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How Compression Stockings Improve Your Leg Health and Comfort
How Compression Stockings Improve Your Leg Health and Comfort

Posted on October 17, 2013 by admin There have been 0 comments

Compression Stockings is probably the best method for controlling the painful and dangerous pooling of blood and fluid buildup in the leg's lower part.  There are two types of compression stockings; Gradient and Anti-Embolism. Gradient (or graduated) compression hose are woven in a way that applies maximum compression at the ankle with decreasing compression towards the top of the garment.  This compression expressed as mmHG (millimeters of mercury) helps by decreasing the leakage of fluids from capillaries, increasing the absorption of fluids and controlling the size of superficial veins beneath.  Anti-Embolism stockings, commonly referred as TED (Thrombo Embolic Deterrent) stockings are a type of compression stocking designed especially for those who are bedridden.


Compression stockings are typically recommended as treatment for:


Lipodermatosclerosis - An inflammation of the fat layer beneath the epidermis


Chronic Peripheral Venous Insufficiency - An inability of the veins to adequately pump oxygen-poor blood back to the heart


Varicose Veins - Veins that have become enlarged and tortuous


Edema - Abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body


Lymphedema - Fluid retention and tissue swelling caused by a weakened lymphatic system


Prevention of Blood Clotting and Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Prevention of blood clotting in leg veins or deep veins of the leg or pelvis


Graduated compression hose are particularly beneficial to the legs, counteracting the increase in pressure within the legs caused by gravity.  Pressure at any point in the leg is proportional to the vertical distance from the heart to the point of interest. Pressure is greatest at the ankle and decreases gradually up the leg and body.  Compression hose counteract this pressure, thereby helping weak veins and muscles pump blood toward the heart.

Although Compression Therapy is the most common form of treatment for chronic venous disease, compression hose can be beneficial to almost everyone, especially those who spend considerable time in sedentary sitting or standing positions or those who complain of tired, aching or heavy feeling legs.  Compression hose have proven particularly beneficial to pregnant women and travelers to reduce the incidence of thrombosis.


Compression Levels

Compression stockings are available in different levels of compression for different physical problems.

Stockings meant for preventing varicose veins, for example (usually under 20 mmHg), are available without a prescription. Firmer compression levels (available at up to 60 mmHg) should not be worn without the advice of a doctor or a physical therapist.


Getting the Right Fit

Because compression stockings are meant to be quite snug, and won't accomplish much if they are loose, fitting is important. Compression hoses are available in off-the-shelf standard sizes and custom made.


Applying Garments

Because they are designed to compress the legs, compression stockings are often not easy to put on.  After practice, however, application usually becomes easier. Consider the following:


- New compression hose are easier to put on after the first washing.  Washing makes the stockings more flexible and easier to put on. Always hand wash.


- Before applying a compression stocking, take care to dress any wound in place.


- When you are applying stockings, sit in a chair which supports your back. This provides you the best support as you are pulling up the stockings.


- Early morning is the best time to apply stockings since it will be the time when the swellings will be minimum. Use talcum powder or silicone lotion for the stockings slide easily.


- During application, it will be easy for gripping the fabric if you wear a rubber gloves.


- Consider using a "stocking butler," which is a metal device which keeps the stocking stay open when you enter your feet into it.


Other Tips for Getting the Maximum Benefit from Your Compression Hose


- Never roll stockings down allowing them to form a restrictive band around the leg. This will restrict the blood flow causing serious medical problems and sores.


- Consult a physician if you experience itching or a rash as you may have an allergic reaction to elastic fibers in the stocking.


- Remove stockings at least once a day to take care of hygiene needs and to check for skin issues, rashes and stocking damage.


- Pain, numbness or "pins and needles" feeling in the feet or leg may indicate that you are wearing stockings that are too tight.


Properly fitted compression stockings should feel comfortable. Talk to your doctor or certified fitter at your medical supply store about any difficulties you might experience.

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