Therapeutic Socks Market Overview
Compression therapy is a safe and cost-effective method of treating wounds, vein thrombosis, phlebitis and providing post-surgery care. It relies on a simple yet efficient principle – applying an elastic garment around a limb. A relatively new form of treatment, it is anticipated to post rapid growth during the next decade. Compression therapy includes garments like leggings, shirts, socks and stockings. The therapeutic socks market, otherwise known as the compression socks market, provides clothing to improve blood circulation and reduce clots in those individuals who recently underwent surgery. Therapeutic socks can also be soothing and helpful for people with diabetes, who need to remain standing for a good portion of their workday or even those who have disorders in their circulatory system. These socks are primarily worn during the day and taken off in the night, just before going to bed.
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The therapeutic socks market primarily serves diabetics, the elderly and those suffering from varicose veins or any other blood circulation related ailment. They are made from an elastic type of material and are typically white, however, coloured therapeutic socks seem to be gaining in popularity. They can be slightly tricky to put on, especially for very weak individuals or those with joint problems. Post-surgery, a nurse or medical attendant needs to periodically check blood circulation by observing the skin colour and feeling the leg temperature. Some therapeutic socks can be purchased over the counter, but most used to treat circulatory issues are available via medical prescription only.
Therapeutic Socks Market Drivers
A large elderly population in the west and countries like China and Japan are expected to be the biggest driver for the therapeutic socks market. A high prevalence of diabetes leading to other complications like venous diseases should also boost sales of therapeutic socks. In addition to this, new compression therapy technology like equipment, garments, materials, stockings, bandages and devices with additional features will certainly benefit the therapeutic socks market. They will be developed with the primary aim of improving patient comfort and are forecast to grow the overall market over the next decade. Awareness campaigns conducted by non-profit organisations and healthcare companies informing people of the complications of venous diseases and the importance of compression therapy can be expected to boost the therapeutic socks market.
Therapeutic Socks Market Restraints
A major challenge for the therapeutic socks market is the lack of reimbursement received from the government, mainly applicable in North America and Europe. At present, Medicare does not provide reimbursement for compression therapy products like therapeutic socks, barring some exceptions like venous ulcers, i.e. static ulcers. Developing countries face the issue of inadequate medical attention, and lack of awareness. Patients suffering from diabetes or vein thrombosis in these countries may not even be aware that such cost-effective and efficient treatment exists.
There is also an ongoing debate about whether compression therapy is genuinely effective. According to the National Athletic Trainers Association, while many studies have been conducted on the advantages of compression clothing worn during strenuous activities, the results on their purported benefits are so far inconclusive. The same study also stated that risk of complications could be a major restraint for the compression therapy market, thereby including the therapeutic socks market. While compression therapy does prevent excessive muscle vibration and delays onset muscle soreness, it can sometimes exacerbate conditions like varicose veins, if the socks fit improperly. While prescription stockings are usually covered by medical insurance, over-the-counter ones may not be.
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Therapeutic Socks Market Key Regions
The largest therapeutic socks market in the world is North America, with the U.S alone accounting for nearly half of it. This is mainly due to an overall ageing population with access to advanced healthcare facilities, and a high prevalence of diabetes and obesity. It will remain the largest market for the foreseeable future due to the same reasons mentioned above. North America is followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific in that order respectively, but the therapeutic socks market share in both these regions is expected to reduce slightly as the U.S. solidifies its leading position in the next decade.
Therapeutic Socks Market Key Market Players
Some of the therapeutic socks market players are Elastic Therapy, SIGVARIS, Juzo, and Dr Segal’s.
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