Compression socks are the perfect gift for frequent travelers

If you plan on taking flight this holiday season, compression socks are perfect for your own carry on and make a great stocking stuffer for the frequent traveler on your list.

Traveling — whether you’re flying or just sitting in the car for a long journey — can leave the legs and feet swollen. Wearing compression socks can make a big difference.

“When someone uses compression gear, the whole point is to minimize or prevent fluid buildup in a body part,” says Dr. Karena Wu, owner and clinical director of ActiveCare Physical Therapy, in an interview with TODAY.

Types of compression socks

Before buying just any old pair of compression socks, be mindful that there are three main types of socks and stockings:

  • Graduated compression: requires a professional fitting with the strongest point of compression at the angle and decreasing towards the top
  • Anti-embolism: has various levels of compression depending on your needs; often used to reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis
  • Nonmedical support socks: doesn’t require a prescription; usually relies on additional elastic support to relieve tired and aching legs

Benefits of compression socks

  • Boosts leg circulation
  • Supports veins
  • Prevents blood clots and venous ulcers
  • Helps reduce swelling
  • Reverses venous hypertension
  • Improves lymphatic drainage

While compression socks are perfect for those who suffer from fluid build up, they aren’t recommended for just anyone. Those who are pregnant should consult with a doctor, as should those who have sensory issues.

Most compressions socks can be found at a local pharmacy, while others have to be ordered and fitted through a podiatrist or chiropodist. For those who just want a little added comfort, compression socks can easily be found online.

Our picks this week

‘Tis the season, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is your No. 1 source for things to do, see and eat through all of the holidays.

DO: These five Christmas trends have made a comeback

SEE: Holiday magic awaits at Stone Mountain Christmas

BUY: Shop these 8 women-owned brands this Christmas

For our full coverage of holiday events around metro Atlanta, check out the AJC’s Atlanta Winter Guide.