Note: This information is provided as general guidelines and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your physician for all medical conditions.
Compression Stockings and Socks
Q. What is compression therapy?
A. As you walk the calf muscles around your veins expand and contract to move blood to your heart. Compression stockings use compression to steadily squeeze your legs, helping your leg muscles and veins move blood more efficiently.
Compression therapy is referred to as gradient because it begins with the most compression at the ankle and gradually decreases is it moves up the leg. This compression is beneficial because it increases pressure to the tissue under the skin, helping to prevent or reduce swelling. As compression is applied excess fluid is moved back into the smallest blood vessels, preventing excess fluid loss from occurring in these tiny capillaries.
Gradient compression stockings were developed by Conrad Jobst in the early 1950s to combat his own chronic venous disease. This therapy remains the standard today not only for medical conditions but also for the prevention of embolisms.
Q. How long are your supposed to wear compression stockings?
A. If your doctor or therapist recommended compression stockings, he will give you specific instructions regarding the length of time and when you should wear your stockings. Generally, you should wear your stockings during the day and remove them before going to bed.
Q.Which compression stockings should I buy?
A. Compression stockings come in four primary compression levels. The higher the number, the higher the compression level. Our Simple Buyer's Guide to Compression Stockings will help you select the right stockings for your individual needs.
Q. How do I measure for compression stockings?
A. Proper fit is important to ensure the maximum benefits from your stockings. Generally, your stockings should feel snug but not tight. If they are uncomfortable or too tight, then they are not the right fit.
Our easy stockings measuring guide will help you get started. Keep in mind that each stocking manufacturer has its own sizing so it's important to consider this when you are ready to buy your compression stockings. A certified compression stocking fitter is a valuable resource to help you with your purchase, use and care education.
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