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Compression socks, also known as compression stockings, are therapeutic hosiery that aids in improving circulation, reducing swelling, and a myriad of other benefits. In the medical field, compression socks are used by patients and professionals alike because of the benefits it provides.

What are Compression Socks?

Compression socks apply gentle pressure to the legs and ankles, improving blood flow from the legs to the heart. They also help lessen swelling and pain in the legs and ankles. Reducing extra fluid in the legs reduces inflammation and improves blood flow through veins to the heart. They come in different lengths and tightness, and can also lower the chances of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), blood clots, and other circulation problems.

Compression Socks in the Medical Field

Using compression as a form of medical treatment has been around for thousands of years. Now referred to as “Compression Therapy”, its history gave birth to modern-day compression garments.

  • Ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians – Ancient civilizations utilized compression therapy to treat injuries, using bandages to tightly wrap affected areas.
  • (1363) France – Guy de Chauliac, a medieval practitioner, published a book entitled “Chirurgia magna” which compiled his experiences and research. He was the first to mention how compression therapy can assist in the treatment of varicose veins.
  • (1950) Toledo, Ohio, USA – A German mechanical engineer named Conrad Jobst developed the first modern compression stockings.

Health Benefits

Healthcare professionals, including nurses, are increasingly using compression socks to alleviate foot pain caused by prolonged prolonged foot use.

  • Promotes Circulation – The pressure provided by compression socks allows oxygenated blood to flow through the veins in your legs, preventing blood clots.
  • Decreases Swelling and Pain- In addition to improved circulation, the pressure provided by the socks also decreases swelling through a process called  Lymphatic Drainage. This process allows the regulation of the lymphatic system.
  • Treatment of Varicose Veins – Varicose veins appear when blood collects in weak or damaged valves in the veins instead of flowing back to the heart. Blood in the legs has a harder time flowing back to the heart due to gravity.  The pressure provided by compression socks helps the blood flow up to the heart. Improving circulation.
  • Prevention of blood clotting – Blood clots are solid masses of red blood cells that form in the blood vessels. Blood clots serve to protect the body from excessive bleeding but can lead to life-threatening conditions such as Deep Vein Thrombosis.


Compression socks are medical garments that alleviate foot pain and improve blood flow in the legs and ankles. They have been used for thousands of years, with the first modern compression stockings arising in the 1950’s. Compression therapy promotes circulation, reduces swelling and pain, and regulates the lymphatic system. They help treat varicose veins by improving blood flow to the heart and preventing blood clotting, which can lead to life-threatening conditions.

Disclaimer and all of its content are for informational purposes only. All information is believed to be accurate at the time of posting and should NOT be construed as professional medical advice. Please seek a medical professional in the event of pain or injury.

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