Why didn’t anyone tell me about compression socks when I went through my nursing? Sure, we discuss compression for our post-op patients to prevent blood clots or to improve wound healing, but I didn’t realise that the same principles could bring some welcome relief to my tired, aching legs at the end of a 12 hour shift.
Take the ache out of the day
Nursing is hard work. The hours are long, and the work is challenging. It stresses your body and your mind. While some think that tired, aching legs is synonymous with nursing, it doesn’t have to be. I look for any and every way to alleviate or prevent any physical discomfort. Fortunately, compression socks help increase circulation of blood flow and oxygen1. This helps remove the lactic acid from building up in the muscles2.
Keep the swelling down
After working a 12 hour day, swollen legs and feet are almost guaranteed. You may be able to prop your feet up and get your significant other to give you a foot rub to reduce this issue, but wouldn’t it be great to avoid it altogether? Compression socks have been proven to reduce swelling3.
Reduce the risk of varicose and spider veins
Standing for extended periods of time can cause varicose veins by allowing blood to pool and enlarging veins in your lower extremities4. Even if you love the colour blue, you probably aren’t in love with the thought of your legs starting to resemble the tributaries of the Murray-Darling River. Just because nurses wear scrubs at work, doesn’t mean you should feel the need to cover up those beauties when you’re off the clock. However, it can be awkward and uncomfortable to let your stems show if you have developed spider veins. Luckily, compression stockings help relieve symptoms and slow the progress of varicose veins4.
Dress Code doesn’t impact your sock selection
Compression socks come in many fun and funky colours and patterns. Even the most strict hospital uniform policy may not have any rules when it comes to the colour or pattern of your socks, but it’s always worthwhile checking first. You can jazz things up a bit, and increase your mood and confidence, by wearing something that makes you feel fabulous. Under your solid scrubs, you can rock some amazingly stylish and expressive compression socks.
Love Your Legs
Your legs work hard every day and don’t get the level of respect they deserve. Seriously, when is the last time you pampered those beauties? Do you get enough pedicures? Do you give them rubdowns daily? What are you doing to give your legs (and yourself) some love? Compression socks give your legs tight hugs all shift long and can help keep your legs looking and feeling fantastic.
You and your legs deserve it.