Cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy treatments may experience a wide range of side effects as the lymph nodes become obstructed, resulting in swelling in the legs, arms, or both. The phenomenon is known as lymphedema, and it causes a restricted range of motion with a tight or heavy feeling in the affected areas, accompanied by swelling and pain in many cases. While there is no definite cure, wearing compression socks may help ease the symptoms.
Lymphedema is a chronic condition that can negatively impact a patient’s quality of life. If untreated, it can lead to more health complications such as lymphatic vessel infections, obesity, and scar tissue. Doctors often recommend wearing specially designed and high-quality compression garments such as Jobst compression socks to apply gentle pressure to the legs and encourage lymph fluids to move throughout the limbs. These garments also improve blood flow through the vessels to ease the symptoms of lymphedema.
How Compression Socks Help with Lymphedema
The body can naturally transport and eliminate excess fluid, but damage to or removal of the lymph nodes during cancer treatment can result in blockages in the lymphatic system. There is no cure for the condition, but a custom integrative care program can help manage swelling. It involves using products like Sigvaris compression socks to gradually apply pressure to the legs and enhance blood microcirculation throughout the vessels.
Compression socks are longer than regular socks and may reach the knee. They gently squeeze the feet and legs, and with gradual pressure, they complement the natural decompression and compression of lower leg muscles to help transport fluid.
What are the Best Lymphedema Compression Socks
There is a wide range of high-quality lymphedema socks with different levels of pressure, and the best choice will depend on the severity of your condition and the amount of swelling. That’s why it’s recommended to get fitted by a specialist. Socks that fit properly apply sufficient pressure to move fluid from your extremities back to your heart.
A doctor can recommend and determine the best compression level for your condition. High-quality socks can offer mild to firm compression. Look for medical-grade compression garments that are proven effective to improve blood flow and drain fluid from the lymph nodes. Consider brands like Juzo, Jobst or Sigvaris to carry excellent compression socks.
Socks that offer graduated compression are also recommended. That means the fit is very firm around the ankles and gradually becomes less tight towards the top for enhanced lymph flow. Make sure the socks won’t limit your natural movements or interrupt blood flow to your feet and legs.
Are they too tight?
Sometimes, even professionally fitted Sigvaris compression socks might feel too tight as lymphedema causes changes to your body, so you may need to make some adjustments. It’s best to monitor symptoms like pins and needles, numbness, pain, and changes in skin color when using compression socks, as they indicate that the garments are too tight and disrupt your blood flow.
More benefits of wearing compression garments
High-quality garments like Jobst compression socks provide more benefits to patients. They can be worn as a preventative measure after surgery to reduce fluid build-up in tissues around the wound site. Some patients may need to wear the socks after a decongestive treatment session with a lymphedema therapist to prevent lymph fluids from returning to the affected sites. Compression garments may even speed up the healing of wound sites by delivering the crucial nutrients for boosting cell renewal and healing. They provide a non-invasive solution for alleviating mild lymphedema symptoms and reducing the need for painful surgery. Modern compression socks are stylish, discreet, and resemble regular socks, so they don’t look obvious, and you can wear them with any outfit.
Where to Buy Compression Socks
Avoid cheap compression garments you can buy from anywhere, like department stores. They may compress, but don’t provide graduated compression that is essential for easing lymphedema symptoms in the legs. Buy from a reputable store like Lymphedema Products, which offers a full line of high-quality products like Sigvaris compression socks in a range of materials, styles, compression levels, and sizes for men and women.