Compression Socks for Aching Legs and CVD

Compression Socks for Aching Legs and CVD

You might be suffering with heavy, aching leg discomfort which could include swelling, muscle fatigue, pain, or limited range of motion. This may indicate a struggle for the heart to efficiently transport blood throughout the body so a cardiac checkup is a good idea.

After a doctor’s visit you could be diagnosed as having chronic venous disorder (CVD) which affects systemic circulation, particularly in the legs. CVD conditions might include edema (excess fluid), varicose or spider veins, phlebitis (vein inflammation), or deep vein thrombosis (decreased blood flow which could lead to clots).

Conventional medicine may offer anti-inflammatory, fluid control, and other medicines however there are alternative remedies such as diet, exercise, and for some, using compression socks to help relieve your venous disorders or basic leg discomfort. Some studies show these snug but comfortable fitting garments could reduce the need for pharmaceutical or surgical venous interception. It is an easy way to get some relief while increasing circulatory health.

Candidate Symptoms

There are some telltale signs that may make you a candidate for using compression socks. According to the American Venous Forum, these are,

  • Aching leg pain
  • Easily tired legs
  • Leg heaviness
  • Swelling in the legs
  • Numbness in the legs
  • Itching or irritated rash on the legs

It’s important to note that these symptoms may come and go but dealing with occasional or chronic challenges may warrant compression sock intervention.

The Mechanics of Compression Therapy

Compression therapy uses compression socks and in some cases mechanical compression to tighten the leg just enough so it lessens the width of the swollen veins. This allows increased blood flow and valve function which in some cases has been reported as reducing CVD symptoms.

Dr. David G. Armstrong, Professor of Surgery and Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance, University of Arizona College of Medicine, co-authored ‘Compression therapy for the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency’ which states,

“Compression therapy remains the cornerstone of management for patients with chronic venous disease. For patients with venous ulceration, the benefits of long-term compression therapy (stockings or bandages) have repeatedly been demonstrated in randomized trials. Healing rates as high as 97 percent can be achieved in those who are compliant with therapy. Patients with edema, weeping, or skin changes in the absence of ulceration also benefit. The goals of treatment are ulcer healing, and reduction of extent of edema, lipodermatosclerosis, and pain.”

Don’t Ignore It

It is very important to listen to your body if you are suffering with any of these or other leg symptoms, ignoring it may result in irreversible damage. This can include the buildup of deadly blood clots which are prone to form in the legs and then travel to the brain or lungs which can lead to stroke or even death. It is particularly a concern for those traveling by plane as the change in pressure while in cramped quarters could cause systemic concern. In fact, there is a condition known as “economy class stroke syndrome,” which is the link between patient foramen ovale (PFO) a common heart defect in about 30 percent of the population and ischemic strokes during or shortly after long flights.

Published in Integrative Literature Reviews and Meta-analyses, the study ‘Graduated compression stockings as prophylaxis for flight-related venous thrombosis: systematic literature review’ concluded that,

“The results of this review support the contribution of GCS [graduated compression stockings] in preventing flight-related thrombosis. Overall, below-knee, medium compression pressure GCS seems to be effective in reducing the occurrence of flight-related DVT [deep vein thrombosis], regardless of DVT risks.”

As reported by Premier Health, The Society for Vascular Medicine states that,

“More than 30 million Americans suffer from venous disease, but only 10 percent seek treatment for it,…Wear compression stockings or socks to help aid in the upward circulation of the blood in the leg and to decrease potential swelling.”

If your are suffering with leg discomfort, chances are it won’t go away without the proper intervention. Don’t ignore systems especially when it could be a life or death warning.

Staying healthy is a daily job that requires vigilance when it comes to diet and exercise. In addition, simple remedies such as botanical medicine, bodywork and in many cases compression socks may offer an inexpensive, non-invasive remedy for aching legs and CVD.