Physix Gear Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmhg, Best Graduated Athletic Fit for Running Nurses Shin Splints Flight Travel & Maternity Pregnancy - Boost Stamina Circulation & Recovery PNK S/M

The first on our list of the best compression socks for nurses and also our favorite, the Physix Gear Stamina Compression Socks impress with a durable design, quality, and comfort. These socks are made from double-stitched anti-bacterial fabric, thus they are ideal to use in the ward.

The knee length socks provide gradual compression between 20 and 30 mmHg, enhancing blood circulation. They also serve multiple purposes; from varicose veins to calf compression, plantar fasciitis, and other foot or leg issues, these socks provide incredible relief.

A careful construction that follows the anatomy of your foot and leg help you take the game to the next level. These socks have no stitches in places where they might bother you.

We also like the breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that’s comfortable to wear even in hot weather. Another great feature is that you can wash them either by hand or on a gentle washing cycle without worrying about losing compression.

We also like the pattern of the sock, which looks like the fibers of a muscle. The colored heel and toe also add the wow factor. These socks are ideal for both men and women nurses, and they are available in both S/M and L/XL sizes.

Physix Gear Compression Socks for Men & Women 20-30 mmhg, Best Graduated Athletic Fit for Running Nurses Shin Splints Flight Travel & Maternity Pregnancy - Boost Stamina Circulation & Recovery PNK S/M
Compression Socks for Nurses + FREE Nurse Watch - BEST Gifts for Nurses - Perfect Nurse Accessories Kit - Graduated Fit to Prevent Varicose and Plantar Fasciitis - Nurse Compression Socks Women & Man

The RT7 PRO Compression Socks for Nurses are designed specifically for medical professionals but can be used for multiple other purposes. Just like the Stamina socks above, this pair has a knee-height design and provides gradual compression.

They are easy to put on and take off without making your skin dry and itchy and are also like comfortable  clogs to wear during a long nursing shift.

The main feature of these socks is their adaptability to your calf. They’re also made from an anti-bacterial material that wards off bad smells and bacteria. Like all quality compression socks, the RT7 PRO is designed to prevent varicose veins or plantar fasciitis, improving blood circulation and oxygen delivery to your leg and foot tissues.

Ideal for you or for the nurse in your life, these socks come packed in a stylish gift pouch. You can even choose a complimentary gift, either a nurse watch or an athletic waistband assorted with the color of the socks.

Compression Socks for Nurses + FREE Nurse Watch - BEST Gifts for Nurses - Perfect Nurse Accessories Kit - Graduated Fit to Prevent Varicose and Plantar Fasciitis - Nurse Compression Socks Women & Man
Compression Socks for Women and Men - Best Medical,for Running, Athletic, Varicose Veins, Travel

If you need a mild compression and want to get more pairs at a time, the Laite Hebe Compression Socks pack could be ideal for you. These socks offer compression of 15-20 mmHg and can help you say goodbye to edema, pain, and potentially life-threatening issues like the varicose veins.

Boasting a triple comfort technology, they deliver 360-degree stretch, excellent flexibility, and durability.

Coming in a set of seven pairs, various colors, and two sizes, these socks are perfect for both male and female nurses. The fabric involved is highly breathable, moisture-wicking, and antibacterial. Furthermore, the reinforced heels and toes boast both comfort and durability.

Standing for the quality of its product, the manufacturer also offers a 100% money-back guarantee. They offer a full refund or exchange if you’re not happy with your purchase.

Compression Socks for Women and Men - Best Medical,for Running, Athletic, Varicose Veins, Travel
CHARMKING Compression Socks 15-20 mmHg is BEST Graduated Athletic & Medical for Men & Women Running, Travel, Nurses, Pregnant - Boost Performance, Blood Circulation & Recovery(Small/Medium,Assorted 1)

The CHARMKING Compression Socks come in a set of eight, and you can choose your favorite from several multicolor combos. One of your options features a nurse theme that looks downright adorable.

It pairs well with white shoes for nurses, and besides aesthetics, these socks also bring a wealth of health benefits.

