compression hose and diabetic socks

By kittenpurr1 Latest Reply 2012-02-11 21:12:14 -0600
Started 2011-05-12 19:15:10 -0500

Okay, if we aren't suppose to constrict, why does the foot doctor say, use compression hose for swelling, but the diabetic socks are so much more comfy, they don't eat into your skin.

84 replies

draco59 2012-02-10 22:56:12 -0600 Report

Hi Kitten,
I just started using them, for swelling, Rx by my cardiologist. They work great. Sugars are fine, swelling gone. My swelling is from two of large veins closest to the skin have enlarged to the point the valve won't close all the the blood pools and causes the veins to get larger. I still wear my diabetic socks, toes get cold. The only bad thing, well really not bad, I have to pee more often, but I guess it the extra fluid being push out. So I guess that’s a good thing.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 14:17:33 -0600 Report

Yes, you want to remove the fluid. Thanks.

draco59 2012-02-11 14:39:33 -0600 Report

Thanks, I know that kitten, I’m on diuretics, and pee a lot to begin with. I just didn’t realize I had that much extra fluid in me. I know the swelling is from extra fluid, but they also tell you to drink plenty of water, sometimes it doesn’t make sense……
I’ve been wearing them almost a week now; I put them on in the morning after my shower and don’t take them off till almost 8 at night. Even though there just knee-hi, I didn’t realize how hard they were to put on. But I have normal legs again. I have a new appreciation for women, put on and wearing pantyhose….. LOL
How are you doing with yours?
Have a great day :)

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 14:50:11 -0600 Report

My feet swell very bad, and have so bad- I had to wear slippers to the doctor, that is when she ordered alot of test- so, when I tried the knee highs, they cut behind my knee real bad, so I got some thigh highs - haven't tried them yet- they are still in the bag. My legs were miserable, with the compression socks. They 1st thought it may be PAD, but it's not…it's something else. The arterigram was good, so now they want me to see a vein doctor for more test. I tried wearing them- when my feet and legs were at their worse. In 2011- I was diagnosed with sooo many things. From day 1- of 2011, till the end of December I was still having test performed. Right now- I don't have any insurance, so I can't do anything- This just occured this week, so…I applied for disabilty over a year ago, still waiting. I have some pretty expensive medictions she has put me on, lately. I at times, think thry are having a battle with each other.

draco59 2012-02-11 15:09:51 -0600 Report

I'm sorry; you should at least try the thigh high again, there cheaper than have the veins that need to close. I know meds are expensive; you need to keep calling them or writing them about getting your disability. You need to keep after them. If you don’t you’ll never get it, that’s what they’re hoping for.
I wish you the best of luck

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 15:18:59 -0600 Report

Thanks so very much. I have wrote the Senators, and even higher ups. Because now, I have a dire need for the hearing. This wait has been so long. This is a hard state to fight. I will try the thigh high, it was a better kind than the knee highs that I purchased. With the diuretics, we are suppose to push fluid with fluid, that is a lot of water.

draco59 2012-02-11 15:40:29 -0600 Report

Just keep at it. I'm sure you'll get it. Here, where I am, I seem like every other person is on it and most don't need it, sad…
Good, youhave to just give them a chance, I think you'll be suprised…
I know, take diuretics, drink more water, pee more lol, one big circle.
thanks kitten

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-11 14:47:09 -0600 Report

Mine are thigh high. The hardest part is the same as for the knee highs. Getting them over the foot and ankle has gottn easier over the about 18 months of practice. By the time I've reached the area below the knee it is easy. Well, unless the darn thing decides to have a few wrinkles behind the knee.
Leg vein valves were the culprit for many of my problems. The Dr. ablated the bad ones. Hope it taught the others not to misbehave.

draco59 2012-02-11 15:22:04 -0600 Report

Hi Graylin,
Ya, when there brand new, your right that first part is a killer; it’s my morning workout… lol. My wifes, an RN said a little baby powder works well. I can imagine trying to put them on someone else….
My cardiologist is trying this first before zapping the veins. I had a venous ultra sound last month. So were going with these for 90 days first.
Good luck, hope yours learned their lesson… :)

