Health and well-being matters to all of us, right? We’re pretty sure you agree and after you have finished reading you will know how beneficial it is for everyone’s health to wear compression stockings or other types of support hosiery for the legs.
In exploring the reasoning for wearing compression hosiery further, we basically find two groups of support hose wearers:
One group of individuals wears supportive legwear proactively as a preventative care measure to preserve their leg health as long as possible.
The other group, whether for reasons of family history or other circumstances, is not quite as fortunate with their leg health. They already experience signs or symptoms such as varicosities and/or swelling. These individuals may be advised by their physician to wear compression hosiery to help them alleviate the often painful indications of such venous or lymphatic conditions.
Always first consult with your physician. He can determine what your individual needs are and whether compression stockings are right for you.
Why You Should Wear Graduated Support Hosiery or Compression Stockings for Preventative Reasons
Here are the top reasons and situations why you should consider wearing support hosiery with graduated compression for preventive care:
- Occupations. Jobs that require standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time (waiters/waitresses, chefs, porters, receptionists, cashiers, tellers, health care workers and the list goes on…) often result in tired, achy, heavy and possibly even swollen legs at the end of the workday. You can put some spring back in your step by wearing graduated support or compression hose, which promote healthy feeling legs that are energized by stimulating blood circulation throughout.
- Pregnancy. During pregnancy the growing baby puts more strain on a woman’s body and her blood circulation system. As a result of the increasing pressure her veins can expand and work less efficiently. To counteract the stress put on your expectant body, your physician may suggest maternity support stockings with graduated support. These can help with a variety of discomforts and problems such as swelling, leg pain or cramps, varicose veins or even the prevention of more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots).
- Extended travel. When you are traveling by plane, train, bus or car where you are in a sitting position for many hours at a time there can be an increased risk of developing DVT (blood clots) the so-called “economy class syndrome”. Controlled studies have shown that wearing compression stockings or socks with graduated compression can effectively prevent or reduce the risk of developing DVT problems during lengthy travel in confined spaces.
It should also be noted that “elastic” support hose, which applies equally distributed pressure instead of graduated compression (decreasing from the ankle going up the leg) must not be worn for this purpose and may actually be harmful. Finally, graduated compression hose are generally not recommended if you have poor circulation in the legs caused by arterial insufficiency.
- Athletes and sport enthusiasts. Compression socks, tights and shirts have made their debut in many types of sports. These super shirts and pants woven from space-age fibers have shown to enhance performance through increased circulation and improved venous return. They are said to lessen muscle fatigue and potential muscle damage.
Generally pre-emptive support delivered through graduated compression can be achieved with over-the-counter available socks, stockings or hose in the compression range of 20 mmHg or lower.
Why You Should Wear Graduated Support Hosiery or Compression Stockings for Reasons of Existing Conditions
- Varicose and spider veins. Compression stockings work to reduce the diameter of weakened and enlarged blood vessels down to a more normal level, thereby promoting more efficient blood circulation back to the heart. However, support hose can only do this job effectively if worn regularly and consistently on a daily basis.
- Chronic venous problems or venous insufficiency symptoms. These can be minor such as achy, heavy feeling legs, dilated or unsightly veins, or more severe such as skin color changes, rashes on the legs, swelling, skin infections and ulcerations. Compression stockings, which come in varying degrees of compression, can improve blood flow and prevent backward flow in the veins of the legs.
- Diabetes. If you are a diabetic you may be required to wear diabetic socks if so advised by your physician. These special foot covers are designed to exert only minimal compression and allow for maximum blood circulation. They are made of breathable materials to wick away moisture, dissipate heat and prevent or reduce swelling of the feet.
- Knee-arthritis, also known as osteoarthritis of the knee or degeneration of the knee. Compression stockings are one of the most recommended products by physiotherapists to reduce pain and accelerate the healing process.
Graduated compression support hosiery can help you alleviate many of the above described symptoms. In most cases this requires socks, stockings or full length hose with a graduated compression level of 20 mmHg or higher, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Always consult with your physician to assess your situation and to ensure that you receive proper recommendations which compression hose are best for you.
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