How Do Compression Socks Help With POTS?

I recently shared a post about compression socks on my instagram story and I had several folks reach out and ask why I wore compression socks for POTS. (If you want more information on POTS and how it’s diagnosed read my post on it here).

POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, is a condition where your autonomic nervous system malfunctions and doesn’t push enough blood back up when you stand up. In other words, gravity wins and pulls down more blood than your body can react against. As a response, the heart beats faster to try to pump more blood back up. Hence the tachycardia symptom.

In POTS, there can be two reasons why blood doesn’t make it back up:

Low blood volume (there’s not enough blood, so it can’t reach all the way up)

Loose blood vessels (lack of vasoconstriction doesn’t push blood back up)

In both cases, compression can help POTS- to augment the lack of blood volume or of vasoconstriction- to push blood back up towards the head and the heart.

POTS Compression- two people showing the impact of blood pooling without and with compression
The impact of compression on POTS. Two people are shown, one without compression and one with compression. Both have POTS. The one with compression has more blood available to the upper body than the one without.

There are various strengths and styles of compression. Strengths can range from light (10-15mmHg), medium (15-20mmHg), strong (20-30mmHm), firm (30-40mmHg) depending on your condition and what your doctor prescribes. Styles can include knee-high, thigh-high or waist-high, and can be footed or footless. There are also abdominal binders for those who find that blood pools in their stomach region or those who feel tired after eating.

Have questions? Let me know in the comments what you’d like to see on a future post! I hope this gave you insight into why I wear compression for POTS.

One reply on “How Do Compression Socks Help With POTS?”

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