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Compression socks for varicose veins and DVT

Compression socks for varicose veins and DVT

Many people who use compression socks do so following a doctor’s prescription. Also known as pressure stockings, compression socks mainly help in improving the overall circulation of blood up from the leg to the heart. They also work in helping reduce the swelling that can affect a person who sits or stands for long hours.

Whether you wear them on one leg or both legs will depend on the reason you need them. In most cases, you will need compression socks in the following situations:

  • When your legs ache or are swollen
  • In the case of varicose veins and other related skin conditions
  • If you have deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • In the case of lymphoedema.

Note: Not everyone who wears compression socks does so as a result of advice from a doctor or health care provider. Some athletes wear them as they help improve blood flow when working out, while pregnant women may don them to reduce swelling.

Compression socks for varicose veins

Varicose veins appear when blood pools within the small veins as a result of poor circulation. In such a case, blood collects in the veins and does not flow normally back to the heart. The varicose veins are often painful, and will mostly be visible in the legs.

Often, health care providers will recommend that you buy compression socks when you have varicose veins. The pressure socks help improve blood flow through the veins in the legs and thus reduce the swelling and pain.

 

Compression socks do not eliminate varicose veins by themselves. However, research has shown that they can be very helpful. A recent study showed that donning socks of between 15 mmHg and 20mHg was helpful to people with varicose veins.

In the study, a week’s use of the socks helped reduce swelling and the associated pain. Individual women affected by the varicose veins were also found to greatly benefit from the compression socks during pregnancy.

While the use of compression socks help reduce pain and swelling in people with varicose veins, studies have shown that better results have occurred when medication or surgical procedures are used.

Notably, doctors may recommend that a patient use compression socks after they undergo surgery to remove varicose veins. The advice is often made to avoid the prospect of the condition redeveloping, especially where the person sits or stands for an extended period.

Importantly though, using compression socks can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing varicose veins if your daily routine puts you at increased risk.

Compression socks for deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when an individual’s blood flow is affected and ends up clotting within veins. Unlike varicose veins, DVT occurs in veins that are deep in the body and are thus not visible.

An individual can suffer DVT in any part of the body, but they are most common in lower body- thighs, and legs. If you have the condition, you may indicate with symptoms such as leg swelling, aching or pain.

It is important to note that DVT can be dangerous to your health, especially as blood clots may find their way into the lungs and proceed to block an artery. As such, health care providers recommend that you use compression socks to improve blood circulation and reduce the swelling.

Which compression socks are good for DVT?

Most users will prefer the graduated compression stockings. These are snugly socks that are tighter beginning at the ankle and reduce their strength up the leg. The pressure in these socks help push blood up the leg and prevents the risk of having it pooled in the lower leg, a scenario that could lead to blood clots.

Research has shown that compression socks can play a big role in preventing the occurrence of DVT in patients. One such study sampled over 1,600, with results showing a correlation between wearing compression socks and the prevention of conditions like deep vein thrombosis.

The study revealed that wearing the socks reduces the risk of blood clots and thus DVT by as much as 60 percent. Of those not to use compression stockings, more than 21 percent developed deep vein thrombosis.

Doctors will often recommend compression socks after a surgical process or in case an individual has been diagnosed with DVT. You can, however, wear them in the aftermath of a leg trauma or if you are likely to sit for more than four hours in a less flexible posture.

A health care provider will also recommend compression socks for you if you have DVT for the sole reason of preventing the occurrence of post-thrombotic syndrome. PTS happens in the event of deep vein thrombosis and can be a cause of increased swelling and continuous pain.

Choosing compression socks for DVT

Compression stockings come in various strength levels and the same knowledge should be used when choosing the socks. The choice will depend on whether the swelling is below the knee or above it. A doctor will thus recommend either you get knee-high or thigh-high pairs of compression socks.

It is recommended that you have your measurements taken properly, as these will help you compare with various brand charts as you pick the right fit. Other than the measurements, you will also need to pay attention to the tightness in the socks.

For DVT, health care professionals recommend pressure levels of between 30mmHg and 40 mmHg. That means that lower tightness levels of below 30mmHg may not be as effective.

Can I use compression sock for Lymphoedema?

Lymphoedema is a condition that leads to the swelling of body tissues as a result of an accumulation of lymphatic fluid. The swelling can be treated or greatly reduced by way of compression socks after therapy.