Anonymous 2012-02-11 15:49:05 -0600 Report

Sounds like your veins aren't as bad as mine were.My cardio (I call him my leg Dr) didn't hesitate to ablate those bad boys. He said my legs were the worst he had every seen. The surgery followed by compression stockings has the best outcome of no leg ulcers recurring in 3 years. After seeing how my Dad's legs kept having constant ulcers, pain, swelling, infections, etc the odds without surgey were to bad for me to refuse surgery. My right leg felt so much better than my left leg hours after surgery I could hardly wait for the left leg to be done. The Dr asked if I wanted to schedule leg 2 st the followup and I said I would be crazy not to want it. He said there are some people who don't do it. My 1 year US looked great.
Much harder to apply them to another person. I had an abdominal surgery last year. My husband managed to get them on me in practice before hand. We bought one of the assistance tools and he did much better with that. After surgery I was in the hosp for most of a week with the leg inflation things on. Then at home he only had to help me one day. I managed to move just enough by the next day to get them on myself.

draco59 2012-02-11 16:43:11 -0600 Report

Thanks for the advice, Mine wants to see if this works, no ulcer and olny a couple cases of cellulitist
Thanks again :)

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-11 16:47:19 -0600 Report

That would have been the way to go except for me, according to my Dr there was no doubt the surgery was vital. I think he said something about normal people as opposed to me being not normal.

draco59 2012-02-11 16:56:45 -0600 Report

but who's to say way normal… LOL, really, I understand, mine explained it this way, I'm over weight, so the veins are streching out because of the extra blood build up. so the valves can't close because they are to far apart, so more fluid build up, makes the viens bigger. One big circle.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-11 17:05:12 -0600 Report

Also extra weight in the abdominal region can cause pressure on leg veins making them work harder. In my case large fibroid was causing complications, removal of fibroid and some other useless female stuf recommended by 3 Drs. Drs 1 and 2 said it would really help the vein issue. Dr 3 was skeptical, but all agreed the surgery was needed for oher healh reasons . Dr 3 (A GYN) became a believer when she saw almost instant improvement in my legs. I was probably her only patient she said "Let me see your legs" to before she looked at the surgery site at the follow up visits.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 17:20:49 -0600 Report

I have been told the extra weight in the abdominal area could be from the liver problems- and my thyroid stopped working, too. So, now I have thyroid pills, haven't had them but 2 months. Hope they help, don't like looking pregnant. Liver problems are from the meds, and some peoples liver just doesn't process medications as well as it should, and she keeps giving me Tyenol #3- which I keep saying let's try something else- Like Percodan, at least that's got aspirin in it.

draco59 2012-02-11 17:17:43 -0600 Report

Thats where mine is and man boobs, and no butt, They want me to 140 lbs. I'm glad you stuck with it an got someone tolisten and got it taken care of. Stick with her, she sounds good.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-11 17:24:36 -0600 Report

I would but she is the one who specializes in what was taken out. And she was the doubter about it helping the legs. She knew it was needed for other reasons. One of the other Drs referred me to her, He and the other Dr are keepers too. Although one of them has moved out of the country, my leg guy (Cardio). He better come back if I ever need him though.
Quickest 7 lbs I ever lost. However that weight loss plan is not available to men.

draco59 2012-02-11 17:38:11 -0600 Report

Well I can have a boob reduction lol, my cardio Dr. is great, but my GP, who takes care of my sugar and other things, is retiring soon, so I'm in the process of find another Dr. and my cardio Dr. is getting me in to an Endocrinologist.

draco59 2012-02-11 21:12:14 -0600 Report

I know who I'm going try and get into see, but there 60 miles away. My cardiologist is from there. But he comes to town once a week.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-11 16:17:18 -0600 Report

Sorry did not mean to even go near the anonymous button. My Mouse has been playing all over today. It has moved 3 times and sent me to odd pages in the middle of typing. The above message is from me Graylin.
Plus the darn keys keep sticking and my misspellings are worse than normal.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 16:30:42 -0600 Report

