Compression socks and the associated compression stockings are special hosiery items designed to assist in the relief of pain and swelling in the feet and legs when a person is forced to stand or walk for an extended period of time. Throughout the day blood will tend to pool in the lower extremities due to gravity. This pooling can be not only painful but it can also lead to associated medical problems such as phlebitis, edema, and thrombosis. These are all serious problems which can be caused by poor circulation.

Compression socks and compression stockings are designed to combat the affects of gravity on blood circulation. If a person stands for an extended period of time, for example while working as a cashier, he or she may find the feet tend to swell and feel painful. This is often times caused by the blood pooling at the lower extremities of the body, the feet and legs, because the heart has a hard time pumping it back to the core. This can be very serious and can result in blood clotting that may result in death if the clot breaks loose and travels to a major organ such as the heart or brain.

Compression socks are not to be confused with socks designed for diabetic foot problems. Diabetic socks are made loose fitting so as to counteract the foot pain associated with this debilitating disease. Compression stockings, on the other hand, are designed to fit tightest at the feet and then relieve pressure the farther up the leg they reach. These socks are constructed of elastic type materials such as rubber, spandex, or lycra. They also may have padding on the bottom of the sock for more comfort when standing but not all socks offer this feature.

By constricting the foot these socks actually help the heart to pump the blood back up to the body core. This facilitates the removal of body waste from the blood and allows it to be re-oxygenated and to pick up nutrients. The blood is then pumped back to all areas of the body in the normal circulatory pattern.

The term "life blood" means exactly what it says. Good blood flow is critical to a healthy body. If you are having problems with pain or swelling in your feet while standing or walking talk to your doctor about the need for compression socks and stockings. Millions of people have found relief using these specially designed hosiery items.