The Role of Compression Socks in Reducing Fatigue and Enhancing Comfort among Nurses



Being a nurse takes a very unique set of skills, incredible efficiency, knowledge, and endurance. If you’re surprised by the last part of the description, that’s okay, it’s commonly disregarded just how demanding a nursing job can be.

Nurses are some of the most dedicated and capable people in the medical profession, and while that makes them invaluable, it also exposes them to various health risks. One of these risks is the fact that they’re standing and walking for hours and hours on end, and to avoid different blood circulation issues, they need to take good care of their legs. This is where compression socks can make all the difference.

Why do nurses wear compression socks?

Nurses work extremely long hours, and most of them they spend on their feet. In the long run, this can cause pain, swelling, and serious blood circulation problems in the lower legs. To mitigate the aftermath of the all-day-standing routine, nurses wear compression socks, which were created to help with exactly their type of problem.

These garments provide pressure around the ankle and the foot, which gradually becomes milder as the sock moves up the shin. This type of pressure narrows the blood’s path, and then the vein pressure rises to pump the blood through the leg and up to the heart. Compression socks make it easier for the blood to go against gravity instead of staying stagnant and pooling in the legs, which can cause discomfort and different vein conditions.

This is why you’ll see nurses running around the hospital, their colorful socks on display. There are now brands out there that have recognized the needs of the nurses to be comfortable but also look good, so it’s never been easier to find stylish and supportive nurse socks. If you’ve got a friend who’s in this line of work, getting them another pair of these is always the right call, as long as you remember to get the measurements right.

How do compression socks work?

We already mentioned that the magic of compression socks lies in the way they apply pressure to the foot and the lower leg. You need your blood to always be circulating without a glitch, which can be difficult when you spend several hours standing during a surgical procedure.

In these situations, compression socks are there to give your circulation a bit of extra nudge by applying pressure on the foot, the ankle, and the lower shin. Compression socks usually go just up to the knee, where the pressure is at its lowest.

This graduated pressure system improves venous pressure and, with it, blood flow because the blood moves faster from the feet, so there are fewer chances of the veins getting clogged. Compression socks also help move lymph fluids out of the legs, thus improving lymphatic drainage, which lets you stay light on your feet. Basically, if you’d like to have healthy veins, this type of hosiery is your one-stop shop for just that.

What do compression socks help with?

If you’re a nurse or someone close to you is, you know exactly how much circulation problems can affect the overall quality of life. Here’s how compression socks can help you solve or at least better manage these problems.

  • Compression socks are made, among other things, to prevent or reduce swelling that happens after spending 12 hours on your feet.
  • Using these garments could stop you from developing a variety of venous disorders like varicose or spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and blood clots, which can be very dangerous.
  • Wearing compression socks regularly will alleviate the pain you feel in your legs after a long day so that the aches and heaviness aren’t overpowering or painful when you go to bed.

As you can see, there are many benefits to compression socks, but it’s important to do research before you buy your first pair. There are different levels of compression and different sizes, so be sure to know what you’re looking for. It’s generally a good idea to start with mild compression, which can be in the 8-20 mmHg range. Remember to measure your leg as well so that you can get the right size otherwise, the socks could be too tight or too loose.


It’s easy to understand why nurses swear by compression socks, these garments are basically made for the type of job they have. Remember that while the socks are versatile, not everyone should wear them, especially people with diabetes, severe peripheral neuropathy, ischemia, or peripheral arterial disease. But if you’re a healthy individual and working as a nurse, wearing compression socks could be a game changer.