They are made from high-performance breathable fabric that provides a 360-degree stretch. You’ll have full flexibility, while the socks will resist intense use. Designed to prevent foot and leg issues and provide pain relief, these socks are not suitable only for nurses.

They are a sweet treat for anyone suffering from fatigued or swollen feet, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, or plantar fasciitis. They can also help you fight edema, venous insufficiencies, and varicose veins.

One thing we truly like is the presence in the fabric of special silver fibers that enhance breathability and moisture control. Dry feet means fewer blisters, but they also mean more comfort and less bad odor.

Ideal for both men and women, the compression socks from CHARMKING come in various sizes and are easy to match with your nursing scrub or personality.

CHARMKING Compression Socks 15-20 mmHg is BEST Graduated Athletic & Medical for Men & Women Running, Travel, Nurses, Pregnant - Boost Performance, Blood Circulation & Recovery(Small/Medium,Assorted 1)
Thirty48 Elite Compression Socks, Graduated 20-30mmHg Compression for Performance and Recovery (S/M (US Women 7-10.5 / US Men 6-9.5), [2 Pairs] Black/Grey & Blue/Grey)

Thirty48 is a brand renowned for their socks for athletes, but the Elite Compression Socks are also perfect for nurses. They have neutral colors and a more manly look, but they are still awesome when paired with comfy nurse shoe inserts.

Elite compression is made from a combination of nylon, spandex, and antibacterial nylon, a blend that enhances elasticity, flexibility, and reduces bad odors.

A feature we like about these socks is the specific design for the left and right foot. The compression pattern follows the natural curves of your feet, enhancing the therapeutic effect alongside comfort.

You’ll also be able to choose from three sizes the one that suits you best, and you can expect these socks to soothe sore feet, improve blood circulation, and help reduce the symptoms of ankle swelling or varicose veins.

The Elite socks provide compression of 20-30 mmHg and come in a set of two; there are multiple color combinations to choose from, and if you don’t need two pairs, know that you can only opt for a pack of one.

Thirty48 Elite Compression Socks, Graduated 20-30mmHg Compression for Performance and Recovery (S/M (US Women 7-10.5 / US Men 6-9.5), [2 Pairs] Black/Grey & Blue/Grey)
Think Medical Women's Nurse Print 10-14mmHg Compression Sock (Nurse Healthcare)

These socks from Think Medical had to make it to our list, given their attractive and on point design. They are ideal for everyday wear and are made from a blend of elastic, spandex, and nylon.

Easy to pair with white nurse shoes and most scrubs, they provide mild gradual compression of 10-14 mmHg.

Perfect to wear to soothe your sore feet; they can also reduce the symptoms of muscle strain, plantar fasciitis, or varicose veins.

These nurse compression socks are also an excellent choice for a gift for a nursing student. They are also easy to care for and maintain. Wash them by hand or in a washing machine with warm water and air or tumble dry on a low cycle.

Lovely to look at and amusing, they will surely boost up your mood during your long shifts.

SB SOX Lite Compression Socks (15-20mmHg) for Men & Women - Best Stockings for Running, Medical, Athletic, Edema, Diabetic, Varicose Veins, Travel, Pregnancy (Stripes - Gray/Blue, S/M)

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a nurse, check out the SB SOX Lite Compression Socks. They come in various designs and stylishly packed in a gift box.

The knee length design makes them perfect for anyone who walks or stands for a long time. A gradual compression technology of 15-20 mmHg can boost blood circulation, soothe sore feet, and even aid muscle recovery.

SB SOX Lite comes with a cushioned toe and heel support that enhance comfort and provide premium stability. Despite being compression socks, they don’t compromise mobility, so you’ll able to move freely or run from one patient to another.

As you can expect, the fabric is lightweight and breathable. It dries off sweat quickly and doesn’t retain any bad odors thanks to its anti-static and anti-bacterial properties.

SB SOX Lite Compression Socks (15-20mmHg) for Men & Women - Best Stockings for Running, Medical, Athletic, Edema, Diabetic, Varicose Veins, Travel, Pregnancy (Stripes - Gray/Blue, S/M)
CAMBIVO Compression Socks for Women and Men(2 Pairs, S/M Blue)

Made with the latest 3D knitting technology, the CAMBIVO compression socks are also worth your attention. They come in multiple colors and various sizes, suitable for both men and women. Due to their extraordinary design, they slip onto your feet easily, with little effort from your side.

