side effects of wearing compression stockings

Are you looking for Side Effects Of Wearing Compression Stockings? Read through for when to wear compression socks. The article contains wearing compression stockings to bed. You will also find how long to wear compression socks for edema in the post.

Compression socks and stockings are designed for compression therapy. They apply gentle pressure to your legs and ankles, promoting blood flow from your legs to your heart.

Compression socks can also reduce pain and swelling in your ankles and legs.

Read on to learn about the health benefits of compression socks, how they work, different types of socks, and side effects to be aware of.

when to wear compression socks

Side Effects Of Wearing Compression Stockings

Your doctor may prescribe compression socks to:

  • boost circulation in your legs
  • support veins
  • prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins
  • diminish leg swelling
  • reduce orthostatic hypotension, which causes lightheadedness or unsteadiness when you stand
  • help prevent venous ulcers
  • prevent development of deep vein thrombosis in your legs
  • help lessen the pain caused by varicose veins
  • reverse venous hypertension
  • improve lymphatic drainage

How do compression socks work?

Compression stockings apply pressure to your legs and ankles, which may:

  • reduce the diameter of major veins by increasing the volume and velocity of blood flow
  • help blood flow up toward the heart
  • help prevent blood from refluxing downward to the foot or laterally into superficial veins

Types of compression stockings

The three primary types of compression stockings are:

  • graduated compression stockings
  • anti-embolism stockings
  • nonmedical support hosiery

Graduated compression stockings

In graduated compression stockings, the level of compression is strongest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top. They’re designed for mobility and to meet certain length and strength medical specifications.

Graduated compression stockings typically require a professional fitting.

Stockings that end just below the knee help limit peripheral edema, or lower leg swelling due to fluid buildup.

Stockings that extend to the thigh or waist help reduce pooling of blood in the legs and help prevent orthostatic hypotension.

Some suppliers offer features for personal preferences, such as color, and a choice of open- or closed-toe.

Anti-embolism stockings

Anti-embolism stockings reduce the possibility of deep vein thrombosis.

Like graduated stockings, they provide gradient compression. However, the level of compression differs. Anti-embolism stockings are designed for those who aren’t mobile.

Nonmedical support hosiery

Nonmedical support hosiery don’t typically require a prescription. They include elastic support hose and flight socks sold as potential relief for tired, aching legs.

These deliver uniform compression that exerts less pressure than prescription compression stockings.

You can find nonmedical compression stockings at most pharmacies or online.

Side effects of compression socks

If your doctor has prescribed compression stockings, check your legs daily for areas of skin changes, such as irritation or redness. These changes could indicate that:

  • your stockings don’t fit properly
  • you’re not putting on or taking off your stockings properly
  • you have an infection
  • you’re allergic to the stocking material

It’s important to get a proper prescription and be sure to use compression stockings and socks properly.

  • According to a 2014 case reportTrusted Source, improperly worn compression stockings have the potential to cause problems, such as breaking the skin.
  • A 2007 study cited reports of peripheral nerve damage associated with misuse of compression stockings.
  • According to a 2014 article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, if you have impaired arterial flow, using compression stockings can worsen ischemia, or inadequate oxygenated blood flow.

The takeaway

Compression stockings apply pressure to your legs and ankles to promote blood flow from your lower extremities to your heart.

If your doctor prescribes compression stockings to help you with a condition such as venous insufficiency, remember to:

  • get fitted properly
  • follow instructions for properly putting on and removing them
  • follow all your doctor’s instructions, including when and how long to wear them
  • monitor any skin changes in the areas that come in contact with the stockings

Compression stockings, also known as compression socks, or pressure socks, are used by all kinds of people, from pilots, flight attendants, runners, and nurses to pregnant women, people recovering from surgery, and people at risk for blood clots in their legs. But are compression socks dangerous? We here at Lifestyle Updated decided to make a little research and find the answer to that question.

side effects of wearing compression stockings

Compression stockings are usually prescribed by a doctor to relieve all manifestations of chronic venous disease and prevent venous troubles. If you have one of the following conditions, chances are that you might already be wearing them:

  • Edema
  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Varicose veins
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Lymphedema
  • Phlebitis
  • Lipodermatosclerosis

Because the primary function of compression socks is improving the blood flow in the legs, sometimes people who travel a lot, but are otherwise healthy, choose to wear them during long flights. This can significantly reduce their risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), as well as leg swelling (oedema).

