Posted by Dynamic Physiotherapy
Foot swelling is an issue that many pregnant women face. The condition can present unsightly inflammation and pain symptoms that make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.
Compression socks can provide relief from foot swelling caused by pregnancy if they’re used correctly. Understanding how compression socks work helps you determine the best options for eliminating foot swelling.
Pregnancy and Edema
Swelling of the feet during pregnancy is also referred to as edema. It consists of the buildup of fluid that remains in the body during and after your pregnancy.
Excess fluid causes the extremities to swell, which can stretch the skin and lead to inflammation.
Low levels of swelling are common, as fluid accumulates to support the childbirth process. This fluid is eliminated soon after in most cases. But in others, it can remain for an extended period of time and can be difficult to treat.
How Compression Socks Work
Compression socks tighten the surrounding skin and relieve many of the common symptoms associated with edema. Their levels of compression can vary according to your needs.
In general, a compression range is given such as “10-15 mmHg”. The highest level of compression occurs at the feet and gradually decreases as you move towards the top of the stockings.
Your physiotherapist will prescribe the right compression level to provide you with relief from foot swelling.
High levels of compression may be required if you don’t experience benefits with over-the-counter compression socks. Many patients note some discomfort upon initial use of compression socks. But these quickly dissipate as they become accustomed to the sensation.
Compression Sock Types
Compression socks come in a variety of types including knee-high, thigh-high, and full-length options.
For women needing support around the ankle and lower leg, knee-high compression socks are ideal and convenient. They can be put on first thing in the morning and removed whenever necessary.
Thigh-high compression socks provide increased support around the knees and mid-thigh areas. Full-length compression socks provide lasting relief to the legs and back.
Over-the-counter compression socks typically have 15-20 mmHg of compression. These can be purchased at our local pharmacy or online. They’re ideal for treating low levels of swelling and varicose veins.
More significant cases will require a compression level of at least 20-30mmHg. Your doctor can prescribe medical grade compression socks to help you address severe swelling and varicose veins.
Consulting with a physiotherapist is essential to getting the many benefits that compression socks provide. You’ll find long-term relief from foot swelling and its symptoms so that you can resume your normal activities and restore your wellbeing.