The socks are also durable thanks to their quality double stitching. You can wash them several times without worrying about losing compression, and the synthetic material also dries off quickly.

Talking about compression, you’ll get 20-30 mmHg, just what you need to complete a long shift or physical activity in all peace of mind. These socks relieve muscle fatigue as well as the symptoms of many feet and leg conditions.  

Furthermore, thanks to their breathability, these socks are also perfect to wear in all seasons.

CAMBIVO Compression Socks for Women and Men(2 Pairs, S/M Blue)
Plantar Fasciitis Socks, Compression Foot Sleeves with Arch Support for Men and Women

If you don’t really like to wear socks but need some relief from plantar fasciitis, check out the Bitly compression sleeves.

They have an ankle height and open toe design that enhances breathability and comfort. Despite their name, they are also perfect to use for many other conditions. For instance, they can soothe sore feet, reduce edema, improve blood circulation, and provide ankle support.

We really like the comfortable, moisture-wicking fabric that doesn’t trap sweat or bad odors. You’ll also get to choose from a range of colors and sizes.

Go2 Compression Socks for Men Women Nurses Runners| Medium Compression Stockings (Polka, Small Single)

Another entry on our list of the best compression socks for nurses, these from Go2Socks boast a fun design that can surely drive up your mood during tougher times.

Beyond the good looks, these socks will also provide adequate relief from most foot and leg conditions. They provide 16-22 mmHg of compression and adequate support, improve blood circulation, and enhance recovery in case of injuries.

If you don’t like white and colorful polka dots, also know that these socks come in a variety of other patterns and colors. In fact, you can even pick from plain white if you have to respect a ward color code.

Perfect to wear on your long shifts, easy to maintain, and durable, these are another great pair of compression socks you should add to your arsenal.

Go2 Compression Socks for Men Women Nurses Runners| Medium Compression Stockings (Polka, Small Single)
Nurse Mates Women's 12-14 Mmhg Compression Trouser Sock Ekg

These are high quality compression socks designed specifically for nurses. They don’t necessarily offer the highest value, as you purchase them in singular pairs (rather than an assorted pack), but nevertheless, they’re good compression socks that are highly recommended by many nurses and other medical professionals.

The Nursemates women’s compression socks could also be considered a good starter compression sock. The reason we say this is because the graduated compression is rather low (12-14 mmHg), and is actually technically considered to be “mild”. This means they won’t apply as much pressure on your ankles and legs compared with other compression socks that we reviewed. Therefore, if you’re not sure whether or not you will find compression socks to be comfortable enough for constant use, these will be a great indicator.

Overall, we would recommend these compression socks to any nurse or nursing student, as well as anyone who wants to try compression socks starting with a lower pressure. There are many different design available, they are made from high-quality materials and design, and while you only get one pair, the cost is still low enough that it can make them worthwhile to try out.

Compression Socks for Nurses Buying Guide

Compression socks resemble normal socks that are a little longer, but where they specialize is with varying tightness. Typically, a compression sock will be tightest around the ankle and gradually loosens further up the leg. The idea is to help facilitate proper circulation in the lower extremities and prevent pooling of the blood in the feet, ankles, and lower legs. Most compression socks go up to about knee level or a little lower, but you can find shorter or longer compression socks depending on your own personal preferences.

Compression socks may all look the same at first glance, but the truth is that there are important differences between models. Here are a few things to check before buying.

Sock Material

Compression socks are designed to provide stress relief and soothe foot and leg soreness, but can also serve medical purposes, such as helping in the prevention and treatment of edema, plantar fasciitis, and varicose veins.

The material, therefore, should be elastic yet flexible, so it doesn’t hinder movement. At the same time, you must also pick a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric.

Many compression socks dry out quickly and don’t retain bad odors; most of them are also thin enough to wear in all seasons.

You must also pay attention to maintenance. Most manufacturers claim their socks are machine washable. However, we recommend to wash them by hand and air dry because the washing machine and tumble dryer, even if gentle, will still wear the fabric faster.

