Because compression socks need to be stretched over the foot and up the leg due to their tightness, they can be a bit of a challenge to put on.
The good news is there are easy techniques to get compression socks on without breaking a sweat.
This article tells you how to put on compression sock to be appropriately aligned and benefit you in the way it should.
What this article covers:
The Best Way to Put Compression Socks on
Compression sock fabric is thicker and more elastic than regular socks. If you have limited mobility or strength in your hands and arms adds to the difficulty of getting them on.
Step 1: Choose Correctly
There are several compression sock levels. Compression socks with a low level of compression are sold over the counter without a prescription. Typically these stockings are easier to get on as long as you have the right fit.
Most compression socks have measurements on the packaging. Check the size chart and measure your calf and foot before you buy, to ensure you have the correct compression sock size.
If you are an athlete who wants to wear compression socks to improve your performance, then compression socks with grips on the bottom could be of great benefit.
Compression socks on prescription from your health care provider have certain specifications and typically have a higher pressure level.
If your compression socks have been prescribed, trained staff at a medical supply store will measure your legs to ensure a proper fit.
Step 2: Prepare Your Legs
Preparing your legs is not a must, but it can help the socks slide on more easily and avoid irritation against dry skin.
Lightly dust your legs with baby powder or cornflower to help the socks slide up more easily.
Step 3: Prepare the Socks
The trick to putting a compression sock on easily is to double it over itself so that the top is inside out.
Reach your hand inside the sock, palm up, and pinch the heel.
Hold onto the heel while you pull the rest of the sock over your hand. The sock should be doubled over itself to form a booty on the inside, with the top of the sock inside out.
Step 4: Pull the Sock Over Your Foot
The open part of the booty, where the heel is, should face your body as you put the sock on.
Holding onto both sides of the sock, slide your toes into the sock and gently slide the stocking over your foot and heel like an anklet sock. It is essential to ensure the sock is correctly aligned and the heel part covers your heel evenly.
Step 5: Ease the Sock Over Your Leg
Gather the loose fabric firmly with both hands to pull the sock up over the rest of your calf. Do not hold onto the sock around the top band. It would be best if you pulled the sock firmly to get it over your leg, and pulling on the top band can separate it from the rest of the sock.
With your thumbs inside the sock against your calf and the fabric gathered in your hand, ease the sock over your calf up to your knee. If your socks bunch up or reach over your knes then your compression socks are too long.
Wearing latex or rubber gloves will make it easier to grip the socks and pull them up. Latex gloves worn by healthcare workers are the best, but dishwashing gloves will work too.
Step 6: Smooth The Sock Out and Check Placement
Make sure the sock is smooth all over your leg. You don’t want any doubling over or gathering, as that will create discomfort and potentially restrict blood flow in that area.
You can smooth the sock out by sliding your thumbs into the side of the sock, gathering the fabric, and working the sock up and around your leg.
The sock should end two finger lengths between your knee crease at the back of your knee and the top of the sock. If the compression sock is too high or stretched out, the top can fold over and restrict blood flow.
Tip: Use a Donning Tool
If you find it impossible to put a compression sock on using only your hands, you can use a donning tool. A stocking donner makes it easier to put on compression socks, especially if you have limited mobility or arthritis.
A stocking donner is a small, usually metal device with a cylinder-shaped tube in the center and handles on either side.
The user places the stocking over the tube, then puts their foot in the tube and pulls the stocking up over their leg smoothly and evenly, holding the handles on either side of the device.
How to Put Compression Socks on Someone Else
Step 1: Prepare the Sock
When you put a compression sock on someone else, place your hand inside the stocking, grab the heel, and double the stocking over itself to form a booty inside the sock. It is easiest to face the foot of the person you are assisting.
Step 2: Slide the Sock Over the Foot
Before placing the sock on the foot, ensure the fold line is nice and smooth, and the heel cup is at the back of the sock.
Place your fingers inside the sock on each side. Stretch the sock open and gently slide it over the person's toes. If you feel resistance and the sock does not slide to the heel, check that it is not snagged on the toes.
When the sock reaches the top of the foot, use your thumbs to guide it over the heel and smooth it out over the foot.
Step 3: Ease the Sock up the Leg
Gather the rest of the sock up in your fingers, and ease the stocking up over the calf to two fingers below the knee crease using your fingers and thumbs.
If the sock is wrinkled, smooth it up over the leg. Using latex gloves helps get a grip on the sock and smooth it out more easily.
Compression socks can be challenging to put on. But if you follow the steps above, you’ll get it right in no time.
Choosing the best foot compression socks for your needs is vital, ensuring you have the correct fit. If you want compression socks to benefit you, quality is also essential.
At Gain The Edge, quality meets comfort and enhanced performance. Our compression socks optimize blood circulation, help prevent injuries and accelerate muscle recovery.
Did our blog meet your needs? You might also find our other guides helpful:
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