Compression stockings improve blood circulation and mitigate swelling in the feet and ankles. The level of compression is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg) and ranges from 15 to 40 mmHg.

Compression stockings treat a type of blood clot known as a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), promote circulation post-surgically and in those who are immobile, and treat varicose veins meaning during pregnancy women may find it necessary to wear compression stockings. Specialty shops and foot chiropodists like Feet First Clinic in Toronto often retail compression stockings in a myriad of styles and offer a wide variety of treatments for blemishes and improper gait issues.

Being sedentary for long periods of time can impair blood circulation and, therefore, People who sit a lot benefit from having their legs compressed. Those who are on their feet constantly can ease leg pain and fatigue by wearing compression stockings. If a person takes 10,000 steps daily that equals roughly 5 miles or 8046.72 meters. A build-up of lactic acid in the blood decreases athletic performance; increased circulation reduces lactic acid in the blood, so while competing or working out, athletes may choose to wear compression stockings. No longer strictly ugly and beige, compression stockings are available in many styles and can even be a fashion statement.

Diabetes decreases blood flow to the feet possibly leading to amputation – a risk that can be reduced by compression stockings. Over the last decade in Canada, treating diabetes and diabetes-related complications have cost $15.36 billion. Diabetes can lead to nerve damage in the foot known as neuropathy. At its most severe neuropathy causes a complete loss of sensation in the foot. When damage occurs to the nerves that release the oils that lubricate the skin the feet can become dry and cracked possibly causing the skin to peel. Untreated calluses can turn into ulcers of the foot which if left unaddressed can lead to infection. While there is a wide range of preventative measures a diabetic must adhere to in order to remain healthy, compression socks are certainly a helpful tool!

Now, let’s talk about shoes and foot care. There are many styles of shoes, but good quality and a proper
fit should always supersede style. Diabetics should wear shoes made specifically for those with diabetes.

There are seven common foot problems that can be attributed to poorly fitting footwear.

  • Blisters
  • Bunions
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Hammer Toe
  • Stone Bruise
  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Claw Toe

Some of the above conditions have multiple possible causes and may or may not be painful, but all might be avoided with the proper shoes.

Proper footwear and compression socks combined can give you a leg up on foot problems. We often take our feet for granted, since they are so far away from the control center of the brain, but without functioning feet, it’s very difficult to live a full and healthy life. Consult with your local foot doctor to determine what combination of socks, shoes and inserts will be the best for you. Walking to work whenever possible strengthens the feet and the heart, and helps generate endorphins as well!