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Our Foot Care Blog

An ongoing series of informative foot health articles

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Blue knee high compression socks
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The Beginner’s Guide to Compression Socks 

March 2021

Compression socks and stockings can be a lifesaver for those who spend a considerable amount of time on their feet. Designed to utilize compression therapy, the fabric applies gentle pressure to your lower legs, which ultimately increase blood flow pumping from the legs back up to the heart. Compression socks are an incredible tool for reducing swelling and pain, whether it be from a long day at work or a long term venous disorder.

Here at Oakville Hospital Footcare and Orthotic Centre, our foot care professionals will work with you to prescribe your perfect compression socks, as well as help you find the style that best fits into your daily life. With six chiropodists between our two locations, we’ll ensure you get the care and attention you deserve when it comes to your health. Although you can buy compression stockings without a prescription, it is highly recommended that you get a prescription from your doctor to ensure you are getting the correct compression levels. A qualified compression fitter at one of our locations will take measurements to ensure you are choosing the r ight product.

Do you have extra insurance benefits to use in 2021? Chat with us to take advantage of your options across a plethora of products–orthopedic shoes, custom orthotics, and of course, medical compression socks.

Curious to try your first pair of compression socks? Here is all you need to know to guide you in choosing the right pair:

What are Compression Socks and How Do They Work?

These specific types of socks are tight around the toes and looser around the legs, while applying pressure to your legs and ankles to support your circulation. This is done by simulating the muscles natural ability to pump the blood from your lower-half, pushing the blood back up towards the heart. From there, it will be re-oxygenated and continues the circulation process throughout the body. Furthermore, they also help prevent blood from refluxing downwards towards the foot, reducing pain and promoting healthy blood flow.

What are the Major Benefits of Compression Socks?

  • Supports veins
  • Boosts circulation in your legs
  • Diminishes leg swelling
  • Prevents blood from pooling in your leg veins
  • Reduces orthostatic hypotension, which causes lightheadedness or unsteadiness when standing
  • Helps prevent venous ulcers
  • Helps lessen the pain caused by varicose veins
  • Can reverses venous hypertension
  • Can prevent development of deep vein thrombosis in your legs
  • Improves lymphatic drainage

What are the Different Types of Compression Socks?

There are three main types of compression socks or stockings you can expect to find:

Graduated compression socks

At Oakville Hospital Footcare and Orthotics Centre, graduated compression socks are our speciality. These require a prescription from one of our on-site chiropodists, as well as a professional fitting. These are designed to be tightest at the ankle and gradually loosens towards the top. Within this category, there are two preferred types: stockings that end just below the knee which reduces lower leg fluid buildup and stockings that extend to the thigh, which helps prevent hypotension and pooling of the blood in the legs. Designed specifically for mobility, there are multiple strength medical options, which you can review with our staff.

Anti-embolism socks

This style is specifically designed to prevent deep vein thrombosis, which is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in the thigh or lower leg. Similar to graduated socks, these provide gradient compression, but are designed for those who aren’t mobile.

Non Medical support hosiery

This specific type of stocking doesn’t require a prescription and is a fantastic option for busy doctors and nurses who spend much of their day on their feet. They provide uniform compression that receives some of the pressure and pain one can feel after a long day at work. These also make for great options for those looking for flight socks, which can also reduce swelling and prevent blood clots for frequent flyers. You can find this option in an array of styles and colours to blend into your daily life.

How Do I Know The Right Style For Me?

In addition to making sure you have the right prescription for your compression socks, you’ll also want to ensure you have the right size and style! Long gone are the days of sticking to boring white, black and beige socks. There are now plenty of fun and stylish options that can blend into your daily dress. Visit our centre today and our friendly staff will walk you through all options, ensure the perfect fit and the correct compression to address your pain points.

Located at two locations across Oakville, stop by the Oakville Hospital Footcare and Orthotics Centre to get fitted for your perfect compression stockings.
Have more questions? Call us at 905-338-4669 or email us at

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