The concept of graduated compression socks can be mystifying and intriguing to anyone looking to experience the magic. So what exactly does a graduated compression design entail and what really makes it so much more special than the average stocking? As experts in graduated compression gear, we’re here to fill you in on how the technology works, the different levels of pressure that should ideally be applied in certain conditions and why PRO Compression socks are the leaders in the compression garment industry.
What Are Compression Socks?
Compression socks are a special type of stocking designed to apply pressure on certain limbs or body parts. This type of clothing can be worn for different occasions and used to treat different conditions. They can be worn on the job, in the plane, at the office, on the field or to the doctor’s and promote better circulation throughout the body’s various joints, muscles and limbs. This means bartenders, servers, frequent travelers, 9-5 corporate job employees, athletes of all walks or someone recovering from surgery can all benefit from compression socks. Many compression socks are built with a special type of design. This is the graduated compression technology—where the magic happens.
What Is Graduated Compression Technology?
While you may have heard of compression socks, graduated compression socks are most likely the ones you want. Socks, sleeves and garments with a graduated compression design bring even more to the table when it comes to utilizing compression for comfort. The special design has one main goal, and that is to help promote optimal circulation to the part the garment is wrapped around. Graduate compression design does this by placing more or less pressure strategically on certain points to produce the best blood flow to that area.
So for example, over-the-calf compression socks apply more pressure towards the ankles and feet and as they move up the leg towards the heart, the applied pressure eases to help push blood up the leg. This action helps to reduce swelling and pooling of blood to one area. Gravity works to pull blood down the limbs while graduated compression technology pushes blood up—the result is the synergy and balance between the two forces and it’s where the magic takes place in compression socks.
What’s a Compression Level?
A compression level simply refers to the amount of pressure a compression sock, sleeve or clothing applies to the targeted body part. Pressure is measured in the millimeter of mercury (mmHg) and when choosing compression socks and garments, you’ll notice a pressure range that that particular product applies.
It’s important to understand the different types of pressure ranges and the scenarios in which they would be most effective. If you choose the wrong pressure, you may not get the most benefit from compression gear. For instance, a professional soccer player wearing socks that hold a lower compression level made for more leisure activities may not be getting the best circulation benefits, while someone sitting at a desk job who wears a high-level compression sock, might get uncomfortable with the excessive pressure being placed on their feet.
Which Level Is the Proper Fit For You?
Which pressure serves your purpose? Whether you’ve been prescribed a specific level of compression by a doctor or are simply looking to soothe daily aches and pain, there’s a compression sock for you. Below we outline the target compression level ranges, from low to high, to suit your particular needs:
8-15 mmHg: This is the lightest amount of pressure that will be placed on your limbs. It’s ideal for those with tired or achy legs that need a subtle boost in circulation.
15-20 mmHg: This range treats mild conditions such as varicose veins and the aches and swelling caused by pregnancy or traveling for long periods. Compression socks in this range are ideal for anyone who sits or stands for a long period of time and can help prevent deep vein thrombosis from occurring.
20-30 mmHg: This is the compression-level sweet spot for many compression sock wearers. It means you’ll experience a moderate pressure on your limbs. Those with edema, deep vein thrombosis or varicose veins will appreciate socks that fall in this range. Compression socks with moderate-level compression are also ideal for many types of athletes including runners.
30-40 mmHg: This range treats more severe conditions of edema and often treats those suffering from active venous stasis ulcers. Socks at this level will most likely require a doctor’s prescription as they are considered a more intense form of treatment.
40-50 mmHg: This is the highest compression level that is mainly prescribed by doctors to treat chronic venous conditions.
Why PRO Compression Socks?
PRO Compression socks mainly offer compression levels ranging between 10 – 30 mmHg. What makes our socks extra special is that they cater even more specifically to our customer needs. Our marathon socks, for example, offer 20 – 30 mmHg of pressure and you can choose between different lengths, from ankle-high compression socks for running to over-the-calf socks or calf sleeves. We also offer compression socks made for the office. Our professional line, PRO Compression Dress, offers a mild compression of 10 – 15 mmHg and is tailored to compliment your work outfit.
With PRO Compression, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide array of bright, colorful designs that provide maximum comfort. We’ve specially designed our socks with a proprietary blend of nylon and poly materials. With careful construction and implementation of graduated compression technology, we’ve designed the best compression socks and sleeves to enhance your performance, be it in your day-to-day, rehabilitation or at the next race.
Lastly, we are proud to say all PRO Compression gear is designed and manufactured in the USA. Every sock we ship has been monitored in the manufacturing and production process to ensure that the highest quality compression product is being delivered to your door.
Experience the difference with PRO Compression and shop our truly magical compression sock collection.