Count your blessings if your legs are still healthy and as with so many things it is something we should not take for granted.
Consider this – one out of two people in the United States (that’s nearly 50%) are dealing with some type of vein related issue. We think this is a pretty good indicator of how important it is to take care of your legs, or your leg veins to be precise.
Whether or not you have become a statistic of venous problems there are preventative things you can do that require little effort on your part, but can go a long way towards retaining healthy leg veins. One of these things is to wear support pantyhose or compression stockings on a regular basis. You may be thinking “My legs are healthy, why should I wear support hosiery?”
Think again. Keep in mind that your leg veins have a very difficult job. Day after day they are literally fighting an up-hill battle, against gravity, transporting the oxygen depleted blood back to the heart and lungs to become enriched with oxygen again and again.
From a superficial point of view, it may seem unnecessary wear support hose if you are not having any obvious problems or symptoms in your legs. However, if you begin to delve deeper into the issue you may want to consider the following facts and scenarios that are all so common for many of us:
- If you are working in an occupation where you have to stand or sit immobile for hours without being able to exercise your feet or calf muscles, your blood circulation could be compromised. You may also experience occasionally or even regularly some achiness and heaviness and/or cramping in your legs from standing or sitting at your job. Some people also notice swelling from the accumulation of fluid in their legs (also known as edema).
- If you are expecting a baby your leg veins are working harder than ever. They must handle the vastly increased blood volume for the two of you and work to push the blood past the pelvic area with the weight of the growing baby putting more pressure on your veins. In addition, hormone changes can make your veins become more elastic and combined with the increased pressure this can lead to pooling of blood in the veins and ultimately contribute to the formation of varicose veins.
- If you are a frequent traveler and you spend many hours sitting on a plane, train, bus or in your car without any movement or exercise you have an increased risk for DVT. This means while you are sitting or standing motionless for extended periods the blood circulation in your leg veins can be far less than optimal. Such prolonged immobility could lead to the formation of a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis). This condition is also known as “economy class syndrome” and would most likely occur in the deeper veins of the legs.
- Pay attention to your genes. If you have any close family members and relatives who have vein problems chances are you will get them sooner or later as well. Spider veins and varicose veins have a very high likelihood of being an inherited issue. Armed with this knowledge you may be able to prevent or at least postpone their development simply by giving your legs some extra support.
What has just been described are some of the most common scenarios and situations that affect millions of people in their everyday life. If your legs are healthy and unaffected by venous issues consider yourself lucky. To make sure they stay that way you may want to consider wearing support hosiery with a low level of graduated compression to give your blood circulation a boost and help protect your leg veins and the valves inside your veins against weakening.
If you wear pantyhose frequently, consider switching to a fashionable support pantyhose or leggings with graduated support. Your legs will thank you for it. Low level graduated compression stockings or pantyhose are another option for preventative care and to ensure the long term wellness of your legs. After all you’ve only got one pair to last you a lifetime.
You can find more information about the different types and styles of compression and support hose by browsing through our other posts or you can search our website by typing search terms into the search box on the upper right hand side.
As always, be sure to discuss any changes that could affect your health such as wearing compression stockings with your physician first to ensure that there is nothing in your medical history that would prohibit you from doing so.
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