How Do Compression Socks Work?

Millions of people regularly wear compression socks. You may need them to help relieve aching legs or to reduce swelling. There are plenty of different ways in which stockings and socks can help us. But how many of us really know how they work?

The science behind the socks isn’t as complicated as you might think! While we’re happy enough to wear stockings to ease our aches and pains, it’s time we looked a little closer. Here is our quick guide to how compression socks work.

It’s All About Blood Flow

Reduced blood flow and vein problems can occur for a variety of medical reasons. For example, people who suffer from varicose or spider veins may find that they need help to get their blood flowing.

  • Compression socks work by gently massaging your feet and legs.
  • By doing this, your blood flow is redirected back to your heart.
  • For people suffering from diabetes, DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and other vein problems, compression stockings can help improve healthy circulation.
  • Compression socks squeeze vein walls and leg tissues to help redirect your blood. Many people who suffer from oedema (swelling) may find fluid and blood pooling in their legs and feet.
  • Improving blood flow can help to reduce regular aches, pains and fatigue.
  • The gentle pressure applied by compression socks can soothe active and inactive people alike.


woman wearing gray socksPeople of all activity levels swear by them!

Compression socks can even help to prevent clotting and ulcers. That is particularly important for people who may be suffering from diabetes.

It’s important to remember, too, that while socks can help to ease the pains of vein problems, your veins may need additional care. Compression socks may not completely remove visible veins.

How to Wear Compression Socks

Compression socks are only ever going to work well if you wear them correctly! Otherwise, you may accidentally apply too much pressure to your legs and feet. Thatcan cause severe discomfort or skin problems. It’s thought that just less than a third of us may be wearing our compression socks incorrectly!

  • It’s a good idea to measure up before you buy.
  • Measuring for socks is nice and simple!
  • Measure around the narrowest part of your ankle, the widestpart of your calf, and the distance from the back of your knee to the floor.
  • For pantyhose and long stockings, you’ll also need to measure your thighs.
  • It’s also a good idea to consider pressure levels. Compression socks are produced in millimetres of mercury, or mmHg.
  • Low compression, for example, 8-15 mmHg, is useful for fatigue and aches. Medium to firm compression, between 15-30 mmHg, is helpful for mild to severe vein problems. Extra firm compression, up to 40 mmHg, is for the treatment and prevent ion of the most severe oedema and vein troubles.

Need More Information?

TXG compression socks are designed to support you through all walks of life. Need more advice on how compression aids may benefit you? Take a look at our guides or call our team on 0800 894 769 today.

Please note: The information provided here is for general information only and is not intended to act as medical advice. We advise anyone interested in this subject to seek qualified, professional advice.

About Heather Gatland

Chief Sock Checker at TXG Socks

After finding that compression socks sped up the healing of an injury, Heather wanted to help others do the same, so founded TXG Compression Socks in Australasia in 2013. With her 6 years of ‘hands-on’ experience working with medical professionals, extensive business experience and Chartered Accountant qualification, Heather knows all the ins and outs of the compression socks market. Heather’s goal of helping baby boomers, like herself, has finally come true. Heather loves researching and sharing her findings on the TXG blog as well as enjoys supporting her customers to get back to feeling happy, energised and active.

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