PODsox compression socks are a comfortable, non-invasive way to take care of your legs.  If you are reading this article, you likely clicked through from one of our holistic partners and are looking to optimize your wellness.

Compression helps with your goal of optimizing wellness by helping decrease leg swelling and fatigue, so you can feel great and focus on the rest of life!

How do PODsox compression socks do this?  Basically it is by adding a gentle external support to the muscles and veins in your lower legs.  By working with your body’s vascular system, compression socks act as an enhancement to the natural “pump” activity that your muscles have on your veins.

The combined effects of gravity and age decrease our collagen’s elasticity.  This affects not only the things we see (wrinkles, muscle tone etc.), but also our veins.  In the case of compression socks, we are talking specifically about the veins in your lower legs.  As gravity acts on your veins and your veins become less elastic, your veins begin to balloon out, creating varicose and spider veins.  Although we cannot reverse what is there already, compression socks can help prevent progression of these symptoms.  Basically, compression socks provide a gentle external pressure on the calf, preventing the ballooning of the vein and thereby helping the blood on its journey back to the heart.

Lets look a little more closely at how all of this works.

Quick anatomy of the vascular system, if you are not familiar with it:

The heart pumps blood actively away from itself and into our tissues—muscles, organs etc.—via the arteries. The arteries have muscular walls that help speed the blood on its way to take nutrients to the body. After the blood cells have deposited their treasure of nutrients in the tissues, they re-enter the vascular system into the veins.  Veins are quite different from arteries. 

Unlike the muscular arteries, veins are more like a collapsible garden hose with a series of one way valves.  Veins have no muscles in their walls. 

Now lets talk about physiology.

Blood is helped on its way through the veins by two primary mechanisms:

-the pressure of the blood from the artery system—think of this like an engine pushing from the back of the train

-pressure of the muscles around the vein—think of this like you using your hands to squeeze toothpaste up the tube.

These pressures push the blood past the one way valves in the hose, where it waits for another burst of pressure from outside of the system (i.e., the muscles pumping, or more blood cells coming in behind them from the tissues to push the current cells forward on their journey)

Why is all of this relevant?

Over time, the pressure inside of the vascular system (blood pushing out on the walls of the veins), in conjunction with the forces of gravity, begin to stretch the walls of the veins.  This is what we see in our calves as varicose veins as we age. For many people it is primarily a cosmetic issue.  For some, however, these veins can become painful.  The other thing that happens that IS a serious health concern  with having blood pooling in the veins is a “deep vein thrombosis” or DVT for short, known to many of us simply as a ‘blood clot’. 

If a blood clot forms in one of the blood vessels of the calf it can cause a serious problem.  The first problem is occluding blood locally in the calf and causing inflammation and ultimately infection that must be treated.  Even more of a concern is if this clot breaks free into the blood system and goes to your heart, brain or lungs.  This quickly becomes a life threatening issue that must be treated emergently.

So we have a continuum of concerns from cosmetic to life threatening that can occur from blood pooling in our veins.  The blood pooling happens more easily as we age and have less elastic collagen.  Any time we sit for an extended amount of time (over an hour or two) this risk increases.

This is where we circle back to compression socks.  Compression socks provide gentle pressure back in on the walls of the veins, preventing their expansion (i.e. ballooning).  Without the ability to pool, the blood does not have time to sit around and form clots.

Due to compression socks physically limiting the expansion of the veins, these relatively simple devices are able to mechanically help prevent unsightly varicose veins.

It has been said that when there is one solution to multiple problems, it is likely a fairly good solution.  Hopefully we haven’t lost you in the medical minutia of the anatomy and physiology of compression socks.  The bottom line is that compression socks are comfortable, relatively inexpensive prevention for conditions that can be costly, unsightly and painful.

PODsox’s goal was to create fun alternatives to the traditional black, white and tan compression option.  PODsox offers two different levels of compressions.  The lower level of compression, 15-20 mmHg —known as our ‘Classic’ line is appropriate for nearly everyone.  They can be worn all day, even all night, if needed.  They are gentle enough to be comfortable for long periods of wear while still being effective against blood clots and varicosities. 

The next level of compression is appropriate for most people, especially if they are being physically active.  This level is 20-30 mmHg.  Many athletes and nurses lean towards this higher level of compression with their longer workouts and long shifts standing on their feet. 

The next question is generally:  which one should I choose?  In general, if you have never worn compression, start by talking to your doctor to ensure that this IS a good option for you.  We recommend that you start with the 15-20 mmHg socks.  If you are someone who has worn compression in the past and is looking for more support, or have been recommended to wear higher compression by your doctor, you will love our Athletic line of socks, which provide 20-30 mmHg.

More questions?  Feel free to contact us!  info@pod-sox.com