Getting the best out of the compression socks

To have the best outcome when using compression socks, it is advisable that you wear them before beginning any exerting movements or exercises in the morning. You should only have them off when going for a shower or bath.

Putting the socks on in the morning helps prevent any swelling from occurring, a scenario that would make it challenging to don the socks.

Wear the compression socks in the right manner and ensure there is no wrinkling or bunching. You are also advised to wear stockings throughout the day.

Take good care of them and replace after about four months of use.

Are there any side effects to be aware of?

Compression socks do not present any serious side effects when used in the right manner. However, because they are designed to provide levels of firmness on the legs, they can be too tight and thus cause more problems related to poor blood flow.

In case you realize the stockings are too tight, inform your healthcare provider. Some of the likely effects of a tight stocking will be:

  • Increased aching or pain in the leg(s)
  • A feeling of numbness (including in the toes)
  • If you notice paleness in your toes

Compression socks are also not advised for individuals with certain conditions like dermatitis, pulmonary edema, peripheral artery disease, and peripheral neuropathy. Consult a healthcare professional before using compression socks in case you have any of these conditions.

Choosing and Using Compression Socks

Choosing and Using Compression Socks

Compression socks will primarily help you get better blood circulation in your legs as you work for long hours while sitting or standing.

It can also be recommended by a health care professional to help in cases like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or varicose veins. Other people like athletes may wear compression socks to help improve their performance.

Simply put, to get the best of the compression socks, choosing the correct type of socks and knowing how to use them is critical.

For most people, the first pair is likely to be a recommendation at a health facility, and thus choosing the correct fit may not be a problem. But if you are looking to buy them online or at a store, then there are considerations that one must take.

As such, choosing and using compression stockings is an important step in getting the best out of these socks.

Choosing compression socks

Compression stockings are designed to snuggly-fit on your leg and apply pressure that gently squeezes on the leg and helps blood and oxygen flow.

The compression socks have more pressure at the ankle and will graduate and lessen up the leg to avoid countering the intention of blood flow by being too tight at one point.

  • They come in different sizes and pressures. (read about it below)
  • Compression socks offer different pressure capacities
  • It is best to get advice from a professional before buying the first pair

Compression socks can be worn by anyone, but one needs to seek a doctor’s advice if they have certain medical conditions or skin infections

What are the different kinds of compression socks?

We have compression socks of different sizes, lengths and pressure strengths. The choice of a particular type will mostly depend on what part of the body it is to be worn and whether it has been recommended or not.

For the various lengths, you can get knee-high socks and thigh-high socks. There are also tights and footless socks (also called sleeves, as they have no foot).

When going for the socks, having the right measurements is paramount to avoid getting a very tight or small pair. It could be just as bad to get large ones that do not fit and thus end up not serving its purpose.

A healthy person will buy socks with the lowest pressure levels, while those advised to get there by a medical practitioner will choose a pressure level depending on the given advice.

In most cases, the specialist will pick one that fits your specific needs. Compression levels range from under 15mmHg to over 40mmHg, or from mild to strong compression.

Go for a mild compression when looking for socks that should give you comfort.

For DVT and other cases, go for stronger compression levels. If you have had surgery and need the socks, then go for anti-embolism socks.  In all these cases, find specialist help if it is your first time to buy the stockings.

Where do you buy compression socks?

As stated earlier, you can purchase compression sock from various places or outlets. Most people now find it easier to buy the socks online, but the first place you should go to is ideally a medical facility or store where advice and other key details can be factored into the choice of a given length or strength of socks.

You can also access compression socks over the counter at a drugs store or pharmaceutical company. Importantly, however, you need to find out additional information before buying from places like online or drugs store.

Such information includes whether that store, online supplier or company provides for measurements or whether it allows your medical insurance to pay for the costs. This bit is important as although some socks will cost as little as $10, others may set you back almost $100 for one pair.

Compression socks prices vary mainly as a result of factors such as company/brand, fabric quality, length, pressure strength, and purpose. Footless or toeless socks will not be priced the same as a custom-fit knee or thigh-high pair.

Expectedly, a custom-fit pair is slightly pricier as is a pair that is aimed at aiding a medical condition.

How do you wear compression socks?

The general agreement is that compression socks are beneficial and many users get the best out of them when they wear them all day.

However, research has shown that more than a quarter of the people using the stockings do not get the optimum benefit. And it boils down to two main reasons: these individuals were found to either have ended up with the wrong socks or that they did not wear the socks in the right manner.

