Compression therapy provides you with the necessary support to maintain and enhance your lifestyle. Whether it’s being engaged in daily activities or spending time doing the things you really love, like traveling, being outdoors or participating in your favorite hobbies, you can continue to engage in daily activities while receiving the therapeutic benefits of compression.
How Compression Therapy Stockings Work
Compression stockings are designed to provide support to the legs and veins, assist with circulation, and minimize swelling. The compression is graduated, with the strongest support starting at the ankles and gradually decreasing towards the top of the garment. This gradual support works in conjunction with the pumping action of the calf muscles, which also assist with circulation.
A common myth is that compression stockings will cut off circulation. When fitted and worn properly, compression stockings help with your circulation, not reduce or restrict it.
Compression garments are categorized by classes. These classes consist of compression ranges, which are measured in mmHg... meaning millimeters of mercury, the universal form of measurement used for this type of garment. There are designated medical indications for each compression class.
Many factors contribute to the overall health of our legs: heredity, weight, age, diet and activity level. But it’s the internal function of the legs that also plays an important role: calf muscles, arteries, veins, and vein valves – the internal highway of blood and oxygen flow.
The flow of blood in the veins is assisted by a series of one-way valves. The valves remain open when the blood flows toward the heart, and then closed after blood passes through. Over time, an increase in pressure can stretch the vein walls. If a vein becomes enlarged and over-stretched the valves cannot close properly, causing blood to leak back down into the lower legs, resulting in poor circulation.
If this happens you may begin to develop symptoms, such as:
- Heavy, tired, aching legs
- Swollen legs and/or ankles
- Sensation of warmth in the legs
- Tingling or cramping of the legs
- Dull or sharp pain in the calf
- Small varicose veins and spider veins
Using Compression Therapy
Graduated compression stockings and socks are important to leg health. They help minimize muscle aches, swelling, and symptoms of fatigue. Exercise and a healthy lifestyle will strengthen your legs, but wearing graduated compression stockings or socks will support the internal function of the veins.
If you notice one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, we recommend that you consult with your primary care provider and ask about graduated compression stockings and socks. You’ll be glad that you did—and so will your legs!