Compression Stockings: Important factors in choosing the right support hose

Graduated compression stockings, also known as support hose, or support stockings, help reduce the leakage of fluid from blood vessels in the legs. To achieve this, stockings are tightest at the ankle, with lighter compression going up the leg. This also helps prevent pooling of blood in and swelling of the leg veins. This helps blood return to the heart, thereby reducing achiness in legs. Leg pain can be caused by many different conditions, among them: sitting or standing for extended periods of time, varicose veins, pregnancy, and DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Compression stockings are available for men and women in a variety of sizes, compressions, and styles to suit your specific needs. There are a number of things to keep in mind when determining which type of support hose is right for you:

Determine the type of hose.

Compression stockings are available in

  • knee-high
  • thigh-high
  • pantyhose and
  • maternity pantyhose

varieties. There are many different companies who make ready-to-wear boxed support hose. An option also exists to order custom made stockings to your exact dimensions.

Determine the strength of compression.

When choosing a support stockings, first time users may want to start with a weaker compression level and then build up to a higher strength, or alternatively to start off with regular compression but for fewer hours each day. Compression strengths available are:

• 8-15 mmHg
• 15-20 mmHg
• 20-30 mmHg
• 30-40 mmHg
• 40-50 mmHg (available with prescription)

Determine your correct size.

Size can be determined by shoe size for some support hose and leg circumference for others. The most accurate leg measurements are obtained in the morning before legs swell up, with the most important measurement being at the ankle. The right compression stockings should be as tight as possible without hurting or stopping circulation. Sometimes, the protrusion of the ankle causes support hose not to lie properly in that area. Stasis pads are used to fill in the space between the leg and stocking around the ankle and can help alleviate this problem.

Determine the style that suits you.

• Do you prefer open or closed toe?
• What color do you prefer? Many compression stockings offer a wide array of color choices.
• Do you prefer opaque or sheer stockings, or perhaps compression socks? The availability of fashion and sheer options make support hose wear more appealing, thus helping increasing patient compliance. Bear in mind that the thickness of the support hose can have an impact on their durability.

To achieve the best results for pressure relief, support stockings should be put on in the morning so that they can maintain veins in their non-swollen state for longer. Finally, after determining which pair is the right one for you, you may want to purchase extra for use while laundering. Quantity discounts may be available. To order quality compression stockings, call us or come to our Brooklyn, NY location.

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