Compression Socks for Arthritis: Do They Help?
CreakyJoints reports on how compression socks may help with arthritis, why they are beneficial, and how to wear them.
CreakyJoints spoke to Kristina Marie Quirolgico, MD, physiatrist at HSS, who noted compression socks may lessen the inflammation and swelling of arthritis, by applying mild pressure to the affected joints. “Fluid can build up in a joint affected by arthritis, which can cause swelling in the soft tissues surrounding the joint,” explained Dr. Quirolgico. “Compression socks or stockings work by keeping the swelling down.” However, there isn’t much scientific evidence to support the use of compression socks for arthritis. “Most of the literature support its use to prevent deep vein thrombosis and for lymphedema control [swelling due to lymphatic system problems],” cited Dr. Quirolgico. “There are not many studies that support its use for arthritis in particular, though it does provide more symptomatic relief in keeping the swelling down,” she added.
As there are many types of compression socks, the type you wear is dependent on where the arthritis is located. “Arthritis of the knee and ankle can benefit the most from compression socks because they’re easier to put on to cover those joints,” said Dr. Quirolgico.
Additionally, Dr. Quirolgico underscored the importance of following a physician’s guidance on when to wear the socks, and advised wearing them during the day or when active. “If you wear compression stockings that are too tight overnight, you might restrict blood flow to the area, so it’s recommended to take them off at night and put them on again first thing in the morning.” When purchasing compression socks, Dr. Quirolgico noted patients should choose a stocking or sock based on the circumference of their leg. “You don’t want to cut off circulation, but you also don’t want the sock to fall down because it’s too loose.”
Read the full article at CreakyJoints.org.