You may be wondering just what exactly are compression socks, and what are they for?
Compression socks use pressure to help circulate the blood in your legs and help avoid swelling and fatigue. Your heart is constantly pumping blood through your arteries, providing blood and oxygen where they’re needed. Because our blood system is not pressurized, it works against gravity to move blood back up through your legs and throughout the rest of your body. When your body can’t do this efficiently, the blood pools in your feet causing a heavy leg feeling, fatigue, and swelling around the ankles and lower leg. By fitting snugly around your ankles, a compression sock uses pressure to help move the blood back up through your legs preventing it from pooling. This helps prevent swelling and fatigue at the end of a long day.
Did you know that you have a “second heart” in your legs? When walking, or running, your calf muscle contracts and relaxes which helps push blood back up to your heart. Compression socks help with this process, helping you to avoid leg discomforts like pain, heaviness, or tiredness.
When you’re pregnant, you may find that your legs are tired, achy, or swollen, or a combination of all three. There are a few things that could cause these:
- Increased blood volume placing stress on the veins in the legs
- Increased pressure in the pelvic area which can cause blood flow obstruction, swelling, discomfort, and varicose veins
- Changing hormone levels during pregnancy and after birth
- Weakened blood vessel walls