4 Important Reasons Why Every CNA Should Wear Compression Socks

Are your feet and legs always tired at the end of a shift? Do your ankles swell up like balloons before the day is done? Do you run in horror from images of varicose veins? Then compression socks might be for you!

Perhaps you’ve heard of them from a coworker or have seen ads online.  Compression socks are every CNAs hidden secret to stop foot and leg pain, swelling and varicose veins. But first, what are they anyway?

How Compression Socks Work

Compression socks are merely tight, stretchy socks that provide compression to the lower leg.  Typically, compression socks start off stronger in the feet and get progressively looser as they go up the leg.

The reason for this progressive compression is to overcome the effects of gravity on blood flow.  As blood pumps through the body gravity will affect how quickly the blood can leave the legs.  Compression socks help to promote the flow of blood out of the legs back to the heart.

So why should you wear compression socks?

Blood Clots

When you are on your feet all day, gravity works against you, causing a decrease in the flow of blood in your legs.  This blood pools and can lead to severe consequences like blood clots or deep vein thromboses (DVTs).  This devastating condition can cause significant pain, and you may have to be on potent blood thinners for months.

Compression socks help to encourage the flow of blood out of your legs, preventing the blood from pooling and reducing your risk of developing a blood clot.

Reduce Swelling

Many CNA’s complain about swollen feet and ankles at the end of a shift.  Like blood, lymphatic fluid flow is also impaired by gravity.

Compression socks are not only good for blood flow, but they also help to improve the flow of lymphatic fluid, reducing swelling in the ankles and feet.  Your lymphatic system is continuously producing fluids in your body, and when you spend a lot of time on your feet, this fluid can pool in your feet, causing your feet and ankles to swell.

If you don’t want to be bursting out of your shoes at the end of your shift, consider getting a pair of compression socks.  The progressive pressure of the socks not only help the flow of blood it will also help with the flow of lymphatic fluid.

Decreased Fatigue and Pain

As a CNA you spend a long time on your feet.  When you spend an entire shift on the go blood can end up pooling in the calves and feet, leading to leg cramps and pain in the feet and legs.  Ever get home after a long shift, crash on the couch only to find that you can’t relax because of the pain in your feet and legs?

Compression socks can help.  By encouraging the flow of blood upward and out of your legs you will have less leg pain and cramping, helping you get through your day and reducing pain and fatigue at the end of your shift.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins that happen from blood pooling in the legs (sound familiar?)

There are a few reasons why veins varicose.  One is age.  As you get older your veins lose their elasticity causing them to stretch.  After they have stretched, the blood pools in these areas, and can even flow backwards, further increasing the pressure inside the vein causing the veins to enlarge and varicose.

The other reason people get varicose veins is from pregnancy.  When you are pregnant, your blood volume increases by up to 30% (crazy, right?).  There is also that baby in there putting pressure on veins and reducing the blood flow from the legs to the pelvis.

But how do compression socks help?

Since compression socks keep the blood flowing out of the legs, there is less pooling inside the veins.  This helps to stop varicose veins from starting and can also help existing varicose veins from worsening.

Being a CNA is hard, especially for your legs and feet! Compression socks are an essential tool to keep your legs and feet healthy and pain-free.  If you are suffering from foot and leg pain, find that your ankles and feet are swollen at the end of your shift, or want to avoid developing varicose veins, then you should consider getting a pair.  Your legs with thank you!