Compression Zones

Depending on your purpose, you might want to invest in a pair of socks with overall compression or with compression zones.

  • Overall compression is ideal if you want to reduce edema, soothe sore feet, prevent varicose veins, or improve blood flow.
  • Compression zones are  ideal if you need the socks to treat an existing condition, such as plantar fasciitis. They only apply compression to specific areas, while all other areas are unaffected.

You should also consider heel and toe cushioning, two features that enhance comfort when you’re standing or walking for long hours.

Regarding the actual compression, you can choose from different levels. Compression is measured in mmHg and varies from 10 to 30. Most compression socks provide gradual compression, which means that they provide lower compression on some areas and higher in other areas. This design enhances the efficiency of the socks even more.

Size and Length

Because compression socks are rather tight on their own, acing the right size is crucial if you don’t want them to hurt you rather than to provide relief. Most compression socks come in four sizes ranging from small to extra-large.

Besides the length of your foot, you should also check the circumference of your arch as well as the circumference of your leg.

Regarding length, compression socks come from no-show to knee length designs. We recommend the latter, as they provide better compression during your long working hours. The socks that go over your ankle, in general, will keep your ligaments aligned and alleviate pain.

At the same time, leg compression will also boost blood flow and the oxygenation of the leg and foot tissues.

What are compression stockings?

Compression stockings are essentially the same thing as compression socks in terms of function, but they differ quite a bit in appearance. Compression stockings mimic the appearance of normal stockings, which can make them a great choice for those who normally where stockings at work, or those who just find stockings more comfortable than bare legs with socks. Compression stockings function in the same manner as compression socks, but given the nature of stockings, they usually go higher up the leg than compression socks.

Will anyone benefit from compression socks?

Not necessarily. Our own bodies actually have natural ways of doing the same thing as compression socks. The veins in our body have intermittent one-way valves that prevent the back-flow of blood away from the heart. So let’s consider the legs in a standing position. As the heart pumps, blood flowing through the veins up the legs and back to the heart is subject to gravity, which is where the one-way valves come in to stop the blood from just sinking back to your feet.

In addition to these valves, our muscles also help pump blood through our veins back to our heart. This isn’t something you can really notice or feel, that is, until you’re stuck in a standing or sitting position for a really long period of time. If you are unable to use your leg muscles to help pump blood back to your heart, you can become slightly more prone to leg pain and discomfort, as well as other conditions like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is where compression socks come in. They help mimic the action of your muscle to compress the relatively superficial vasculature, which in turn helps prevent those conditions and can work to minimize any pain and discomfort.

Who Should Wear Compression Socks?

Compression socks are highly marketed to athletes looking for ways to improve performance. However, we’ll focus more on nursing for now, and will provide some supplementary information about athletic performance at the end of the article in case anyone is interested.

Anyone who sits or stands for long periods of time, especially in stationary positions, will benefit from wearing compression socks or stockings. They are especially useful for anyone who has experienced any of the following:

  • Leg pain and fatigue from standing or sitting
  • Swelling of the lower extremities
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous ulcers (active or healed)
  • Lymphedima
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and post-thrombotic syndrome

Foot, leg, and back pain/fatigue is very common and intuitive to understand, but that doesn’t make it something to take lightly. How you feel physically directly affects how you feel mentally, and over the course of a set of shifts, this can really wear on you not just at work, but outside work as well. Of course, if you’re reading this and are a nurse, you likely know all too well what I’m talking about.

The main point we’re trying to make about pain and discomfort in the lower extremities or back is that it should be addressed sooner rather than later, even if you don’t think it’s too big of a deal. This doesn’t necessarily mean immediately going out and buying compression socks or new shoes, but even simply discussing with peers, your GP, or a physiotherapist can really help prevent a lot of suffering down the road. Furthermore, pain, discomfort, and especially swelling can all be indicators of more serious underlying issues.

Other problems that can be addressed with compression socks aren’t necessarily as common or obvious, so we will discuss each of these briefly so you have a better idea of what to look out for, and when compression socks may be good for you.

