Compression Socks and Young Adults: A Hug for Your Legs

Compression Socks and Young Adults: A Hug for Your Legs

People of any age can benefit from wearing compression stockings, which have been proven effective in improving symptoms of vein disease and other minor discomfort. Many younger people find relief while wearing these supportive accessories.

Forty million Americans suffer from venous insufficiency (vein disease). Symptoms include tired, achy legs that feel heavy, restless leg syndrome, and the appearance of varicose veins and spider veins. Because the leading risk factor for developing this common condition is heredity, vein disease can affect anyone—men and women, young adults, and older people alike.

While it is true that the risk of developing vein disease increases over the age of 30 years1, young people (ages 20 to 40 years old) are susceptible to this common, often misdiagnosed condition.

Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) compression stocking expert Bryar Caulcrick, LPN, discusses the benefits for young adults to wearing compression and opens up about why she has been wearing compression stockings since her mid-twenties. Bryar is a nurse at the Southgate, MI and Oregon, OH, CVR clinic locations. She works alongside lead physician Zoe Deol, MD, FACS, DABVLM.

Can young people get vein disease?

“There is a misconception that vein disease affects only older people,” says Bryar. It’s not uncommon to see people in their 20s and 30s come into the clinic looking for symptom relief, she added. Bryar revealed that she began experiencing uncomfortable symptoms of vein disease during her early twenties, including leg achiness, tiredness, swelling, and painful, bulging varicose veins.

After being diagnosed with venous insufficiency in her mid-twenties, she underwent treatment for her condition, including laser ablation. She describes ablation as a “very minimally invasive procedure” that took about a half-hour to complete, during which she was kept comfortable with topical numbing injections. She experienced little pain and was encouraged to get up and walk around immediately afterward. She then began wearing compression stockings, which she continues to wear to this day.

Vein disease and pregnancy

“We see many young adults in the clinics, particularly young women after pregnancy,” says Bryar. These women report seeing their vein-related leg warning signs worsen during their pregnancy and come in to be treated after delivery. These symptoms are due to the extra blood flow and the baby's weight putting pressure on the lower extremities. Because treatment is not recommended during pregnancy, moms-to-be are encouraged to wear maternity compression stockings to help relieve achiness, bulging varicosities (veins), and swelling.

Bryar recommends that all pregnant women speak to their health care provider about using compression garments to relieve swelling and help prevent varicose veins.

Can everyone benefit from wearing compression stockings?

One doesn’t need to have vein disease to benefit from wearing compression stockings, says Bryar. “Compression stockings work to help pump adequate flow back to the heart, which can help anyone,” she explains.

Advantages for young people to wear compression include:

  • Quicker recovery times and reduced muscle soreness for athletes
  • Reduced achiness and tiredness in the legs for those who are on their feet for long periods
  • Decreased muscle tiredness during exercise
  • Improved circulation during long travel
  • Lowered risk of blood clot for people who must be immobile (e.g., after surgery or due to disability)
  • Prevention of blood pool in the veins that causes swelling and varicose veins
  • Calming benefits for those who struggle with sensory issues or are on the autism spectrum

And with the fashionable styles and colors available today, compression stockings no longer look “therapeutic.”

Choosing the right compression stocking for you

Those who have not been diagnosed with venous insufficiency but would like to try wearing compression stockings to soothe aching, tired legs would probably want to start with low compression. Bryar suggests they try 15-20 mmHg, which is light compression strength recommended for people with minor pain, occasional swelling, and wants to energize their legs. She emphasizes, however, that anyone considering even light compression first check with their healthcare provider to make sure that their underlying need for compression is appropriate.

For people who do suffer from symptoms of venous insufficiency (i.e., tired, achy legs, varicose veins, swelling, etc.) and want to try compression, Bryar recommends they seek a consultation with a vein specialist to get the proper fit and compression strength to achieve their goals.

Want to try compression? We can help

Compression stockings are highly effective in improving the symptoms and signs of vein disease. It can also help anyone relieve tired, achy legs, promote circulation, or improve oxygenation of muscles during a workout.

Let us help you find the perfect doctor-recommended stocking to fit your lifestyle.