The Runner’s Complete Guide To Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are one of the most useful and effective devices that runners can have regardless of their current level and experience.

You don’t have to be a professional or competition runner to benefit from compression stockings. Wearing these for the first time will also lead to several health benefits and prevent various conditions and problems related to poor circulation.

You will find compression stockings and socks in various types and brands depending on what your areas of concern are.

What are the types of compression socks available?

Compression socks are available in two main types. The first begins at the ankle and extends over the foot. The second type begins over the calf and extends along the ankle and over the foot. You will discover that blood circulation in the legs is better when you wear these. The type you need will depend on where you are experiencing muscle spasms or swelling.

What is the difference between compression socks and compression stockings?

As the names suggest, compression stockings are different from compression socks in terms of length. The compression stockings can start from the ankle and extent up to the upper legs. There are also versions that start above the calf and extend up to the upper legs.

How did the idea of compression stockings originate?

People experienced problems in blood circulation, particularly in their legs, feet, and calves so they initially tried putting splints and bandages on. People realized that providing support to the legs actually improved blood circulation and helped prevent pain, discomfort, and edema. Over time, the material was enhanced and now individuals can make use of elastic and well-engineered stockings and socks that will protect the legs as well as improve circulation.

What are compression stockings made of?

  • Elastane – This material was invented in Germany in 1937 and comes in a number of brand names. People like the rubber-band feel of the material since it can stretch 3 to 7 times its original size and go back to the same shape afterwards. It also stays strong against cosmetics and other harsh elements.
  • Nylon – Nylon is synthetic fiber and is known for its high-strength, softness, and elasticity. Runners like wearing nylon compression stockings because it protects them from scratches.
  • Lycra – This is a spandex-type fiber that can stretch well and give you extra strength. Manufacturers usually mix it with other materials like silk and cotton.
  • Microfibers – Known for being the finest among all fibers, it is finer than silk and is ideal for runners because of its ability to control temperature and allow the skin to breathe.
  • Spandex – Spandex is a great material that’s known for its stretching ability. It allows runners to move freely, while at the same time supporting the problem areas in the legs.

What advantages do compression socks and stockings provide?

Primarily, compression stockings boost circulation in the lower legs so runners can last longer and feel more comfortable. More oxygen can access the areas, thereby preventing related problems like sprains, shin splints, and achiness. Runners feel stronger and can withstand fatigue for a longer period of time. Other problems that can be avoided include cramping and pain.

The material used for compression stockings and socks allow the skin to breathe so runners stay cool throughout the course. They also don’t have to worry about movement because the material can expand at least 3 times its original shape to provide flexibility without losing support. Beginner runners can cope better and improve their strength and endurance after a few weeks of running with the support devices.

Many individuals also report recovering faster after the race or run. They don’t have to deal with so much lactic acid accumulating in the area because oxygen is supplied properly.

How should I choose the right compression stockings?

  • Determine your problem areas and places in your legs where you feel pain, discomfort, tension and achiness. You need to wear socks or stockings depending on the location.
  • Consider the material and thickness of the device. Check the breathability and flexibility. Compare different brands and wear the materials to see how well these suit your needs.

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