Compression Socks for Lower Extremity Swelling

Lower extremity swelling seems pretty straight forward, but there can be many different causes and outcomes, so it’s not something that should be taken lightly. Lower extremity swelling, which is also known as peripheral edema, is generally caused by fluid retention in your legs. Given the fluid retention itself can be caused by a few different underlying issues, it’s always a good idea to chat with your doctor about it. For example, fluid retention can be caused by diabetes mellitus or general problems with the circulatory or lymphatic systems, as well as issues with the kidneys. These are the reason we suggest talking with your doctor if you notice swelling in your legs.

Often times, peripheral edema is simply due to long periods of standing or sitting, especially if it’s very repetitive, as we would see with a lot of nursing sets. Peripheral edema caused by long periods of standing or sitting can be directly addressed with the use of compression socks, which will help mimic the pumping action that your muscles normally provide when you’re actively walking or running around. However, do compression socks really work for lower extremity swelling? Let’s take a look at a couple well-controlled scientific studies, one of which focuses on edema caused by diabetes mellitus, which is one of the more sensitive conditions causing leg swelling. This can serve as a good model for this purpose, the study also investigated potential harm caused by compressions socks. So, what did the authors have to say?

In this study, participants were instructed to wear “mild” compression socks for diabetes mellitus during all waking hours. Mild was defined as socks that provide 18-25 mm HG of pressure, which is a common unit used to quantify how much pressure certain compression socks are able to apply to your legs. What the researchers wanted to know is if the socks could help treat lower extremity edema without compromising arterial circulation, which is a fear among doctors who treat this condition in diabetes mellitus patients.

The results showed that the compression socks were very good at reducing swelling in the foot, ankle, and calf, but especially so at the foot and calf. General cutaneous edema was also reduced, and all of this occurred without compromising arterial circulation. This is excellent news for diabetes mellitus patients, but also clearly demonstrated the compression socks’ ability to reduce leg swelling without doing any harm, which is something lots of other people, especially nurses, may be able to benefit from.

Varicose Veins

You may have heard that compression socks are good for varicose veins. Before we talk about how compression socks work to treat varicose veins, we should briefly learn a little more about what varicose veins actually are, and why people get them.

Varicose veins are essentially unusually enlarged veins. They can happen anywhere in the body, but are way more common in the legs and feet. This is because the veins in your legs, especially lower legs, are subjected to the most pressure, especially during standing and walking. If you’re standing still, this pressure remains constant and localized.

Generally speaking, females are more at risk than males for varicose veins, and older individuals in general are also more susceptible. The reason that women are more at risk is because of higher and more fluctuating levels of estrogen, which acts as a relaxant for the walls in your veins, which are normally very elastic. Also, pregnancy can put a lot of pressure on veins in the pelvic region, which can also have downstream effects. In terms of age, older individuals are more susceptible to varicose veins because veins will gradually lose elasticity with age. The elastic nature of veins is really important, as the stretch and subsequent elastic reaction help push blood back towards the heart as it’s pumped through your veins.

How do you know if you have varicose veins? According to the Mayo Clinic, signs include dark purple or blue veins, twisted and bulging veins, or both. While people who have varicose veins sometimes don’t feel them, symptoms can still include achy or heavy legs, muscle cramping, swelling, burning sensation in the legs, pain that increases after standing or sitting for long periods of time, and itching around the varicose veins. These are serious symptoms that do require a visit to your doctor, and if you experience hardening of the vein, color changes, or inflammation around the veins, these are signs and symptoms of even more serious circulation problems. At the end of the day, if you’re concerned about varicose veins and whether or not you have them, it’s always a good idea to check in with your doctor.

Compression Socks for Varicose Veins

Whether you’re concerned about varicose veins due to appearance, or because of potential health problems associated with them, they are something you will benefit by treating. What does the evidence say about using compression socks to treat varicose veins? Fortunately, there have been numerous studies published about the effect of compression socks on varicose veins, and these studies have since been reviewed in order to provide a more complete picture of the efficacy of treating varicose veins with compression socks.

