Ever tried to practice an aerobic activity without first adding a stump sock? Did you manage to do it? If not, than you probably needed to add a sock before attempting the activity.
Adding extra stump socks before starting an aerobic activity is common practice for below-knee amputees. It should feel a bit too tight before starting, but it’s a must while running, jumping, working on a cross-trainer, running up & down stairs, etc. There are several reasons for this:
First, the impact on the stump. While practicing such activities, the force we create against the ground is way stronger than during normal walking. As a matter of fact, while running, the generated force can reach about three times your body weight. All of that force acts against our stump, so we must add enough extra stump socks to create the necessary pressure inside the socket, for compensation.
The second reason is sweat. Aerobic activities usually involve heavy sweating. This is true for everyone, not just for amputees. But for us amputees, sweating means that our stump(s) is/are shrinking. Therefore, we must compensate with stump socks.
But what if I’m able to work out without adding an extra stump sock? Well then, good for you We are not all the same and different bodies act differently. That said, most amputees probably do need to add a sock, except maybe when biking. While biking, part of the weight of our body is carried by the bike, hence releasing pressure of the stump, in comparison to other sport activities. One could very likely get away without an extra sock while biking, though one should still take the sweat factor into account.
Finally, you might be asking yourself “OK, but what sock should I add?”, and the answer is “it’s up to you”. Some folks need to add a thin, 1 ply sock, others need to add a thicker one. Personally, depending on the activity (cross-trainer or running), I usually add a 1 ply sock before starting, and will sometimes add another 1 ply during the workout.
What works for you? Leave your own personal tips below.