid wearing compression socks if you have peripheral artery disease, skin infections on your feet or legs, dermatitis, significant leg swelling, or pulmonary edema from congestive heart failure. Compression socks are also not advised if you have nerve damage in your legs or any other condition that affects skin sensation.
When to Wear Compression Socks
If you’re ready to try compression socks for yourself, the next question is when to wear them—before, during, or after a run? The short answer is you can wear compression socks anytime! Exactly when you choose to put them on depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish. For instance, if you struggle with post-workout muscle aches, wearing compression socks after a run can help you bounce back more quickly.
The jury is still out on the benefits of wearing compression gear during athletic pursuits. Some studies suggest that compression socks increase athletic performance, and many runners swear by them as their “secret weapon” on race day. However, because the majority of studies don’t incorporate a control subject, the perceived improvements could be due to the placebo effect.
Whether athletes actually perform better or simply recover faster, wearing compression socks during a run appears to only have benefits, not drawbacks. You may also consider wearing compression socks for a few hours before a run to get the blood flowing prior to hitting the pavement.
In short, you can benefit from wearing compression socks at any time. As long as your socks fit comfortably and you have no contraindications, you can keep them on all day if you want. Plan to take off your compression socks when you go to bed unless your doctor recommends wearing them while you sleep to aid with surgery recovery or other specific health issues.
Feetures Graduated Compression Socks
The final question is: What compression gear should you wear before, during, and after a run? Our socks provide moderate, graduated pressure at 15 to 20 mmHg of compression at the ankle. This is the ideal level for athletic recovery and swelling reduction.
In addition to ensuring carefully graduated pressure up the calf, we have designed every other aspect of our compression socks for maximum comfort and performance. This includes high-density cushioning to avoid bulk, anatomical right and left foot designs for an advanced fit, and seamless toes to eliminate irritation and blisters. Sizes are measured in calf circumference to ensure the proper compression.
To learn more about our graduated compression socks or to place your order, please contact Feetures today.