Don't worry about that- I think we all have mouse troubles at times. Don't worry about misspelling, at times- I type in a language, that even I don't understand. I know it's from the carpal tunnel that I got 1 month after being diagnosed diabetic, along with the nerve damage from the hand to the neck- she told me all of that was due to the diabetes. I just hate it took that long for some one to find it. I had started seeing her in Sept., she was out in December due to a medical emergency, came back in mid-January looked at me, and said, "Something isn't right." So, we did the 3GTT test, and there it was, the next month, I had nerve damage. I try to use these hands every day to keep them work- able. Thanks.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 15:58:56 -0600 Report

From day 1 of January last year has been constant diagnosing one illnesses after the other, 4 rounds of shingles, 2 types of arthritis, even in the toes, causing toes to become deformed, the list just doesn't stop- I have seen 4 different heart doctors, none agree on anything. The heart is enlarged, now- liver problems from medications- and on and on.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 14:58:34 -0600 Report

Best wishes. They never talk to me about anything. I was diagnosed over a year ago. I know they have a heavy patient load, but I didn't know very much at all. They still haven't told me alot. It was the foot doctor that told me to wear the hose, or try them. ( She sent me to the foot doctor) The foot doctor scares me, b/c she didn't want old xrays, then she told me she had nothing to compare these she took with, so my thinking was…I brought you reports and you didn't want them. Then she looks like she just got out of school, and then she starts talking about snipping nerves in my toes. I have arthritis in some toes, and she is worried about ulcers. So, I tried to find my old Podiartrist, but I don't know where he went. This young lady scares me, I think I would rather have an orthapedic doctor snipping things- but I just lost insurance this week- so…no one is going to do anything for a while. I am trying not to stress this, b/c I know it leads to more problems. Thanks.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 14:35:12 -0600 Report

When I tried the compression socks, they cut into my legs right under the knee, and I used the lowest compression, I have had ultra sounds done to find out what was causing the swelling, then I was sent for an arteriagram, now she wants me to see a vein doctor for more test, and that is going to have to be put on hold for awhile. I know the diabetes and the arthritis in the feet both can cause some swelling, but I also found out that I have an enlarged heart, too. I take fluid pills too- but they can make the sugar rise, and the Potassium low. So, now I have Potassium pills, too. I look like the drug store.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-31 20:01:51 -0600 Report

Diabetic socks have no seams to possibly wear on your toes and cause sores and the material allows for moisture absorbing and that is all. Compression socks come in different strengths and keep the circulation flowing in your legs to help swelling and varicose veins. The dr will tell you what strength you need, and they take effort to get on and off. They also are seamless and absorb moisture. They are very expensive, usually $59 to start and up, but most insurance co will pay for two pairs a year. The socks put even compression and help, especially if you stand all day.

Since you have swelling, why not try them and see for yourself. I would ask the dr to give you a prescription or call it in to a medical supply co to have your insurance cover it, unless you don't mind paying for them. I'm the diabetic, but since my hubby is a chef and stands for long periods, I got him a pair and he said his legs have never felt better! You can get them in different styles and colors, I like the plain white athletic ones.

kittenpurr1 2012-02-11 14:20:05 -0600 Report

I got some, and was going to ask for a presciption, but lost all insurance this week. Last year, the insurance paid over 3 grand on me, and at the end of December she put me on about 4 more medications. But - just lost all insurance for everything- so hopefully…something will happen that's a positive soon. Thanks for helping.

felixthecat79 2011-11-15 22:31:20 -0600 Report

I use Jobst diabetic socks. They seem to be the most comfortable and last the longest. You can find diabetic socks at walmart they are cheap and made cheap too. I used to go to a medical supply store but found that I could buy them cheaper online…the best prices I've found are on

kittenpurr1 2011-12-08 17:57:56 -0600 Report

Thanks for replying. My feet and legs are swollen so bad right now. I don't like the Walmart brand, I looked at them, and at other places, and just didn't get any.

felixthecat79 2011-12-09 10:42:17 -0600 Report

No problem. If you sign up for their news letter at the compression shop they will send you a coupon code for discounts on their products.

kittenpurr1 2011-12-09 18:48:33 -0600 Report

Thanks for the info, and replying. Right now, they have been swollen up pretty bad since Thanksgiving, I had to go for ultra sounds on the legs this week.