Affected people either donned socks that did not fit or were thigh-high when the individual would have been more comfortable in knee-high socks. So, before you even know how to wear compression socks, the first thing is to ensure you get the right fit, length, and strength.

Wear your socks when you wake up and take them off when you go to bed. Take these steps when wearing your socks:

  • Take the sock and turn it inside out, but with one hand grabbing the big toe tip from inside.
  • Start wearing the sock by sliding your foot into the sock and pulling it up to your heel and then your leg
  • Slide the sock gently up your leg, always ensuring that you do not stretch or wrinkle it
  • As you slide it up your leg, avoid pulling as this will likely rip the sock or affect its fit. The pull should see you wear the sock smoothly to the end.

Once you are done, smooth it out so that it fits nicely on the leg without any creases or bunching.

Taking off your compression socks

Normally, you would take off the socks when ready for a bath or shower or when going off to bed. The easiest way to take them off is to simply fold them down starting at the top, with the inside folding out up to the ankle. At this point, gently push the sock off the ankle and then slide it off the foot.

Tip:

You may find it challenging to slide the sock up your leg, or down when you want to remove them. This, however, can be helped by having rubber gloves with you. They help with the hand-sock friction, enabling you to easily wear or remove the socks.

You can also get a “stocking donner,” a special device designed to help people wear their compression socks easily, especially in cases where the individual finds it challenging to grasp the stocking and pull it up their leg.

Note that you can use compression socks as normal, that is, with your everyday footwear like shoes and sandals.

Things to avoid

  • Pulling the stockings too rapidly and too long beyond its fit
  • Folding the top once you are done wearing the socks- it will make them too tight and counter desired effect. The danger is when this leads to blood circulation problems.

Once you can wear and remove your compression socks correctly, the next step is to know how to care for them.

How to care for and clean compression socks

Compression socks are a special therapeutic type of socks knit out of fabrics of varied strengths. These special socks are designed to help with proper blood flow in your leg and are often purchased as a result of a doctor’s prescription. Healthy people are also likely to use the socks for various reasons.

You may have acquired the ready-made compression socks or had them custom fit to your specific needs. One thing is however clear here: the socks need good care and cleaning.

How then do you take care of these socks to get the best out of them?

Ideally, caring for your compression socks begins with the usage and how you wear or remove them. When you wear compression socks, always ensure that they run smoothly along the leg with no wrinkling or bunching.

When donning your sock, it is important to ensure that you do not tear the fabric as this only means that you would have to replace the stockings.

Taking care of the socks also begins with changing them every other day. It helps preserve the fabric’s fit, which means that having at two or more pairs will be a great idea. This way, you can wash a pair that has collected dirt or sweat during the day and put on a fresh one the following morning.

How to clean your compression socks

Cleaning your compression socks involves washing them at the end of each day to avoid a buildup of dirt or sweat that can damage the fabric. Although daily washing is recommended, in a case where one cannot change the socks then the maximum will be two days.

Take the following steps when you wash your compression socks.

Step 1:

Dip used socks into a small basin or sink containing cool water. Remove the wet socks and place aside.

Step 2:

Add washing soap or detergent to the water and mix. Take the compression socks and submerge into the basin or sink for 5-10 minutes. (Note that some brands work best with specified washing products.)

Step 3:

After the 5-10 minutes, gently rub the compression socks to remove any dirt or oils from sweat. Pay attention to the silicon bands as they are likely to have the most dirt. Ensure you do not stretch the socks as you wash as this will interfere with its elasticity.

Step 4:

Once you are satisfied that the socks are clean, proceed to rinse them with cool water (warm water will likely damage the garment). Use enough water to remove all the soap.

Step 5:

Squeeze out or use a lint-free towel to suck most of the water. Do not wring them as that will damage the garment. Once most of the water is removed, place the stockings on a flat surface to dry. Drip drying isn’t advisable as that affects the shape of the socks due to the hanging weight. The surface should be cool as the direct sun or heat will damage the compression socks’ fibers and affect its fit and shape.

Things to remember when washing the compression socks

Always use soaps or cleaning products recommended for compression socks. It is advisable to find out what soap a particular brand recommends for their socks.

  • Do not dry clean the compression socks because the machine’s rotation can damage the fabric. If you use a machine, then it is best to have it on a gentle cycle.
  • Do not use a microwave or iron out the socks to dry them.
  • Do not use cleaners like chlorine bleach, fabric softeners and other delicate washing materials that are bound to interfere with the fabric’s fit. Go for the regular dish wash instead.

