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Oedema Socks: What You Need to Know about Non-Compression Socks

Posted by Mike Phipps on November 2, 2022

An illustration of six pairs of colourful and fun socks

Oedema is a condition that causes swelling in your body due to fluid build-up. It can occur in various parts of the body but is most commonly found in the legs and feet.

An illustration of two feet. One has the word – normal – under it, and the other is puffy and swollen and has the word – oedema – under it

Oedema can be triggered by a range of factors, including…

  • broken veins
  • obesity
  • taking certain medicines, such as contraceptive pills, some blood pressure medicines, hormone therapy pills, antidepressants or steroids
  • pregnancy
  • varicose veins
  • standing or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods
  • eating too much salty food and
  • high altitudes.

A wasp on a yellow flower – the background is bright pink/red

Oedema can also be caused by an injury, an insect bite or sting, problems with your kidneys, liver or heart, an infection and blood clots.

Signs of oedema include swollen or puffy ankles, feet, or legs, stretched or shiny skin, as well as skin colour changes, stiffness and dents when you press on the skin.

How to Treat Oedema

To treat oedema, you can try several things like…

A close up of a woman's legs and feet – they are raised by way of a stool

  • sitting or raising your legs or swollen areas whenever you get the chance
  • some low-level exercise, such as walking, to help your blood circulate better
  • making some lifestyle changes like going on a low-salt diet
  • wearing cushioned shoes with a low heel and flexible soles that are quite wide, i.e. non-restrictive
  • looking after your feet so, making sure you dry your feet thoroughly, in particular, in-between your toes after a bath or shower
  • avoid standing or sitting for too long and

A woman is jogging along the pavement – she is wearing very tight leggings and a top

  • don't wear clothing, socks, or shoes that are too tight.

Another way of treating oedema is by wearing non-compression oedema socks.

What are Non-compression Oedema Socks?

Non-compression oedema socks are socks designed to fit snuggly around your legs without applying any compression to your legs or feet – compression can sometimes worsen the condition.

There are many different types of non-compression oedema socks available so you can find the perfect pair for you, depending on your needs. For example, if you have circulation issues, there are anti-embolism socks that will keep your legs warm and prevent blood clots. If you have diabetes, you can find diabetic oedema socks with extra padding around the ankles to reduce pain or discomfort.

How do Oedema Socks Help?

A man's knee – he has both of his hands around the knee. There is a red patch graphic on the knee that suggests the knee is sore and painful

Oedema is caused by a build-up of excess fluid in your body. Depending on the severity of your oedema, you might feel discomfort in your legs and feet or notice that your ankles are significantly larger than usual.

The swelling in your legs and feet can make it hard to move around, perform everyday tasks and lead a normal life.

Non-compression oedema socks can help prevent and manage oedema by wicking away moisture from your lower legs and feet, reducing the swelling in your lower extremities so you can move around comfortably and easily perform everyday tasks.

Things to Consider Before Buying Non-compression Socks

There are a few things to consider before buying non-compression oedema socks. Depending on your current health and oedema symptoms, you might benefit from wearing anti-embolism socks or diabetic oedema socks. Choosing the right size, material, and level of warmth is also important.

Two women sitting either side of a desk. One woman has a white, "medical" coat on and is wearing a stethoscope around her neck. The scene looks like a doctor talking to a patient

If you want to find the best non-compression oedema socks, you should speak with your doctor first to find out which ones are best for you. Your doctor can recommend the best type of non-compression oedema socks for your specific needs and level of oedema severity.

Pros of Non-Compression Oedema Socks

  • Helps prevent swelling in the legs and feet
  • Easy to wear for long periods
  • Can be used for all types of oedema
  • Can improve the quality of life for many people with oedema
  • Can prevent blood clots from forming
  • Can help improve blood circulation
  • Can prevent pain, swelling and discomfort in the legs and feet
  • Can improve your ability to move around
  • Doesn't require special treatment or medication.

Cons of Non-Compression Oedema Socks

  • Not suitable for people with severe oedema
  • Can be too warm for some people
  • Can be challenging to put on for people with limited mobility.

A close up of two feet; both have fun, colourful stripy socks on, as well as brown shoes

The above are some cons to wearing non-compression oedema socks, but these shouldn't prevent you from trying them out.

One major con of wearing non-compression socks is that they aren't suitable for people with severe oedema. If you have extremely severe oedema, you will most likely require some medical treatment, so you must talk with your doctor about the condition.

You should also see your doctor if…

  • one or both of your legs, feet, or ankles are swollen, and the condition does not improve after treating it at home for a few days
  • if the swelling does not have an apparent cause, such as an injury
  • if the swelling becomes more severe and painful.

Final Words

Ability Superstore sells a range of oedema socks, which you can see if you click here, or on this link, and even here

These mobility aids are elastic-free and cotton rich with a 'no heel' design. They are also seam-free and have an antibacterial finish.

One beige and one black sock – part of the range of oedema socks sold by Ability Superstore

The oedema socks are designed to ensure that your feet and calves are free from restriction when wearing them. The cross stretch in the seams, which is specifically designed for problematic and sensitive feet, ensures a comfortable fit.

These socks are made from a cotton-rich fabric, and this material provides many benefits, including the prevention of heat irritation.

These oedema socks are suitable for people with diabetes, arthritis, peripheral neuropathy, sensitive feet, athlete's foot, swollen feet and ankles and are available in the following sizes…

  • small – to fit UK shoe sizes 4 to 6
  • medium – to fit UK shoe sizes 7 to 9
  • large – to fit shoe sizes 10 to 13.

You can read more about oedema if you read our medical article – you can find it if you click here.