How Do Compression Socks Work to Help Diabetics?

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with diabetes, you know how important overall health care is, with particular attention being paid to keeping diabetes in check.

Diabetics often experience circulation issues that can cause swelling (edema) in the ankles, feet, and legs. Peripheral edema can also be caused by other situations such as sitting or standing or lengthy periods of time, venous disease, heredity, surgery, trauma, physical inactivity, and other medical illnesses.

Peripheral edema is also often associated with diabetic complications that can include kidney disease, heart disease, and venous insufficiency. Additionally, some diabetes medications can cause edema.

Research has shown that diabetic patients and others who suffer from edema can benefit from wearing compression wear to keep the legs and feet healthy. So how do compression socks work to help diabetics?

Your Feet and Diabetes

Those with diabetes are often at risk of neuropathy, with symptoms such as:

  • Numbness in the toes and feet
  • Sharp pains in the feet
  • Burning/tingling of the feet
  • A weakness of the muscles
  • Foot deformities and ulcers

Diabetic neuropathy can also cause the loss of feeling in the feet, bringing the possibility of being injured and not feeling it. For example, you may get a rock or pebble in your shoe, and because you can’t feel it, it can rub and cause injury and if left undetected can become worse and lead to infections.

Wearing medical grade compression socks can help alleviate many of these symptoms. Compression sock gives more pressure at the foot and less at the calves, providing better circulation to the lower extremities, especially the feet. This improved circulation can help prevent swelling along with improving nerve sensitivities.

How Do Compression Socks Work

Compression socks and hosiery have been shown to promote better blood flow through the graduated compression to the leg valves and veins. Calf-length socks that cover the calf muscles have proven to be the most effective.

How to Select the Best Stockings/Socks

Depending upon your level of neuropathy can help choose the best compression socks. If you don’t have full-blown symptoms, a regular pair of compression socks that are comfortable may be just fine.

If you do have progressive symptoms, it is very important that you contact your physician to discuss the proper care of your feet and legs. Your doctor will also be able to help you choose the best medical grade compression for your individual situation.

Compression comes in various levels of compression. For instance, a lower or mild level (up to 25 mmHg) can help reduce symptoms such as swelling and achy legs, along with spider/varicose veins. It should be noted that higher compression levels may be contraindicated for some diabetic patients, so your physician should be consulted to help you determine the best level of compression.

While this is a basic look at how do compression socks work to help diabetics, we must stress upon how important it is that your physician is involved in choosing the best compression wear for you!


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