Jackie375 2011-05-15 19:03:40 -0500 Report

You got me and I personally have had to wear the compression socks but now I just wear my diabetic ones. Sometimes it seems like one hand don't know what the other is doing or maybe I should say one doctor doesn't seem to know what the other is doing or wanting. Lack of communication between doctors. We can't tell them as they don't seem to listen to us. I don't know.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-16 05:59:19 -0500 Report

I totally understand that 100%- I agree they don't listen. If you find one that does, it's rare, and it's my advice to keep them, the doctor that is.

Zolar1 2011-05-15 17:56:50 -0500 Report

Ummm, even if my doctor wanted me to wear thigh highs, I am not sure I would do it. Guys just don't look right wearing anything like that.

Isn't there something else a guy could wear? I was thinking bike shorts, but they aren't long enough.


red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-31 20:15:32 -0600 Report

When you are in enough pain, you'll try anything, haha. No seriously, they do come in regular looking white athletic socks and below the knee. Read my post(long) at the top of the page.

I was one of those who didn't want to wear them, but went in for surgery and they had me put on thigh high's, hubby liked them, you guys! They said it was because of my diabetes and high blood pressure, when I woke up a machine was hooked up to both of my feet applying pressure on and off continuallly, and I fell in love with it. I asked if I could buy the machine as my legs had never felt better. After having the machine on untill the next day, I swear I could have danced all night. That made me decide to give the socks a try and they do help.

Maybe you could just wear them under your pants for work and at home?

kittenpurr1 2011-05-16 06:00:54 -0500 Report

There is a we site that sells socks very inexpensive, so I will check on the hose things there, see if they have them. I am not paying 8 dollars for a pair of knee highs, and they don't look right with shorts.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-15 18:13:17 -0500 Report

Well IMHO my Dad's legs would have looked much better in thigh highs. Also the rest of the family would have agreed. Maybe he would have lived longer if he had used them.

Zolar1 2011-05-15 18:33:29 -0500 Report

Well, if it meant that I would be alive and walk, I guess I would wear anything if I knew it would help. It's just the stigma of a guy wearing 'thigh highs', even if they are surgical one's. People don't seem to hear that part…

Which should I tell my wife to get me? Haynes or Leggs? LOL Sheesh…

Zolar1 2011-05-16 07:12:51 -0500 Report

OK, then how would I explain that to my wife?

"Honey, can I borrow your thigh highs- doc says I need to cross dress because of my poor circulation?" (WIFE THEN SMACKS ME HARD & SAYS are you nuts??? You gotta SHAVE first?)

OK, how would I hide something like that if I wore shorts??
Society is becoming more tolerant of things like that, but how would you feel if your man wore stuff like that?


kittenpurr1 2011-06-09 12:53:44 -0500 Report

They have compression socks for men, and they can come in a few colors. When you legs and feet swell, there's a problem, and it means the blood isn't getting to your heart fast enough, so it pools in the legs and feet- it's your life, and my feet stay swollen from the time I get out of bed, till I sleep, then we start the same thing the next day, and this can lead to poor circulation, which that means- plus…you don't want congestive heart failure.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-16 13:41:58 -0500 Report

Look - I didn't say wear thigh high with shorts, wear them under your pants, and put socks on, on top of the compression hose. Also, they make the compression knee highs in dark and beige, so - they look like a sock, you don't wear your wife's hose, those aren't probably even compression hose. So, if you ask your wife if you can wear her hose, let her know she can wear your tie, lol. For sure, you can't hide it with shorts, but maybe the colored socks. Look, I am having a hard time with this, too. I just looked at some this weekend. I didn't buy them- still looking. But my feet swoll up 2 sizes larger than normal, so I didn't have anything to wear, and the sweling comes from arthritis, diabetes,and medications. So, we aren't suppose to go barefoot at all.
Just look at them, and see- you don't have to buy them, they are with the diabetic socks.