In one very thorough study that reviewed all the available evidence regarding compression hosiery, they did find that patients benefited from wearing compression socks, but often times the results were not significant, were fairly subjective, or contradicted other studies that showed no benefit. Some studies that showed benefits didn’t include a placebo, which makes it difficult to know the exact extent of the effect of compression socks, especially in a quantitative manner.

In terms of research and hard science, the jury is still out on whether or not compression socks are as good for varicose veins as most people think, but nevertheless, the observation of perceived benefits has contributed to clinicians recommending compression socks for varicose veins. In our opinion, we would definitely consider using compression socks for varicose veins, but only after visiting your doctor first.

Venous Ulcers

Venous ulcers are somewhat similar to varicose veins, just a little more specific. Similar to varicose veins, they are more common in women and older individuals due to processes affecting the mechanical properties of venous tissue. However, rather than general pooling of the blood in the veins due to age or constant standing, venous ulcers also have some specific causes, namely the improper functioning of at least one of the one-way valves in your veins.

When a venous valve doesn’t function properly, it can allow blood to spill back in to the area below it, causing blood to pool in that area. Even if it keeps pumping, this area of you vein will constantly be experiencing high pressure, and you can end up with wounds and some blood potentially escaping the vein. This not only affects the vein, but also affects the tissue surrounding the vein, particularly the skin.

A full-blown venous ulcer is very identifiable, as it’s basically an open wound usually somewhere around the ankle. However, this extent of ulcer can be easily prevented, you just need to be familiar with some of the signs and willing to address them should they occur. One of the very first signs of a venous ulcer is swelling int he lower legs. As we mentioned previously, swelling could be temporary and simply a result from standing, or could be something more serious like a venous ulcer, so it’s always worth monitoring any swelling you may be experiencing.

After some slight general swelling, a venous ulcer may lead to some brown patches on the skin around the area of swelling, and if blood flow is affected enough, areas of skin may appear to change color between red and blue. Eventually, the skin may become itchy and you might notice some tender, but firm, areas underneath the skin. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s highly recommended that you visit your doctor.

Compression Socks for Venous Ulcers

Treatments for venous ulcers will vary depending on the extent of the ulcer. Regardless, your doctor will be the one to decide what path is best to take, but for your own general information, here are some of the most common treatment methods for venous ulcers.

Washing the area with specific chemical solutions may be required if the ulcer is advanced. However, for common occurrences that are in the early stage of ulcer formation, one of the most common form of treatments is compression wrapping. While this is the same principle as commercially available compression socks, it does require specific input from doctors or nurses, as the precise location of a venous ulcer will be different for every patient. Often times the nurse or doctor will apply the compression bandage for you, and then may recommend wearing a compression sock over top of that.

Another treatment is elevation, which is especially important for those who are less mobile. In this sense, you would make sure to have your legs elevated during a sitting position. This can benefit nurses who primarily work at a desk, but for those on float rotations or in a setting where you’re always on your feet, compression is certainly necessary. Even if you’re a nurse and have treated patients with venous ulcers via this method, we would still recommend visiting your doctor first before applying any of your own compression wrapping, just in case. The good news is that if compression is necessary, there are lots of good options available for compression socks or stockings for nurses.

Lymphedema

Lymphedema is the swelling caused by inflamed lymph nodes and vessels. The lymphatic system is different from the venous system in that instead of transporting blood, it primarily transports waste products, but much of the mechanisms are the same.

Lymphedema can be caused by many things from very minor common problems like a general blockage to more serious conditions like lymphoma. According tot he Mayo Clinic, those who are at the highest risk are older individuals, overweight or obese individuals, and cancer survivors, particularly those who have had lymph nodes previously removed. Signs and symptoms include swelling of all or part of your arm(s) or leg(s) (including fingers and toes), limb heaviness/tightness, decreased range of motion, aching, thickening or hardening of the skin, and recurring infections. Generally speaking, if you experience swelling of any limb, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor.

Compression Socks for Lymphedema

In addition to light exercise and massage, compression apparel is one of the most common forms of treatment for lymphedema, and this is usually provided in combination with the aforementioned treatments. The main idea here is to try and move the lymph fluid out of the affected arm, which usually requires some form of force and squeezing from your own muscles (exercise), someone else applying the force to you in a directed manner (massage), and out garments that provide constant pressure while standing still, walking, or even exercising (compression socks).