Protection for the socks can also extend to the additional wear that goes with the stockings. For instance, wearing regular socks over the compression stockings or shoes, sandals or other such wear will help keep the compression socks from damage.

Care for your compression socks by putting them on properly

The easiest way to care for the compression socks is to wear them according to the required or prescribed guidelines. When done properly, wearing compression socks in the morning and removing them at bedtime will help prolong their use. Note the following if you want to have the socks last up to six months.

  • Ensure your legs are dry and free from oils in the morning
  • Use rubber gloves to help pull the socks
  • Use the recommended method that involves beginning with the “heel pocket out.”
  • Ensure the socks do not wrinkle or bunch

When should you replace your compression socks?

If one adheres to all the guidelines and instructions regarding the care and protection of compression socks, then replacing them won’t be a big deal.  Having two or more pairs of compression socks will help prolong the individual pair’s use, and caring for them well can make them retain their fit.

Remember to wash your socks after each wearing as that will help them last longer. However, we need to replace the stockings after about three-four months of use, at most six months. this happens for various reasons, among them being that the socks lose their effect after a while. Most brand manufacturers say that their products should last about six months before users replace them.

How do you tell its time to replace your compression socks? You are also advised to replace the socks in the following situations:

  • If you find it difficult to wear the socks
  • When swelling in the legs increases
  • When you realize the fabric’s quality is becoming poorer
  • If you notice holes or thread runs in the socks
  • If the compression socks have lost their original shape

In case of increased swelling, the prescribed socks will not fit and an individual might have to consult their health care provider for further advice before seeking a replacement pair.

If you have added weight, you also might have to change the compression socks as that is likely to mean that the previous size won’t fit. The simple reason for changing the socks is that they won’t be able to provide the therapeutic value needed.  

As noted earlier, the process of washing and caring for compression socks is not too different from regular washing. However, you need to observe the stated guidelines to ensure they last longer and continue to offer the required therapy.

 If you take good care of your socks, then they should offer you the best and replacing them will occur in the four to six month period recommended by health care providers and brand manufacturers. Poor care will otherwise necessitate frequent replacement.

The Guide For Getting The Right Compression Stockings

Long hours at work can cause you tremendous pain and soreness of your muscles of legs. At the same time, inactivity also causes the same problems that can affect your overall performance at work. Depending on your condition, you may have to wear these few years constantly to see the improvement and get better. For this occasion, we will explain what compression socks do and why compression socks give the good results in the treatment of some conditions.

The definition of compression socks

The compression socks are designed to provide pressure to your legs so your blood flow could be better. When we say better, we think of directing the blood flow towards the heart, as the blood ends up in the limbs and does not go upwards. The poor blood flow manifests through the pain, discomfort and swelling of your legs. This can be a huge problem for people who are active all day, or who need to sit/stand for long hours. Of course, the problems will not start immediately but over the time, the symptoms may appear. In case you start feeling any of the above-mentioned states, it is the time to react. You can start by visiting a General Practitioner who can examine your problem and advise you on this subject further.

When do you need these to wear?

People usually wear these when they are having a problem with varicose veins or lymphoedema, though people tend to wear these as the prevention of the possible problems. Varicose is basically a form of the swollen or enlarged vein that becomes wider due to the constant activity or inactivity. Lymphoedema is a similar condition when tissue swells up due to the same reasons. Also, if you are into sport and have a lot of exercises and physical activity, you may consider wearing these as a way of prevention.

How to get the proper pair of compression socks?

In order to ensure that you get the right compression socks, you must know that the best way is to talk to a GP. The GP will examine your body and identify the potential problems, which will enable him to find the appropriate socks for you and your condition. These come in different sizes and lengths, as well as with the different amount of pressure these make. For this reason, the GP will measure your legs/feet to see what size suits you best. Of course, you can do this on your own by trying on the different models, but the easiest and most effective way is that the GP gives you the advice.

Once you get the proper ones, you should wear these during all day. Take them off when you go to sleep, so your feet could relax a bit. Usually, you get two pairs of these so you could wear one pair and have the other one drying. Also, have in mind that these must be hand washed at some 40 degrees of Celsius to avoid damaging and tearing.

