What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition that is characterized by chronic pain and inflammation process in one or more joints. Arthritis affects people of all ages, but it is most commonly found in the elderly population (adults over the age of 60). Under the umbrella of the term arthritis, there are over 100 diseases and conditions such as psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus, fibromyalgia, gout, and many more. Two of the most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The symptoms of arthritis can develop over time, in the older age, and when that is the case, we refer to senile arthritis or osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis involves wear&tear damage to the joint’s cartilage. Cartilage is a firm but flexible tissue that fills our joints and enables fluidity of the movement. Without the cartilage in our body, our bones would grind directly one on another making the movement restricted and painful.
This type of arthritis is caused by the natural process of aging and health getting poorer but could be prevented by good life habits such as being physically active, eating well and not being obese, having a good quality of sleep, and so on.
On the other hand, when the condition is not associated with age, and when symptoms appear suddenly, we are referring to an autoimmune disorder – rheumatoid arthritis. In the rheumatoid arthritis condition, cartilage is jeopardized by the constant inflammation process in the joints. The body’s immune system attacks the lining of the joint capsule, a tough membrane that encloses all the joint parts.
This lining – the synovial membrane becomes inflamed and swollen during the active inflammation process. If the inflammation is constant, it causes cartilage to wear off and become thinner over time which makes movement painful. Autoimmune diseases are still a big mystery for conventional medicine, meaning that the causes why the immune system mistakenly attacks the body are unknown.
No matter the type of arthritis, they all share some common symptoms :
- Joint pain
- Skin redness
- Decreased range of motion
Besides these symptoms that are the more or less everyday reality of arthritis patients, in the long term, the condition can even make body parts significantly deformed. The knees, feet, and hands are the most commonly affected areas. People who have their legs affected by arthritis sometimes feel pain while walking, standing, or even sitting. In America, arthritis is a leading cause of disability which affects more than 50 million adults according to the Arthritis Foundation.
That is why it is of vital importance to know the benefits of wearing compression clothes if you suffer from any form of this disease. It can make your life easier, reduce the pain and make you more functional with your everyday activities.
How compression works for Arthritis
By applying mild pressure to joints affected by arthritis, thus stimulating the proper blood circulation, compression wear lessens the symptoms of arthritis. When the joint is in the inflammation process, a joint is getting filled by fluid, as well as the soft tissues surrounding the joint. As a result, we have swelling of the tissues which decreases blood flow to muscles and joints.
Blood not flowing means blood pooling in the veins for a longer period, which can as a result cause the problem with varicose veins. That further affects the mobility of a person with the condition. Compression wear squeezes a joins and thus, increases the blood flood. It prevents blood from pooling in the area and consequently promotes healing and reduces swelling.
Swollen and stiff joints also lessen the sensation and can make feet feel numb, which, for older people, means the increased risk of losing balance and falling. Compression socks help regain sensation in the swollen body parts, thus making the movement more coordinated and controlled.
Compression also helps relieve the feeling of pain in the affected joints. Combined with proper medical treatment, it can help patients will a life with less or even without any pain. Some of the benefits of wearing compression clothes are:
- Reduced pain
- Improved circulation
- Improved mobility
- Gives stability to the body
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce the feeling of soreness in joints and muscles
- Support muscles
And Skineez compression wear does all this for you while taking care and nourishing your skin.
How to choose compression socks and when to wear them
The important thing to consider when choosing compression socks when your legs are swelling is how tight and how long the compression socks are. If the compression is not optimal, that can be a source of some new health problems. Patients with a history of blood clots, circulation problems, diabetes, and skin ulcers shouldn’t be choosing compression socks by themselves without first consulting their physician. If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis, wearing compression clothing on the body parts where the skin is red and irritated is a big no.
To achieve the effect that we were mentioning, it is the best practice to wear the compression item so that it covers the area under pain, so take that as a guideline for choosing the size and the length of your compression wear. The usual length of the compression socks found on the market is under the knee, but different sizes and lengths can also be found.
As far as the period of wearing is concerned, the general recommendation is that you should wear compression socks during the day or when you are physically active. When the body is in the horizontal position, like when sleeping, the flow of the blood is easier, thus there is no special need to keep wearing them during the night. Sure, the level of compression dictates how long we should wear compression socks. If you go with mild compression, there is no danger in wearing them all the time.
Older people usually have a hard time putting the socks on, but that is not a reason to give up the idea of wearing them. This inconvenience can be surpassed by getting a special stocking aid at a pharmacy. The stocking aid is a wide frame that goes inside the stockings and makes them wide enough to help you get them on.
Also, make sure your skin is completely dry and don’t have anybody lotion because that also makes putting them on easier. It is important to note that our compression socks from Skineez are designed in a specific manner that makes them easy to put on for elderly people.
Our compression wear
As we already mentioned, the level of compression or the tightness of the socks is usually the critical part of the equation of feeling better. We, at Skineez, offer you various levels of compression ranging from 10-20mmHg which represents mild compression to 30-40 mmHg being extra firm high compression socks. To find out which one are the right socks for you, speak with your doctor and visit our store.