Elastic Compression Therapy

Why Elastic Compression Therapy?

The leg veins are particularly susceptible to circulatory disorders because they carry large volumes of blood back to the heart against gravity. Return flow is accomplished in gradual stages by a combination of one-directional “cup-like” valves and the skeletal muscle pump. Failure of the valves can lead to an unhealthy backward flow of blood. Typical symptoms included leg fatigue, swelling, pain and varicose veins.

When present in the lower leg, these conditions are often treated with elastic compression therapy. Elastic compression therapy – through the application of a support stocking- is a conservative way to manage your leg problem. This treatment method is effective, non-invasive, economical, and is less likely to produce undesirable side effects. A support stocking may also have been prescribed to help promote recovery after certain surgical procedures.

Elastic compression therapy works by applying a measured amount of counter pressure, or support, to your leg.The greatest pressure is applied at the ankle and gradually decreases up the leg toward the heart. This is termed graduated compression and it has clinically been shown to be effective. The goal is to support the venous system, help relieve unsightly symptoms, and manage uncomfortable swelling. The massaging-like effect that support stockings provide enables the veins to perform their function more efficiently, which aids in restoring normal circulation. As circulation improves, relief follows.

What stocking is right for me?

Modern knitting technology allows your doctor to prescribe a stocking that is medically effective and attractive too.

Today’s compression stockings are not only comfortable to wear, but are available in a variety of styles and fashion colors. The style of the stocking usually depends on the location of the “problem vien”, either below, thigh length or pantyhose – but the color choice is entirely up to you. The amount of compression or “support” prescribed is based on the nature of your symptoms. 

The amount of support engineered into each compression stocking is expressed in millimeters of mercury as delivered at the ankle. Generally accepted compression ratings have been established to aid in prescribing a compression garment for specific conditions.

When should I wear my stockings?

Your stockings should be applied first thing in the morning, prior to rising from bed, if possible. You should wear your stockings while active but remove them when you will be in a reclining position for an extended period of time. Do not wear them to bed unless your doctor specifically directs you to wear stockings that are designed to wear a stocking that is designed for the bed-confined, or reclining , patient.

How will I know my stocking fit properly?

Compression stockings might feel different at first, you may experience a snug or tight sensation -some wearers describe it as “tingling feeling.” This is normal and it shows that your new compression stockings are providing the proper therapeutic support prescribed by your doctor. To help you through this “get acquainted” period, your fitter may suggest that you gradually increase your wear time each day until you are comfortable with the fit and feel of your new stockings.

Your stocking is correctly applied if the heel pocket is centered directly over your heel and the stockings are smooth and uniform in appearance throughout its entire length. It should be free of any wrinkles or bunches in the material. Below knee stockings will end about 2 finger widths below your knee cap, thigh stockings will end about mid-thigh and pantyhose will end just over your hips.

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