03rd October 2022
Neuropathy Socks: 10 Tips for Finding the Best Compression StockingsDr. Jill Barat, PharmD
If you have neuropathy in your legs and feet, it is important to have at least a few pairs of socks that are specifically built for people with neuropathy.
Peripheral neuropathy symptoms can include burning or sharp foot and leg pain, the feeling of “pins and needles”, reduced blood flow, swelling of the feet and legs, numbness, less ability to feel pain in the area, or even loss of balance or decreased coordination. Many people with diabetes develop peripheral neuropathy, and are then more prone to wounds on their feet and legs which may be difficult to heal or more likely to get infected.
With the use of socks specifically crafted for people with neuropathy, you may be able to decrease foot and leg pain, reduce swelling, improve balance, and protect the feet and legs from wound development or infection.
There are a lot of socks for neuropathy on the market with many different sizes, shapes, and compression levels. So, how do you pick out the best one for you?
Below, we will cover X tips to help you find the best neuropathy socks for you.
1. Check with your doctor to make sure neuropathy socks are a good idea for you
Many people with neuropathy may be able to benefit from neuropathy socks or compression socks. However, there may be some situations where a sock with compression may make matters worse, like people that have peripheral vascular disease of their lower extremities. In this situation, extra compression could make circulation worse instead of better.
That is why it is a good idea to get the “ok” from your doctor first before just deciding on your own to pick up some compression socks. Your doctor may even be able to point you in the right direction as far as what might be the best compression level and sock height for you.
2. Know how to identify the compression level
One thing that is important to know when choosing a compression sock, is just what the compression level numbers mean.
There are a few different compression ranges going from light compression to strong compression.
The 4 levels of compression for socks are:
15-20mmHg - The lowest compression, not considered medical class
20-30mmHg - Medical class 1
30-40mmHg - Medical class 2
40-50mmHg - The highest compression, Medical class 3
The range levels on these compressions are there because the compression changes throughout the sock. The bottom of the sock around the ankle area has the highest compression, and the compression incrementally decreases in the gradient towards the top of the sock in order to encourage blood to flow upward and improve circulation. It is important to choose a sock with a gradient in order to get this positive effect on blood flow.
Your doctor, or the medical supply store staff may help you identify which compression level is best for you.
3. Opt for sturdy socks to help prevent wounds
Aside from the extra compression lent by neuropathy socks, there is also usually a built-in thickness or sturdiness to the socks.
This can help prevent little cuts and scrapes from occurring in the first place due to the strength and density of the socks themselves.
4. Find socks that feel comfortable
The neuropathy socks that you choose should feel comfortable. Feeling some pressure from the socks is ok, and shows that they are doing their compressive job.
But, if you are in pain from the sock, or are experiencing bruising from the pressure, it is likely too strong and not a good fit for you.
5. Look for socks made with antibacterial materials if prone to cuts and scrapes
Some neuropathy socks are made out of fibers that are naturally antimicrobial like bamboo, or include features like copper-infused fabrics that naturally reduce bacteria and microbes on the foot, legs, and wounds that they are in contact with.
This extra antibacterial help may be great for people that are currently dealing with healing wounds, are prone to knicks and cuts, or suffer from foot odor.
6. Find socks with smooth seams to prevent rubbing and discomfort during wear
Finding seamless neuropathy socks is an important feature if you are sensitive to discomfort from rubbing and blistering during walking.
Many neuropathy socks will take care to make the seams flat, soft, and in locations that would be less likely to cause discomfort when moving around or wearing the socks all day.
7. Choose socks with extra cushioning if pain during walking is an issue
Some people with neuropathy have more ball or heel pain when walking, and may be dealing with additional foot issues aside from only the neuropathy.
If this sounds like you, you may want to choose a neuropathy compression sock that mentions having extra cushioning on the bottom of the sock for improved comfort when walking around.
8. Pick out white socks if finding cuts and wounds quickly is important
If you have foot or leg neuropathy, it can be extra important to locate any cuts or wounds on the foot as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of infection.
For this reason, many neuropathy socks are made all in white, or have a white bottom in order to easily spot any new wounds by looking for blood when taking off the sock. Injuries on the bottom of the foot may be especially hard to see, so having this extra layer of protection to signal a wound may end up being life-saving in certain situations.
9. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics if prone to fungal or bacterial infections
If you are prone to lots of foot perspiration or are outside in the heat often, choosing moisture-wicking neuropathy socks may help avoid bacterial or fungal infections developing on the foot or in between the toes, like athlete’s foot.
10. Non-slip features can help hold the sock in place all day
If socks are uncomfortable or you are having to continuously tug them back up all day, it is less likely that you will stay compliant with wearing them. Plus, the compression features may not be working as well to encourage proper blood flow if they are not staying in place.
Choose a neuropathy compression sock that has enough hold or a smooth rubber lining at the top on the inside that holds itself in place throughout the day easily, without being uncomfortable.
NeuraZenx and PodiVite supplements for neuropathy and foot health
At Zen Nutrients, we understand the importance of a good sock to help with your neuropathy symptoms and prevent wounds on your feet. You may also benefit from a daily supplement meant to support the general health of your nerves and feet.
We carry NeuraZenx to help support nerve health, as well as PodiVite which focuses on the general health of your feet. Using these along with a high-quality neuropathy sock and listening to your doctor's treatment recommendations may be a great addition to your neuropathy regimen.Learn more about NeuraZenx and PodiVite on our website to see if these supplements may be a good fit for you and your feet.