Compression socks offer their users a ton of benefits. From everyday muscular support to increased blood flow, they can help heal injuries, lower and prevent post-surgery swelling, improve your athletic performance, and so much more.
But if you just bought a pair, you’re likely in the dark about compression socks' efficacy timelines and when to expect a noticeable change.
So, how long does it take for compression socks to work? Let’s take a look at how quickly compression socks work and what to do if they aren’t providing the relief you need.
What this article covers:
How Long Do Compression Socks Take to Work?
If your compression socks are the right fit, you should notice a change almost right away.
Compression socks offer circulation and healing support by applying (sometimes) gentle pressure to the affected area, which should relieve pain immediately, even if only slightly.
But when we look at how compression socks work, you’ll notice that relief doesn’t mean the same as healing. It’s because of this that determining whether or not the sock is helping you do better can be a little difficult.
Unfortunately, no set time frame applies to all compression sock users and their needs. A compression sock might provide relief but takes weeks or even months to show real, tangible change.
Luckily, we’ve got a little guide to help you figure out whether your compression socks are helping you on not.
If you got compression socks like these grip compression socks to help with your performance, it’s likely to increase blood velocity, help muscular performance, and delay or prevent blood pooling and eventual leg fatigue.
Unless the compression sock is too tight, you’ll feel support and relief during your workouts almost immediately.
If you’re not dealing with an injury, you can also expect less acid buildup and fatigue and less joint pain after your first use. You should have a faster recovery after the second use.
But it’s also important to remember that not all bodies work the same. If you don’t notice a marked difference after five to seven uses, check out how to measure compression socks and consider a different pair for your needs.
Sports Injury Healing & Support
Of course, if you’re healing from an injury, compression socks won’t immediately fix your problems. But they will provide support, pain relief, and better blood flow which will help you heal faster.
One of the best ways to check whether compression socks are helping a sports injury heal is swelling.
If you’re putting on compression socks during the day or before practice, you should notice less swelling right after practice or any type of strenuous activity. This doesn’t mean there should be no swelling–just that there should be less.
If you don’t notice a difference, find a replacement that provides ample support and promotes healing.
Chronic swelling from lymphatic problems and circulator conditions like varicose veins benefit greatly from the support of compression socks. But because these conditions are chronic, it’s hard to tell how long it should take to know whether the socks are working or not.
If you’re using compression socks for a chronic condition, there should be an improvement in pain and swelling after the first use. After a month of consistent use in a routine recommended by a doctor, you should notice better management, decreased symptoms, and less pain.
Prescribed Compression Socks
Similar to chronic conditions, prescribed compression socks and their efficacy is subject to the condition you're trying to treat. If you’re dealing with a chronic issue, follow your doctor’s wear advice and timeline.
If you’re dealing with an acute issue or an injury, the doctor will give you a timeline and indicators that show the sock is working. With prescribed socks or compression socks for the elderly, it’s always better to consult your doctor on the healing timeline.
All that being said, prescribed compression socks should offer pain and heaviness relief almost right away.
What to Do if the Compression Socks Aren’t Working
Compression socks are awesome tools but like most things, they’re prone to error. If you’ve checked the above list and noticed your compression socks aren’t helping in the correct timeframe, consider the following:
- Size: For the compression sock to do its job, it needs to be the right size. Either buy a bigger or smaller compression sock or add support with a mid-calf grip sock. You can also learn more about compression sock grades before making your next purchase.
- Sock vs Sleeve: If a compression sock isn’t doing the job, it might be time to consider the merits of the compression sock vs sleeve debate, and which one will work better for your unique needs.
- Washing: Always read the compression sock washing instructions. If you wash the socks wrong, they could lose their shape and their efficacy. If you didn’t wash the sock according to the instructions, you’ll have more luck buying a new one and doing it right the second time around.
- Quality: Lastly, not all compression socks are made equal. A good quality compression sock will provide more support and do so for longer. You’ll also be able to trust the mmHg grade of the sock. Browse the best compression socks for ones you can trust for quality products.
With these common issues and their solutions out of the way, you can easily find a compression sock that does the job and does it quickly.
Whether you are healing from an injury or need more support during a sporting event, compression socks can help. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell whether the compression sock you bought is doing all it promised to do.
With this guide and some personal tracking, you’ll be able to gauge whether your compression socks are working in the time frame they should and if isn’t, how to fix the issue.
Did our blog meet your needs? You might also find our other guides helpful:
- Wearing Compression Socks Too long
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- How to Wear Compression Socks
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- How Long to Wear Compression Socks for
- How to Put on a Compression Sock
- What Do Grip Socks Do?
- What Are Ankle Socks?
- Best Running Socks
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- Do Running Socks Make a Difference?
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- Socks as Gifts
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- How to Wear Grip Socks