Zolar1 2011-05-16 14:10:04 -0500 Report

LOL… no heels for me! I was trying to put a smile on people's faces. I know it's hard. I don't have to wear them yet, but I think I am going to have to soon though. It's nice to know ahead of time what to expect, what to do, and especially what NOT to do.

My ankles are what usually swells a little, and my hands too. I wore one of those ankle braces like an ace bandage. The ankle was fine, but my toes really swelled up.

Have you looked into quinine as a treatment?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-16 16:29:12 -0500 Report

They do come in a lot of varities. Many styles look just like trouser socks. If you can go to medical supply stores to see and feel the material it helps. Most are microfiber and really comfortable. I have had problems with a few because my toes are wide and some of the styles don't have as much room for the toes. A few of them I have cut of the toe box and the have worked better for me. There are also toeless ones. Some are a little easier to get on.
There are several places to order them over the internet. But I haven't order any from them yet.
Juzo, Mediven, Activa, and Therafirm are ones I have worn. Jobst is another big name company - the only style I saw was a heavy material that looked like my Great Aunt's The Drs. spent 3-4 of the weeks I was in the hospital and then another couple of months easing me into the idea of how important wearing them would be to my health, while my legs were healing enough to wear them. The first week in the hospital they were just trying to save my life and legs.
It is so nice to have my slender legs and ankles back. But it is even nicer not to worry about what damage the swelling could be causing. Ulcers and cellulites are horrid. Then the though of getting a MRSA infection again is beyond horrid. Sorry to be so adament but my legs could have featured in the starring role of a horror movie last year. The pain was off the scales. Trust me, compression stockings beat wound care any day. Those dressings don't look good with anything.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-16 14:58:09 -0500 Report

No, but I will check it out. Diabetes, arthritis, and medications = swelling, standing too long = swelling. I joke around too, in hopes it will also make omeone smile.

Zolar1 2011-12-08 14:49:36 -0600 Report

Have to ask my wife what color is best. Perhaps gray with little pink hearts? LOLOLOL (NOT!!!)

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-15 18:40:09 -0500 Report

Do leggs still come in the useful little egg box?

I have learned that there are a whole lot of people wearing the compression stockings. They aint your Grandparent's stockings today. Well except for I did feel one (did not buy) that felt like my Great Aunt's stockings from the 1930's. I am so glad for the space program and microfibers. Which poses the guestion "Since we can send a man to the moon, can we get a man to wear compression stockings?"
PS I really thought the stockings would be horrible. They really aren't.
Maybe some of the bicyclists should wear them with their sexy shorts to make themselves more aerodynamic.

jayabee52 2011-05-15 18:41:18 -0500 Report

Answer to "Since we can send a man to the moon, can we get a man to wear compression stockings?":


kittenpurr1 2011-05-16 13:44:18 -0500 Report

He used to wear hose to stay warm on the field. I hear he aches alot now, too. I guess so- he had a lot of hard knocks.

Zolar1 2011-12-08 14:50:48 -0600 Report

How many women would want their man to wear pantyhose, stockings, or tights, even if it were for medical reasons?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-12 23:37:32 -0500 Report

