The Real Health Benefits Of Compression Socks

Have you ever tried to slip your flats back on after a long plane ride only to discover you can barely squeeze your feet into them? Or perhaps you've noticed tiny varicose veins beginning to form on the backs of your legs. This is when compression socks can come in handy.

According to Healthline, compression socks are designed to gently squeeze your legs in an effort to aid blood flow from your legs to your heart. There are three types of compression socks: graduated compression stockings, anti-embolism stockings, and nonmedical support hosiery. When choosing the right stockings for you, know that graduated compression socks generally require a professional fitting or prescription. Anti-embolism compression socks are the ones to choose if you are looking to avoid those visible varicose veins on your legs, and nonmedical support hosiery is designed to relieve aches, pains, and general discomfort in the legs.

Each of these three types of compression socks will help you with that long plane ride symptom of swollen feet.

Anyone can own a pair of compression socks

When explaining how compression socks work, foot surgeon Georgeanne Botek tells the Cleveland Clinic, "[Compression socks] reduce excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries." Botek adds, "and it increases the absorption of this tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels."

In addition to preventing uncomfortable swelling and aches, Healthline claims that these socks can also boost circulation in your legs, reverse venous hypertension, prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins, and help prevent venous ulcers.

While anyone can own and wear a pair, WebMD shares that compression socks are mostly worn by people who stand for long periods of time, post-surgery patients, pregnant women, and athletes. For the right fit, make sure the stockings you purchase are not too tight. In fact, you shouldn't feel more than a gentle squeeze. They also shouldn't bunch while wearing them and you'll want to avoid folding the tops down.

Who would have thought socks could be designed to do so much for our health? So consider getting yourself a pair if you're about to embark on a long plane ride — or for any day you want to prevent the aches and pains that come with swollen legs.