A nurse’s work often requires them to spend a lot of time on their feet. Venous insufficiency and venous pooling are among the various health conditions that can arise from standing for long periods. These problems occur when the valves in the veins that prevent blood form flowing backward become weak and start to leak.
This slows the flow of blood back to the heart and can cause it to pool in the leg. Clots are another potential effect of this poor blood flow and compression socks can be used to correct venous insufficiency and prevent the problems it can cause.
How Compression Socks Work
Compression socks are tighter around the ankle than around the upper leg, which helps to force the blood upward instead of allowing it to pool.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Nurses
Compression socks are designed to compress the legs in order to return blood flow to normal. The pressure on the legs compresses the blood vessels as well. This makes them narrower so that the blood circulates through them more quickly, which lowers the risk of blood pooling.
Prevention of Varicose Veins
Pooled blood can cause swelling and increase pressure in superficial veins resulting in varicose veins. Compression socks cannot cure varicose veins but they can reduce the pressure that causes these veins to bulge and become unsightly.
Prevention of Blood Clots
Clots are another health problem that may result from pooled blood. Anyone who has circulatory problems is at a higher risk for this potentially life-threatening condition. Because compression socks aid circulation, the risk of a nurse developing clots and the resulting complications is lessened.
Reduction in Fatigue and Pain
Fatigue and pain are both symptoms of weakened circulation in the veins due to constant standing. Compression socks can ease these problems and help nurses to be at their best while on duty.
Important Factors When Choosing the Best Compression Socks
With compression socks, one size does not fit all. Socks are available in different sizes and lengths as well as different materials and levels of compression. Those who wear compression socks can choose the style and the material according to how they will use them.
• Material – The materials used to make these socks include spandex, lycra and rubber. The different lengths include knee, thigh and full. It is best to get medical advice when deciding which material is best.
• Compression Level – The ideal compression level will depend on the wearer and the reason they need compression socks.
• Light Compression – Nurses who stand all day at work and who experience mild swelling of the legs may use this level of compression. Light compression can help to prevent pooling and poor circulation.
• Moderate Compression – This level may be used to improve circulation and to ease fatigue in the legs if lighter compression does not work. These compression socks can ease moderate swelling.
• Firm Compression – These socks may be used by those who have varicose veins and other issues related to venous insufficiency.
• Extra Firm Compression – These are useful in cases where a nurse has severe varicose veins and edema. They are especially valuable for individuals who have other health problems that may make them prone to blood clots.
Over the Counter vs. Custom Fit
Over the counter compression socks have the benefit of being easy to get; however, they may not be ideal for the wearer’s body shape. A pair of over the counter compression socks may fit perfectly on one part of the body but poorly on another. Custom compression socks will be specially made to fit the wearer’s unique dimensions. Custom compression socks may be designed to provide one level of compression in a particular area and a different level in another area.
Sitting and walking periodically while on duty can help nurses to avoid circulation problems, as will having a healthy body weight. Nurses can use compression socks in conjunction with these things to prevent leg fatigue and more serious ailments.
Where to Find Compression Socks and Stockings in Toronto
At Core Wellness Centre at St. Clair Ave. West and Bathurst Street in Toronto, you can find the best compression socks and stockings for nurses. Drop in or call 416 479 – 8311.