Aside from scrubs and supportive nursing shoes, every nurse should have a good pair of compression socks! However, not all compression socks are made equally. I’ve have tried many types of brands of compression socks and have discovered some are better than others. You can check out my top pick of compression socks here. But before you dive into what socks to buy, you need to understand why compression socks are an essential part of the nursing outfit.
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Aside from compression socks being socks, there are many benefits that they can provide you! Let’s dive into the benefits of a good compression sock and what impact it has on you as a nurse:
Increases the blood circulation back to your heart.
Compression improves stagnant blood flow and lymphatic fluid. Let’s be honest, standing and walking on your feet for 12+ hours a day is hard on your body! Compression socks work to counteract that by providing a pressure gradient up your leg that supports the blood flow back to your heart, helping to prevent the leakage of blood and lymphatic fluid into surrounding tissues.
Decreases swelling in your legs and feet.
The pressure gradient in the compression socks supports your veins. This support prevents the pooling of blood and lymphatic fluid in your lower legs and feet that can cause swelling and edema. The compression aids supports venous return back to the heart.
Decreases the risk of developing varicose veins.
Or if you’re like me, you already have varicose veins and you wear compression socks to help them from getting worse! Compression socks support varicose veins and aids to increase venous blood return to the heart. The support helps minimize the risk of blood and lymphatic fluid pooling in your lower legs, which could lead to enlarged veins or varicose veins. The compression socks also reduce aches and pains from engorged varicose veins. As one who has varicose veins, compression definitely helps manage my achy veins!
Decreases the aches and pains in legs and feet after a long day at work.
When I first started out as a nurse, I didn’t really understand how essential compression socks were. One day, I saw my coworker itch her leg and adjust her compression socks. So I asked her opinion on it and she said it has made a huge difference in her stamina at work. So I thought I’d give it a shot too. Boy, am I glad I did! Seriously, compression socks are a complete game changer! I have so much more energy at work, and I don’t come home to swollen and painful legs anymore! Life before compression socks entailed me coming home from work, popping a few ibuprofen, applying a heating pad, and elevating my achy legs on pillows as I tried to sleep for the next shift in the morning. It was awful! Now that I’ve invested in some compression socks, my legs and feet don’t even hurt after a long day. If you don’t have them, do yourself a favor and get them!
Decreases the risk of blood clots or DVTs (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
Before, you say that you’re not a candidate for developing blood clots because you’re young and active, hear me out. Besides having a sedentary job or lifestyle, there are other factors that may put you at risk for developing a blood clot. For instance, injury to your leg (such as surgery, bone fractures, or soft tissue damage) may increase your risk of developing a blood clot. Certain medications (such as birth control or hormone replacement therapy) may also increase your risk of blood clots or DVTs. Pregnancy can also increase the pressure on your veins, which puts you at risk for blood clots. Other risk factors include inherit clotting disorders, heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, being overweight, increase in age, and smoking. Personally, I have known a handful of young active women that were hospitalized because of a PE (a blood clot in their leg that went to their lungs)! For me, this is just one more reason why I opt to wear compression socks at work.
Improves symptoms of venous disease.
Compression socks are great in managing venous diseases such as chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins, lymphedema and post-thrombotic syndrome. Venous diseases are accompanied by a range of symptoms seen in your lower legs, including pain, cramping, heaviness, swelling, skin discoloration, swollen blood vessels, and/or varicose veins. If the condition progresses, one might suffer from leg ulcers or non-healing wounds! One medical recommendation to help manage these symptoms and the disease process is wearing a supportive pair of compression socks to help aid in blood circulation and support the veins in your lower legs. There are a range of different compression strengths depending on your current needs. If you suffer from venous disease, consult a medical provider to assess what the best compression sock would be for your situation.
There are a range of benefits when donning a pair of supportive compression socks, but one of the best reasons is it improves your overall health. Compression socks are an essential part of the nursing outfit and should be worn by all nurses! So what are you waiting for? Check out our top pick of compression socks here and get your own!
Why do you wear compression socks? Have you noticed a difference when wearing compression socks? What compression socks are you favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
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