Healthy Tips for Your Legs
When my husband was in the hospital, a nurse had measured his legs – length, calf and ankle circumference, to fit him for what are named ’embolism prevention socks’. They look like white opaque thigh-high stockings that they put on him to to prevent blood clots from forming while lying in bed for extended amounts of time. I was already aware of the fact that sitting for a long time – particularly in a cramped airplane could promote a blood clot, but wasn’t aware that lying down for prolonged time could cause the same problem. But these particular stockings are for bedridden patients and those who are post surgery.
How do those stockings work to prevent blood clots or what is known as ‘deep vein thrombosis’?
The tightest part of the pressure begins at the ankle and lessens as the sock goes up. This is to keep the blood flowing back through the body to alleviate it from pooling around the legs. Blood has to work against gravity to flow back and circulate through the body. This is why the legs are measured – particularly focused on the ankle and calf to get the correct fitting stocking. These socks help reduce swelling in legs, help alleviate throb from painful varicose veins. It’s important that these stockings are fit correctly so they are not causing problems instead of alleviating them, this is why it’s important to measure ankle and calf circumference before purchasing. You can find more detailed information on how to use and measure compression socks HERE.
There are also various types of compression socks available that don’t go up to the thigh, but are more like a knee sock, or just over the knee. The older versions of these socks aren’t always beneficial because if they have bands at the top of the sock which counteracts the benefit of the compression with the easing of pressure as the sock gradually goes toward the knee. Many people wear these socks for traveling on airplanes, to alleviate edema in swollen legs, sitting for prolonged amounts of time even at home, pregnancy pressure on the legs, and even for standing long spans of time such as at work, hiking, or any other activity that keeps one of their feet for lengthy periods of time.
I had occasionally seen people wearing these types of socks. Some looked quite uncomfortable and not visually appealing, some looked like the band at the top were digging into the leg. And most of all these socks can be quite expensive, usually sold at a home care or medical supply stores, pharmacies or doctor’s offices. But ironically, after a few days of getting my husband home from hospital I was tuning into my local Shopping Channel station and they were advertising Spresso Socks as the special of the day for $29.99! Wow, that’s a deal, I was thinking. I continued to watch the show with the vast array of patterns and colors offered in these socks and then went onto the website to read reviews – I always read reviews before purchasing online, particularly for a new product.
The reviews were raving, and there were many of them. People have found those socks good for so many reasons, from using them for athletic sports to travel, to just sitting too much on their couches. And it got me thinking that perhaps I should get a pair myself to have on hand for my own next venture on an airplane and maybe even when I’m sitting on my computer for too many hours. I also thought I’d grab a few pairs for my hubby for his own long sits on his couch and just for everyday use.
Read more about Deep Vein Thrombosis and how to best avoid it from happening with compression socks HERE.
Read more about how compression socks work HERE.
From the time I drafted this post to posting, I received my purple Spresso socks. I love them. I tried them out one day while working at the computer for a few hours and I have to say after taking them off my legs felt refreshed. Now, I just have to get on an airplane and go somewhere!