Do Copper Compression Socks Really Work?
Whenever I hear or see anything about copper, I automatically think of my grandfather. If anyone complained about knee pain, he swore by putting old pennies in your shoe. People actually would come back to visit us and tell him thank you for the advice because they were no longer experiencing knee pain.
I do not know if these individuals putting pennies in their shoes was a placebo effect or if it actually worked. But, he believed it and they believed him. Now, let’s see what the research says about how these copper compression socks really work.
How do copper compression socks work?
When I first became a nurse, I worked in the hospital. Before starting my job, everyone encouraged me to buy compression socks to help decrease leg pain. I will admit this, I did not experience any leg pain after working 12 hours shifts and being on my feet the whole time, but the ankle pain influenced me to change my area of nursing.
Compression socks assist in the blood in your legs to return to your heart for reoxygenation (to receive oxygen from your lungs). As blood is pumped through your arteries by your heart, it goes all the way to your outer extremities. The blood then returns to your heart deoxygenated (reduced oxygen) through your veins.
Because our veins can become weak over time, compression socks can help to decrease swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs due to poor or decreased circulation.
While copper on the other hand has an antimicrobial benefit. This means that copper can help with preventing odor in your socks. Its antimicrobial effects render viruses, bacteria, and fungus harmless.
Benefits of copper compression socks
The benefits of copper compression socks are:
- Copper prevents odor
- Compression helps to relieve pain after intense exercise
- Compression decreases swelling
- Compression helps to remove lactic acid buildup in your muscles
Wearing copper compression socks helps with the above things, but in combination, there is no backing research to prove that combining the 2 components increases the benefits of compression socks to reduce pain or improve recovery after or during workouts.
When not to wear copper compression socks?
You should not wear copper compression socks:
- If you are allergic to any of the components that make up the sock
- If you have an open wound
- If your skin is prone to tearing easily
- If you are experiencing bruising after wearing the socks
When you go out to purchase copper compression socks, please keep in mind that you want them to fit you well. They should not be too tight because this could lead to tearing of your skin, cutting off circulation, and other issues.
Always remember to change into a clean, dry pair of copper compression socks between wears. Handwashing and air-drying the socks can help to increase longevity and decrease changes in the shape of the socks and the fabric.
Who Should Wear Copper Compression Socks?
Now that we know the ins and outs of copper compression socks, there are some things that you should remember.
Copper compression socks can help with:
- Muscle recovery
- Decreasing pain from prolonged standing and after intense workouts
- Sock odor
It is also important to keep in mind that if you gain or lose weight, you may need to size up or size down in your compression socks to prevent excessive pressure or to prevent your socks from being too loose.
Individuals have seen improvement in muscle recovery after wearing compression socks for 48 hours and some manufacturers state that their products can be worn night and day, but if you have any concerns, please consult your Physician or Primary Care Provider for the appropriate amount of time you should wear copper compression socks.
- The Use of Copper as an Antimicrobial Agent in Health Care, Research ,
- Do Anti-Fatigue Copper Compression Socks Really Work?, Clinic ,
- Can Wearing Compression Socks Be Harmful?, Health Website ,