If you're Dr. suggests you wear compression stockings ask what type you need to use. They come in different compressions and lengthes. Without the thigh high compression stockings prescribed by my vascular surgeon I would be at risk of a 50% change of needing wound care within 36 months of the initial healing. They keep my legs from swelling from bad blood circulation. The edema from fluid build up would increase the risk of cellulites and ulcers developing again. Even after two venous closure surgeries last year my legs start to hurt before 15 to 20 minutes have passed without either the compression stockings on or my feet being elevated. I did notice that last year, while I was healing, the compression bandages did dig in around my knees where they ended. The thigh high 20-30 compression stockings are much more comfortable. Some brands are not as comfortable as others. The silicon band doubles over and hurts on those. Measuring and getting the right size makes a lot of difference in the comfort level. I also have a few different brands since they vary in length. This helps becase where the silicon band hugs my leg can get a little irritated somedays. By having the bands at different places on my leg each day helps prevent this. My father had the same problem with his leg veins not working correctly. He refused to wear his compression stockings. He also refused to elevate his legs.He almost always had ulcers on his legs and infections. His skin kept getting worse and worse. He was in almost constant pain. He also had several blood clots.
The difference between constrictive clothing and compression stockings is,
constrictive clothing can pinch nerves and cause pain. When my legs were swelling my regular socks would pinch where the elastic was around my ankles. Sometimes it would take several days before the pain would go away.
My wound care Dr. and his nurses explained that when you have swellling the blood corpuscles cannot travel as easily because of the excess fluids. The oxygen cannot be transported properly. Then the problems with ulcers, cellulites, and infections kick in. Because I got MRSA I end up with ulcers over most of both legs below my knees. The pain was horrible. I hope nobody ever has to feel it. I am lucky I didn't have to have my legs amputated. I am also lucky I didn't die from the MRSA.

edvel54 2011-05-12 20:19:01 -0500 Report

The diabetic socks are much more comfortable. The compressions socks are suppose to help push the blood back up to your heart. When I sit too long, the blood in my leg will start to pool around the ankle and my leg gets really sore and hard. When I wear the compression socks they feel so much better.But my kids hate them…they have to help put them on me.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-12 23:43:46 -0500 Report

Can you use the wire stocking applicator aid. I got one because I had a TAH (or as I refer to it they cut and gutted me like a fish). For about 1 week my husband had to put my stockings on for me and it really helped. He has a spinal cord injury and has problems with his left hand. With the applicator he was able to easily put them on me when I wasn't able to bend and reach far enough. There are several types available.

kittenpurr1 2011-05-12 20:21:58 -0500 Report

Oh my- I know I don't want to wear hose. I have lots of swelling, so the foot doctor, told me about compression hose. She just said, you need to wear them, then the other doctor says, nothing constricting. I am so confused
I do like the socks, they are so comfortable, my others were eating into me.

edvel54 2011-05-12 21:03:56 -0500 Report

They do make compression socks that are not as tight as some. I got some at Walmart and Kmart that are consider light and they seem to work just fine. they were about $7.00 a pair. They were in the sock aisle.

Zolar1 2011-06-10 00:02:11 -0500 Report

OK, knee highs would help with the lower leg and feet swelling, but wouldn't that just shift the swelling to just above the elastic band? Much like an ace bandage does if it's snug?

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-06-10 00:58:11 -0500 Report

I think it would depend on why you are swelling. In my case it was because some of the pumps in my leg veins had gone bad. After surgeries to ablate the worst veins compression stockings apply enough help on my legs to assist the veins in returning the blood to my heart. I wear the thigh high and do not have a problem with swelling above were they end. Since compression stockings have gradient compression that helps with the swelling at the top edge also.
Possibly you could have a problem if the stockings are too small for you. When you get fitted for them pay attention to how they measure your legs. Some brands are measured at different places on your leg. Sizes vary from manuacturer to manuacturer. In my experience the juzo have the most comfortable band of the brands I have tried. It stays in place, does not double over, and does not cut in at all. It is a little wider than the others. But I don't know if this is true of the knee highs since I have only tried the thigh high.
If for some reason you notice the knee high length is uncomfortable where the top band is you might consider trying a thigh high. The hardest part of getting the stockings on is getting them over your ankle. The rest is easy. Some of the silicone bands are more comfortable than others.
When I was using compression wraps they went to just below my knees. It did seem like swelling did occur above the top edge of the wrappings. But when I tried to apply the wrappings up higher, they kept falling off. The surgeon wrapped them and they stayed up. But I never managed his skill level at wrapping.
If lymphedema is causing the swelling the Dr or Therapist would explain how far you need to wrap to prevent problems.
If it is swelling from another reason I don't have any experience, so don't know if the swelling would react different to the compression.

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