Compression Socks: What Are They and Do I Need Them?

Compression socks hug your ankles, calves, and legs. They provide support and prevent achy legs and vascular pooling that causes swelling, varicose veins, and spider veins.

If you already have some of these issues, compression socks can help manage the issue and prevent it from getting any worse, as well as relieving symptoms.

If you have a family history of these issues or show early signs, then it’s very important to start with early prevention by wearing stockings now to prevent future damage.

What Are Compression Stockings/Socks?

Medical grade compression stockings or socks promote better venous flow which helps control leg, foot, and ankle swelling, varicose veins, leg fatigue, spider veins, and other problematic leg conditions.

Compression stockings or socks

are made from a special material. The design provides more compression further down the leg and less as they move up. They are available in a wide variety of compression, styles, and colours. Compression socks/stockings are available for almost every occasion including casual, athletic, and dress.

Compression stockings come in men’s and women’s styles and sizing. A certified fitter, such as your


should measure both your legs at different areas to ensure a perfect fit and effective results.

When Should I Use Compression Socks?

People of all ages and abilities can benefit from wearing compression socks or stockings:

  • Travelling

    : Wearing compression socks while travelling, and especially flying, can help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you have noticed swelling in your feet or ankles when you fly, you should be wearing compression stockings during the flight to prevent swelling and further complications.

  • Varicose Veins/Spider Veins

    : Compression socks can help prevent the progression and manage existing issues. They will help alleviate that achy leg sensation and keep you on your feet longer.

  • Occupation-Based

    : People who are on their feet all day or who are often sitting benefit from compression therapy. This prevents the feeling of tired achy legs and the associated onset of varicose veins caused by venous back-flow caused by sitting or standing consistently.

  • Post Knee, Hip or Ankle Surgery

    : Due to gravity, swelling can stay or move down the leg. Compression therapy prevents this and helps progress healing. Our Barrie Physiotherapist at Footprint often suggests compression socks and stockings for those who have had Achilles ruptures, knee replacements, hip replacements, and so on for a few months after

  • Pregnancy

    : Fluid retention and swollen legs are common during pregnancy. The onset of varicose veins can also occur depending on how the baby is sitting. For most women, we recommend compression socks/stockings for the duration of their

How Do I Get Compression Stockings?

Basic compression socks are available over the counter at your local drug store and some athletics stores (15-20mmHg). Extended health insurance usually only cover compression stockings with a compression rating starting at 20-30mmHg. These compression stockings typically require a prescription from your family physician.

Always remember: 

this prescription needs to have a DIAGNOSIS and recommended amount of compression for insurance to cover your claim.

Once you have your prescription from the doctor, your

Chiropodist at Footprint Health and Wellness

center can properly measure and fit you for your compression stockings. 

Book an appointment

 and get started with healthier and happier legs today!