The 4 Easy Ways To Improve Your Blood Circulation

Circulation is actually the blood flow through your body. Your heart pumps the blood around your body and distributes it to all parts of it body in order to ensure good health. You must have heard that the elderly have poor circulation, as it decreases as a person ages, while young people have a good circulation. In any case, a proper blood flow also ensures that your brain gets enough oxygen to work properly. If there is not enough oxygen, it is very likely that your brain will start having trouble, which reflects on your overall performance. In this article, we reveal the easy ways to improve your blood flow!

Do not get overweight

A healthy body will have a healthy circulation and there will no problem. The overweight body fights the circulation, as the fat “closes” the arteries and prevents the proper blood flow. For this reason, it is imperative to avoid obesity and overweight in any possible way, as it is much harder to treat this problem than to prevent it on time. On top of that, overweight literally kills the ability of the body to take oxygen from the blood.

Exercise regularly

It is proven that an exercise increases the blood flow and ability of the body to take enough oxygen that the brain uses. A lack of physical exercises not only reduces this ability but also increases the risk of developing other cardiovascular diseases. Another thing that you will get through the regular exercises is that you will help your blood vessels to expand more. This allows the body to use more oxygen, which in returns offers easier relief of your muscles. This means that your body will be able to endure much more effort and harder physical activities without “breaking”.

Eat a lot of fish

Fish is known to be one of the most useful food for your body as it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids that improve circulation and prevent cardiovascular diseases. All kinds of fish are good for health, but salmon, tuna and sardines contain the highest amount of these acids. Eating a tuna fish every two-three days will drastically increase your cardiovascular health and improve your circulation. In case you are vegan, you can buy supplements that contain these acids as the replacement for the actual fish. You can buy these in any pharmacy or supplement store.

Drink tea regularly

Tea is the great antioxidant that enhances health and improves circulation. Green and black tea are the most popular teas that are good for cardiovascular health and better circulation. Therefore, the tea improves the health of blood vessels, which in return prevents possibility for a stroke and problems with veins. Once you eliminate the problems with veins, you improve your circulation and blood flow. Have a habit of drinking at least one cup of green/black tea per day, ofto ensure that this great antioxidant “flushes” your body and removes the toxins. You can order many types of these teas online or buy them in any pharmacy.

Conditions That Confirm You Need To Wear Compression Socks

The compression socks are a form of hosiery that is created to ease up the pain in legs that occur due to the venous disorders. These disorders are results of the poor blood flow, which can cause blood clots if not treated properly. The socks use elastic fabric that applies pressure to the leg, ankle or feet and as a result, you have increased arterial pressure that produces a good circulation of blood. People do not often pay attention that much to this problem as they think that it is nothing serious. Therefore, we will explain the most common reasons and symptoms when you should get these socks to improve your health condition and prevent further possible complications.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

As your body has a constant physical activity or inactivity, it is very likely that the veins inside your legs will become clogged. A blood clot is a lump of blood that changed its liquid form into the solid-like state where it clogs the blood vein or artery and causes pain and other problems. DVT or deep vein thrombosis occurs when your veins are clogged with the blood clot that prevents the proper blood flow. Though it can happen on any part of your body, it is usually formed in the lower parts of your body. So, how can you know that you have DVT?

The DVT causes swelling and pain, especially on touch. Also, your skin may be warm at that part of the DVT formation and there is no limitations whom this can happen. Generally, the risk of developing DVT is bigger after you had a surgery or if you are overweight. Smoking can also cause DVT. Therefore, have in mind that it causes serious problems as the blood clot can travel all the way to your lungs and block an artery, which is called pulmonary embolism. This condition requires a surgical procedure to remove the blood clot. In any case, have in mind that DVT is a serious condition and it has to be treated properly.

Varicose Veins

The basic explanation of this state is enlarged veins. This happens because of the walking activity that increases the pressure in the veins that are in the lower part of your body. The symptoms of varicose veins include aching pain, dark purple color of veins and increased discomfort. Alternatively, a patient may feel a slight numbness in the legs as well as the burning feeling.

Poor blood circulation

The poor blood circulation may start not only because of the increased physical activity but also because of some of the other problems and conditions. The main symptoms include fatigue, joint cramping, numbness and cold feet, even though the outside temperature is way above the normal room temperature. This not only affects the overall quality of life, but also increases the risk of developing serious conditions that can harm your health. One of the main causes for this problem is atherosclerosis which occurs upon building up plaques inside your veins.