When it comes to wearing compression stockings one should not simply assume that “any compression stockings will do”. Similar to shopping for clothes or shoes different types and brands of compression stockings can run different and are not all created equal when it comes to sizing, fit and quality.
Why is it so Important that Compression Stockings Fit Properly?
Like any therapeutic device or garment compression stockings can only do their job properly if they are of the correct size for your particular leg proportions. There are basically only two ways to ensure your compression stockings have the correct size and fit.
1. Have your Legs Measured by a Trained Fitter of Compression Hosiery at Your Doctor’s or Specialist Office or at a Medical Supply Store.
A trained fitter will take various measurements of your legs and can recommend compression stockings that will fit properly based on those measurements. Another advantage of going this route is that if you do have problems with the fit or feel of the compression stockings you can usually go back to the medical supply house or pharmacy and exchange the compression stockings for a more comfortable pair or a different size if they don’t fit properly.
2. Take Your Own Leg Measurements for Compression Stockings.
Whether you decide to take your own measurements or have them taken by a certified fitter always make sure they are taken first thing in the morning (make an early appointment if you have them measured by a certified fitter) before your legs and feet have a chance to swell.
If you have decided to find suitable compression stockings yourself you can use the sizing tables and charts of the different manufacturers and resellers and study the information that is available online to find the best fit according to your measurements. If you fall in between sizes it is usually better to go up to the next size.
As stated earlier keep in mind that that not all makes and brands are created equal and consequently also have a different fit and feel. It may be necessary to try different styles and sizes from different manufacturers to find your best fit.
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Signs that Compression Stockings don’t fit correctly and Tips on How to Fix the Problem:
The compression stocking or pantyhose folds over itself, pinches or bunches up behind the knee or at the ankle area. This could be the case because the compression hose or stockings is too long or because the material is not being smoothed out and distributed properly over the entire length of the legs.
To fix the problem you can first try to distribute the stocking material equally over the entire length which works best with the help of rubber coated gloves. If the stocking material still continues to bunch up in different areas you should recheck your leg measurements. Sometimes it may be necessary to try different types and brands of compression stockings in order to find the best individual fit.
The compression hosiery has a tendency to slide down. This could mean that the compression hose or stockings are not long enough or the material is simply too slippery.
If the sizing is correct the sliding down of the compression stocking can easily be stopped by applying some roll-on type body adhesive at the thigh in the case of compression thigh highs or pantyhose and in the calf area with knee high compression stockings.
For thigh high compression stockings the use of a garter belt can also help to keep the stockings securely in place. If the support hosiery is too short, obviously only choosing properly sized compression stockings or pantyhose can facilitate a comfortable fit and feel.
The compression stockings, pantyhose or tights pinch or crowd the toes. This may indicate that the compression garment is too short or that the foot section or toe box is too small.
Wearing compression stockings or any hosiery that pinches or crowds the toes is not only uncomfortable but can cause additional problems as well. It can lead to issues such as ingrown toenails or toenail fungus. Perceptibly only a more generously dimensioned compression hose or stockings will be able to solve this problem.
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