You might have heard about compression socks from a friend, family member or even the TV, and thought “that sounds like a gimmicky product”. Instead, though, compression socks are some of the most recommended medical supplies today. There are plenty of benefits to compression socks and stockings, as well as some misunderstandings and misconceptions. That is why we have put together this Compression Socks and Stockings, the Ultimate Guide, to help you understand, choose and use compression socks and stockings.
What Are Compression Socks and Stockings?
Let’s first go over what compression socks and stockings are. Compression socks use a specialized weave of strong elastic to create pressure on the muscles in the legs, ankles, and feet. This serves the purpose of improving overall circulation and blood flow to your limbs and body.
Compression socks and stockings come in different pressure levels. Compression levels are measured in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). This type of measurement is associated with different blood pressure levels. Gravity increases the pressure in the veins of the lower limbs where the impact of the force happens. This happens mostly at the ankle and decreases gradually up the leg. This pressure depends on the vertical distance the blood has to travel from the foot to the heart. This is why knee high or thigh high support hoses are designed with the most pressure centered at the ankle and decreases as you move up the leg.
How Does Compression Sock and Stockings Actually Work?
Compression stockings are similar to tights, but with a few very notable differences. Compression Socks and stockings have a graduated amount of pressure verses tights that are uniform pressure. Uniform pressure means the tights apply basically an even pressure all throughout the tights. The graduated compression of compression stockings is designed to fit tight around the ankle and less tight around the calves.
Why Should I Consider a Compression Product?
Compression socks and stockings help with several conditions and issues. For Example:
- Legs that are chronically swollen, painful, or fatigued
- Poor blood flow in the legs
- A known risk for blood clots, especially in the legs
- A history/family history of deep vein thrombosis
- Long bed rests, for example after surgery
- Varicose veins or venous leg ulcers
There are many benefits to compression socks and stockings. Check out our Benefits of Compression Products post for more detailed information.
What Levels of Compression Are There?
As mentioned, Compression levels are measured in mm Hg (millimeters of mercury). This type of measurement is associated with different blood pressure levels. You should talk to your doctor to decide which level is right for you.
- Mildly aching and tired legs
- Support and comfort for either standing or sitting for long periods
- When just a little support is needed for general health and energy
- Slightly more support, offering day-to-day relief from achy, heavy, slightly swollen legs
- Extra support on busy, active days, or when traveling
- An aid for enhanced circulation, especially in the legs
- During pregnancy, they can help prevent varicose and spider veins
- The most commonly prescribed compression level by doctors
- Used to help a variety of minor to moderate medical conditions
- Used to help chronically painful, heavily fatigued legs
- Helpful in the treatment of varicose veins
- Relief from the swelling associated with mild edema
- Used in combination with elective surgical procedures such as sclerotherapy and phlebectomy
- Used to help treat orthostatic/postural hypotension, a form of low blood pressure
- Relief from moderate and severe edema and lymphedema
- Helps prevent and relieve more serious cases of varicose veins
- Used in the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and post thrombotic syndrome
- Can help heal active venous stasis ulcers
- Used after bone fractures and orthopedic surgeries
- Used to treat phlebitis
- Used in treating skin changes with healed ulceration
- Used as part of the treatment for chronic venous insufficiency
- Used for the most severe cases of DVT and post thrombotic syndrome
- Used in treating severe skin changes with active ulceration
Where to buy compression Socks and Stockings
By law, no prescription is required to buy compression socks and stockings. Medical Supply stores, such as Bayshore Medical Supply in Pasadena, TX are a great place to find compression products. We carry a wide range of Sigvaris and Jobst compression products. Here at Bayshore Medical Supply, we will talk through the problems they’re experiencing, measure their legs, and give them the perfect fit for the issue. Though we do recommend always to consult with your doctor, a lot of doctors will write a general prescription without looking deeper into their issues. Not all compression socks are the exact same. The material of the sock, 2-way stretch vs 4-way stretch, height of sock, etc. all make a big difference. For example, a lot of women have very soft areas right below their knee, so a silicon band will help prevent rolling and won’t cut off circulation.
Common Misconceptions of Compression Products
One of the more common misconceptions of compression socks and compression stockings is that they will hurt the wearer of these products. In truth, the materials in the compression stockings make all the difference. For example, the Sigvaris carried at Bayshore Medical Supply has a silicone band at the top to prevent them from rolling down and cutting off circulation at the knee, so they never dig into the leg. A further example is the Men’s Opaque Calf that features double-covered inlay yarns to provide comfort and allow the product to easily glide on and off. It does not dig into the leg and take extra effort to take off due to pressure.
Another misconception is compression products are for the elderly and make you look like you’re close to the nursing home. This can not be further from the truth. For example, Bayshore Medical Supply carries a wide variety and selection, keeping up to date with contemporary styles. The materials are incredibly soft and breathable and available in a wide range of colors.
Another very common misconception is that compression socks and stockings are hard to put on and take off. Technology and materials make compression socks more comfortable and functional. There are, however, certain standard techniques that make it easy to put them on and take them off.
How to put your compression stockings on.
Grab the heel pocket and turn the sock inside out. Slide the sock halfway onto your foot. Hold both sides of the top band and pull the sock over your heel and up your calf. Adjust the heel pocket and smooth out any wrinkles. The band should be the width of two fingers from the bend of your knee. If you do have a weakness in your hands or limited mobility, there are donning aids to help such as donning butlers.
Bayshore Medical Supply, Your Source for Compression Socks and Stockings
If you live in or around Southeast Houston such as Pasadena, Deer Park or Baytown and are looking to see compression socks and stockings for yourself or looking to purchase, Bayshore Medical Supply has you covered. We have a wide selection, and carry a ton of different colors, patterns, and styles. We will discuss with you the symptoms you are trying to alleviate. We then measure your legs or arms to get a proper fit & then present you with a choice of solutions. Our helpful staff can teach you how to put on and use your socks, stockings or arm sleeves. You can call (713) 472-8585 or come into our store at 4205 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77504