The unsung hero of the medical professional’s wardrobe: the compression sock. This genius piece of clothing is sometimes written off as a geriatric device, however we think that anyone who spends any time on their feet (that’s you, dear nurses!) needs at least one pair for each day of the week.

Wearing compression socks is not only a fun way to accessorize your professional closet, but can be an easy method of prevention and mitigation for sometimes serious chronic conditions associated with long hours standing and walking. They really do make all the difference, whether you lead a more sedentary lifestyle or have your cardio game on lock.

[Read: Best Compression Socks for Nurses]

How Long Standing Hours Affects Health

Nurses rarely get a chance to sit down during the day. And standing, walking, running down the halls of your hospital or clinic for so many hours can have an adverse effect on not only the health of your legs but your broader well-being. Some of the most common symptoms experienced by people who stand for a living are:

  • Muscle fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Joint compression
  • Spiderweb veins

The results of a long time spent on your feet may yield more serious ailments if left unattended. These can include:

  • Carotid atherosclerosis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Chronic edema

Prevention of many of these disorders starts early, and wearing compression socks regularly can make all the difference. If you’re still not convinced, keep reading to see top reason why you should start wearing compression socks today.

Why Nurses Need Compression Socks

Compression socks reduce leg fatigue.

Compression socks are designed to improve circulation within the legs. Blood moves more slowly if major vessels are in a vertical position (ie if you’re standing for 8+ hours every day.) Your muscles will begin to tire, as oxygen is getting to them at a much, much lower rate than optimal. Compression socks, effectively, do what your venous valves do. By squeezing your legs, they encourage blood to move through more efficiently and deliver the much-needed oxygen and other nutrients to fuel your legs throughout the day.

Compression socks reduce leg swelling.

If you’re on your feet all day, tissue fluids inevitably begin to build up in your legs. This can be extremely painful and uncomfortable if ignored for too long, and may even affect your ability to stand and therefore to do your job. Compression socks keep consistent pressure on your vulnerable extremities, which prevents the pooling of fluids and resultant swelling, allowing you to stay light on your feet.

Compression socks prevent foot and leg pain.

Pain is just a fact of any job wherein a moment of rest is hard to come by. However the benefit of improved circulation provided by compression socks can significantly reduce this risk. Oxygenation of muscles, delivery of nutrients, not only keeps your leg muscles healthy and happy but also prevent pain. Some studies even show that boosted circulation may help to remove lactic acid from your muscles, so they can recover from stress quickly and easily.

Compression socks reduce varicose veins.

This unsightly condition is no fun. An indicator of stress placed on the veins and malfunctioning valves, they can hurt the sufferer and cause problems like swelling and clotting. Wearing compression socks will give your leg veins an effective scaffolding, as well as preventing the buildup of blood, helping to prevent them from going varicose. And if you already have this condition, compression socks will act as a crutch, helping your veins do their job, and making your life a little bit easier.

Compression socks prevent blood clotting.

If blood cells are moving, it’s harder for them to clump up and clot. Healthy circulation and blood movement are goals everyone should be striving for, but compression socks can help keep the blood flowing even on cheat days. They prevent pooling, as we’ve said before, reducing the risk of clotting even in those with the condition deep vein thrombosis.

Compression socks are fun!

The compression socks we encounter most in the wild are the dull, white, cast-like devices given to patients with leg injuries and leg-related illnesses. But not all compression socks are like this! There exists a myriad of styles, colors, heights, even pressures on the market, so you can find a pair that takes care of your unique needs, and with some cute scrubs can show off your personal style.

It is important that nurses take good care of their bodies, so they can keep taking care of others’. One small thing you can do for yourself, but something that has a great effect, is to wear compression socks on the job, to keep your feet healthy and happy.

Medely is a nurse staffing platform that takes the stress out of scheduling, leaving you with more time to curate your work outfits. To find out how Medely can make your life easier, visit our website today.

If you are looking for a change of pace, check out these additional posts from Medely, How To Become a Travel Nurse, and Nurse Staffing Agencies By Location for advice and resources on shaking up your career with new sights and challenges.