Diabetes is one of the growing concerns among adults 18 years of age and above. World health Organization (WHO) estimates that the global prevalence of diabetes is increased to 8.5% in 2014 as compared to 4.7% in 1980. Diabetes is identified as one of the major cause of lower extremity (LE) or peripheral edema, venous insufficiency and deep vein thrombosis, leading to multiple or combined etiologies. Compression therapy is a non-invasive treatment regime to improve the blood circulation in patients suffering from diabetes, varicose veins, and spider veins thus maintaining desired pressure in the feet’s and legs.
Compression socks accelerate venous blood flow by providing a gently graduated support to leg veins and valves creating improved blood flow. Compression socks are available in varying degrees of compression ranging from mild to higher levels of compression. The levels of compression are expressed in millimeters of mercury (mmHg), and different levels of compression socks are used in a treatment of different medical conditions. A mild level compression therapy (up to 25mmHg) is used to relieve the symptoms of swelled and paining legs, varicose and spider vein. High levels of compression therapy, greater than 25mmHg is considered contradiction for a diabetic patient.
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The low-level compression therapy socks do not require a physician’s prescription while higher therapeutic compression socks are not sold without the doctor’s prescription. Compression socks are available in various fits and sizes are often considered as the first line of treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, and edema in patients with diabetes. Apart from this compression therapy is largely exploited by athletes with venous insufficiency. The compression socks market is expected to generate substantial revenues over the forecast period.
The overall cost of diagnosis of diabetes remains as high as $245 billion in the U.S. in 2012. Diabetes remains one of the foremost accelerating factors for compression socks market growth. A diabetic patient is at higher risk of developing venous insufficiency, peripheral edema, and DVT. Therefore, wearing compression socks delivers desired pressure at the foot and less pressure at the calves maintaining proper blood circulation. This prevents swelling and improves any nerve sensitivities.
Furthermore, compression socks are cheaper and much simpler than alternative treatment therapies and hence remain the most popular choice of the patients with DVT and other prophylaxis. Additionally, increasing use of compression socks among athletes with the prime focus on improving the venous return by applying graduated compression around the calves is expected to drive the market for compression socks over the forecast period.
Presently, some manufacturers are focusing on providing custom fit compression socks according to the patients need. This is expected to reflect positive growth in the global compression socks market. Such compression socks are available in various sizes and are highly used due to extended comfort and ease of use. The market for compression socks may witness declining revenues owing to use of poorly fitted socks. Thigh length fitted socks, incorrect shape and size can lead to increased risk of thrombosis. Also, inadequate reimbursement options available for compression socks is further expected to hamper the market growth.
The global market for compression socks is segmented on the basis of product type, compression levels, distribution channel, and geography:
- Segmentation by Product Type
- Knee High
- Thigh High
- Pantyhose/ Maternity
- Waist Attachment
- Segmentation by Compression Level
- Mild Compression
- Moderate Compression
- Firm Compression
- Strong/Extra Firm Compression
- Segmentation by Distribution Channel
- Hospitals Pharmacies
- Retail Pharmacies
- Online Channels
Compression socks market is expected to exhibit significant market growth over the forecast period attributed to high incidence of venous diseases such as DVT among rowing number of diabetic and aged group population. Greater penetration of compression therapy among patients also decreases the number of amputation rate.
By product type, the global market for compression socks has been classified into knee high, thigh high, pantyhose/ maternity and waist attachment. Knee high socks product type segment is highly preferred product type segment owing to better patient compliance with regards to the better fit of the socks type.
By compression level, the global market for compression socks has been classified into mild compression, moderate compression, firm compression and strong/extra firm compression. The level of compression depends on the severity of the disease condition.
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By distribution channel the global compression socks market is segmented into, hospital pharmacies, retail pharmacies and online channels. Hospital pharmacies remain the primary distribution channel for compression socks.
By regional presence, global compression socks market is segmented into five key regions viz. North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America will continue to dominate the global compression socks market attributed to growing number of diabetic patients and rising awareness among patients and physicians regarding the efficacy of compression socks therapy in the treatment of edema and venous insufficiency. 20-30mmHg is the most prescribed compression level among patients with venous insufficiency. This compression level range is also used among patients with venous thrombosis during extended travel.
Growing obesity rates and increasing prevalence of diabetes, result in venous and diabetic ulcers leading to greater penetration of use of compression therapy in the region. Rising awareness among growing number of an individual regarding the DVT coupled with rising aging population is creating more demand for compression hosiery in European countries. Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in global compression socks market.
Some of the major players operating in the global compression socks market are
- FLA Orthopedics Inc.
- 2XU Pty. Ltd. JOBST USA
- Prime Compression
- Bio Compression Systems Inc. and COMFORT PLUS CORPORATION.