athletic compression socks
Athletic compression socks - benefits and uses
Compression socks are an essential part of most athlete’s gear, as they help improve blood circulation throughout the body, which keeps you in the game for longer. Read on to learn about all of the benefits of compression socks.
What are athletic compression socks?
Athletic compression socks are socks designed for athletes who want to improve their physical condition and feel lighter during sports-related activities. These socks help improve blood flow from the legs to the heart, thus preventing a number of conditions, including deep vein thrombosis, varicose veins, heaviness in the legs, swelling and various circulatory conditions.
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is when a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the legs. This may cause significant swelling, pain, redness, warmth coursing up the affected leg or some may have no symptoms at all. DVT often occurs in people who don’t move for long periods of time, which doesn’t necessarily affect athletes, however, this condition may also be caused by regular smoking, cancer, being prone to blood-clotting and even pregnancy. These clots formed in the legs can break apart and get stuck in the lungs, thus blocking blood flow, which is life-threatening.
Varicose veins on the other hand, are also formed due to sitting in one spot for extended periods of time and obesity, which most athletes don’t have to worry about, however, they can also be caused by weak valves, and hormonal changes due to pregnancy. When blood begins to pool in the legs due to gravity, weak valves might not have enough strength to circulate it back throughout the body, thus creating varicose veins. Varicose veins are large, bulging veins that are dark purple or blue in color and are twisted. They often cause feelings of heaviness, muscle cramping and swelling in the legs.
Due to gravity pulling down on our blood, our legs need to be strong enough to pump it up back to the heart, which requires a good amount of pressure. Thanks to compression sleeves, athletes have improved blood flow, which helps to circulate oxygen throughout the body and improves their performance and recovery. Additionally, the compression caused by these sports compression socks helps to reduce lactic acid in the body and prevents cramping and swelling. Lactic acid is a natural waste that the body products when you exercise, which gives you that next day sore feeling in your muscles. Thanks to compression socks, both blood and the lactic acid are distributed throughout the body, which significantly reduces post exercise pain.
Although athletic compression socks almost sound like a cure-all, it’s important to note that people who have certain health issues should refrain from using them. Athletes who have conditions such as peripheral neuropathy (nonfunctional nerves), peripheral artery disease, thin or sensitive skin, pulmonary edema or heart problems should not wear compression sleeves without first speaking with their doctor. A certified medical specialist should first assess your condition to see if these socks don’t negatively impact your health.
How do they work?
Just like regular compression socks, athletic compression socks provide graduated compression on the legs, which helps to constrict the veins enough so that blood courses through them without pooling back into the valves. Since these socks provide graduated compression, the pressure is just right so that blood and lactic acid don’t pool, but without constricting blood flow to the legs entirely.
What are the different kinds of compression socks?
Athletic compression socks come in a variety of models, all of which come in a number of colors, sizes and pressure exertion. Our store offers quality compression socks that are knee length, ankle length and even no show models, which provide compression solely to the feet. Certain models available from our store come with additional options, such as reflective designs, which are ideal for athletes who train in the dark, foot arch stabilization, air channels and antibacterial properties. Prior to making a purchase, it is vital that you speak with your doctor and ask if compression sleeves and compression socks are the right choice for you.
Frequently asked questions - FAQ
1. How much do compression socks cost?
Prices vary, depending on the model you choose - the more features a specific variant has, the higher the cost. The prices in our store range from $20-$60.
2. Can I wear compression socks if I have heart problems?
Although you ought to speak with your doctor concerning certain heart conditions, in most cases, it is ill advised.
3. What are the different compression levels?
Athletic compression socks tend to range from under 15 MmHg to 30+ MmHg - 15 being the lightest. Socks that go over 30 MmHg are usually designed for people who are recovering from surgery.