Again, like some of the other specific conditions we have discussed, treatment should be discussed with a doctor first and not be completely self-directed. You may require a different proportion of treatment styles than someone else, and having a professional discuss the style and fit of your compression socks is always a good idea no matter what the condition is.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms in one or more of your deep veins, usually in the leg. DVT’s can be a little tricky, as they sometimes occur without any symptoms at all, and when there are symptoms, they often present themselves in the form of pain and swelling, just like many other venous conditions we already discussed.

If you’re reading this entire article, then you have already heard us say “visit your doctor” if you experience any swelling of a limb. DVT is one of the reasons for this, because if left untreated, it can progress into a pulmonary embolism, which is when a blood clot breaks loose and makes it all the way back to your lungs, ultimately blocking blood flow. The symptoms for the latter are more pronounced, and according to the Mayo Clinic, they include sudden unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain that worsens when you inhale or cough, lighthead or dizziness sensation, rapid pulse, and coughing up blood. If you experience any of these, seek medical care immediately.

Lots of things can increase your risk for DVT, and they all revolve around anything that causes blood clotting, as well as anything that prevents proper circulation in your legs. Examples include previous clotting conditions, prolonged bed rest, previous surgery especially in or around a vein, pregnancy, being overweight or obese, smoking, and of course, standing or especially sitting for long periods of time.

Even if DVT is treated successfully, patients are still at risk for developing post-thrombotic syndrome, which are recurring and long-lasting effects from the original DVT. As you will see below, compression socks can be used to treat DVT as well as to prevent subsequent post-thrombotic syndrome. Symptoms of post-thrombotic syndrome are similar to DVT and other venous conditions, but may also appear to be more chronic or long lasting than the original symptoms.

Compression Socks for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

DVT is treated very carefully and is always patient-specific. If you’re a fan of sports, you may have heard of players being sidelined for long periods of time due to blood clots, and this is to ensure that the clots don’t get any bigger, don’t break away and move to the lungs, and it also takes time to treat and minimize these clots.

The treatment for DVT usually includes some sort of patient-specific treatment with blood thinners, drugs meant to break down clots in a controlled manner, venous filters, and compression apparel, although the latter is primarily for prevention of DVT altogether or prevention of further swelling and blood pooling that already exists.

So when would you wear compression socks for DVT? If you have any of the known risk factors, compression socks can be a good idea as they can hep prevent blood from pooling in your ankles and legs. Even those without significant risk factors use them to prevent DVT. For example, some people use them when going on a long flight and they know they’ll be stuck in the cramped seats. Athletes often use compression socks now for prevention and potential positive training effects (key word there being “potential”), and now moe and more nurses and other health care professionals are using compression socks not just for DVT, but all of those other venous conditions that can cause pain and swelling.

To provide further scientific support in quantitative manner, a study published in the Lancet, one of the world’s most reputable medical journals, showed some positive results in regards to the use of compression socks for DVT. In this study, 194 patients who experienced their first episode of proven DVT were randomly assigned to wear compression socks for two years or no compression socks. They observed that about 60% of those 194 patients developed post-thrombotic syndrome, but this rate was reduced by about 50% in those patients who wore compression socks.

To reiterate, if you are experiencing symptoms of any of the above conditions, compression socks are likely to help you, but it’s always safe to check with your doctor first to make sure there aren’t any other underlying issues that may require different forms of treatment.

Compression Socks for Nurses - General Consensus

Overall, scientific evidence and subjective outcomes noted by nurses and other healthcare professionals indicate the compression socks can be extremely useful for nurses working long shifts. While treatment for various conditions will be provided b a doctor, they often include the use of compression socks. Moreover, nurses can use compression socks to counteract some of the pain and discomfort developed as a result of recurring long shifts. Nurses can choose from a variety of styles to comfortably fit under their scrubs, and if socks are not preferred, compression stockings are also widely available, which may especially appeal to those in office settings.

Finally, if you found this article useful for easing a nurse’s daily routine’s, please also check our recently revised review of hand creams for nurses here.

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