Leg pain diabetes
When diabetic patients need compression socks

When diagnosed with diabetes, patients work closely with their physician, diabetic educator and pharmacist on how to best take care of their health with an important emphasis on legs and feet.

People with diabetes often have circulation problems that can cause peripheral edema (swelling) in their feet, ankles and legs. There are many causes of peripheral edema, not necessarily related to diabetes, such as standing or sitting for long periods of time, physical inactivity, chronic venous disease, lymphedema, heredity, pregnancy, surgery and trauma and some illnesses. Peripheral edema can also be associated with diabetes complications such as heart disease, venous insufficiency, and kidney disease. Certain diabetes medications can also cause edema.

New research (1) shows that for many diabetic patients who suffer from edema, compression socks can help keeping legs and feet healthy, and allow the patient to have a more active lifestyle.

Graduated compression socks and hosiery have been proven to effectively promote venous blood flow by providing a gentle graduated support to leg veins and valves. A calf-length compression stocking goes over the calf muscle to be most effective. Graduated compression socks and hosiery come in different levels of compression.

A mild level (up to 25 mmHg) of graduated compression will help reduce the symptoms of swelling, tired and achy legs, spider and varicose veins and other leg discomforts. Higher levels of compression are a noted caution or contraindication for a diabetic patient (2). Your doctor can help to determine the correct amount of compression to help reduce the swelling in your legs.

Contraindications: peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAOD), diabetic foot ulceration.

(1) Wu Stephanie, et al. Control of lower extremity oedema in persons with diabetes with mild compression socks: a pilot study, 2011.
(2) Stemmer Robert. Strategies of treatment by compression and mobilisation. Switzerland: Ganzoni & Cie, 1995.

Benefits of compression therapy

Diabetic patients should talk to their doctor, pharmacist or diabetic educator about SIGVARIS Diabetic Compression Socks, as they could be the right choice if:

  • Patients have been advised to change their diet and increase their physical activity
  • Patients are experiencing swelling in their feet, ankles or legs
  • Patients are currently pregnant and are experiencing gestational diabetes

Most diabetic patients will benefit from less swelling when wearing Diabetic Compression Socks. However, not all diabetic patients should wear compression. If a diabetic patient has severe arterial insufficiency, a compression sock may not be right treatment. And, if any discomfort is noticed while wearing this garment, it must be removed and the patient should consult a doctor.

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Yes, your risk of developing an ulcer is elevated. The vessels’ functioning is so disturbed that there is stasis. Then edema appears and your skin aspect changes – at first a color change, then it itches and eczema appears. As time passes, your skin hardens. A small wound or an inflammation due to a mosquito bite are enough to cause deterioration to your skin. An ulcer forms. These changes appear gradually and can in most cases be resolved with treatment.

No, as the risk factors like genetic predisposition and higher age cannot be treated. But you can prevent symptoms and also signs of chronic venous insufficiency if you have varicose veins. Keep moving! Use the staircase rather than the elevator. Practice a sport that stimulates your venous system like cycling, swimming, or walking. Raise your legs and move as often as possible. It is also recommended to shower your legs with cold water and to wear compression socks or stockings.