Compression stockings and pregnancy also go hand in hand. Hormones released during the pregnancy and the expanding uterus itself (which adds pressure to the inferior vena cava – the major vein that is returning blood up to the heart) can affect leg veins. That’s why pregnant women wear them to prevent blood from pooling in the veins and to reduce the increase of an elevated heart rate in both them and their child.

On the other hand, athletes can also experience benefits from compression stockings. Wearing them while exercising is not a bad idea and in some cases, it’s even recommended for better results and healthier body.

My husband, for example, discovered compression socks while trying to figure out how to improve his athletic capacity. At the time, he was going over his first round of Core de Force – a program from Beachbody on Demand, created by Joel Freeman and Jericho McMatthews. Though progressing gradually, the workouts were still demanding, so compression socks helped immensely.

Last but not least, researchers found that compression socks may be a good way to improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, especially with patients who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency.

Side Effects Of Wearing Compressions Stockings Incorrectly

side effects of wearing compression stockings

First of all, you need to understand that the use of compression stockings is definitely not an example of one size fits all. Quite to the contrary, the opposite is the case. Countless studies have discovered that the incorrect use of compression stockings, even in hospitals and other patient care facilities, is a fairly widespread problem.

An study example shows, in the American Journal of Nursing that compression stockings were used incorrectly on nearly 29% of patients. Additionally, 26% of the participants from the study wore the wrong stocking size.

So, can compression socks hurt you? The answer is positive, but only if you are not wearing them right!

If you use them incorrectly, or you wear the wrong size entirely, chances are that you will experience unpleasant side effects. First signs of trouble occur when the compression stockings are simply too hard to put on or equally challenging to take off; when they are the wrong type depending on the condition being treated, or when they are the wrong length. If you experience some of the following symptoms, take off your compression socks immediately and consult with your physician.

Do note, also, that problems with tight athletic footwear are usually mistaken for side effects of wearing compression socks.


side effects of wearing compression stockings

When worn incorrectly, discomfort is among the first side effects of compression stockings. Some people feel pain after removing compression stockings, others suffer from discomfort, pain and unpleasant sensations in their legs while wearing them. This happens if you wear them for too long. This type of stockings should be worn during the day and be taken off before going to bed. While you sleep, gravity is having the same effect on your legs as the compression stockings while you are awake.

Corns and calluses

These hardened layers of skin develop when your skin tries to protect itself against friction and pressure. They can develop on the feet and toes from very tight compression stockings.

Feet tingling or numbness

Paresthesia is a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness of the skin. It is more generally known as the feeling of “pins and needles” or of a limb being “asleep”. This condition occurs if your compression socks are too tight for your legs.

Skin irritation and itching

Side effects of compression socks can include itching as well which can occur throughout the compressed area. If this happens, you should probably do an allergy test because your skin might be reacting on the fiber materials.

Joint pain in knees

Compression stockings actually help with joint pain in knees, but if you are wearing the wrong size you might experience the complete opposite. If this happens consult with your physician immediately.

Loss of circulation

This is another example of amplifying a problem that compression stockings are designed to help with. If you wear them correctly, they help with your circulation. But, if they don’t fit in some way, a loss of circulation will be one of the first signs.

Spasms in toes

If you experience a sudden, violent, involuntary contraction of any muscle in your toe, or toes, accompanied by sudden pain and function interference, producing sudden and involuntary movement as well as distortion, your compression stockings are doing more harm than good for your body.

Swelling in toes

The same goes for swelling in toes. You’ll know the compression socks are doing their job if you experience no side effects whatsoever.

how long to wear compression socks for edema

After a thorough research, we can guarantee that wearing compression socks is not dangerous in any way, if they are used properly. In fact, a lot of people can benefit from them. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, with or without health problems. Some side effects of wearing compression socks can occur, but they are minor and usually can be easily solved by getting a new pair, better fitted for your legs.

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