Compression socks, Compression stockings, Jobst
Most people don’t know about compression therapy and its benefits to the body. To keep it short, compression therapy is typically used for people who have some type of swelling in their upper or lower extremities. Although a prescription is not necessary to purchase compression garments, it may come in handy to go to a vein specialist if you notice any type of swelling or pain in your extremities.
1. Long Day - Tired/Fatigued Legs
Everyone has long days and are naturally aging by the minute. To keep yourself relaxed and healthy, you might want to consider a light compression sock. Anyone can purchase compression socks at our medical supply store and it's safe to use light compression even if you don’t have the “need” for it. Many people will wear light compression stockings for preventative measures and sometimes receive a small jump in their step.
A light compression medically known as below 15mmHg or between 8-15mmHg is common for people who have to stand for long periods of time and even for women who are pregnant. The light socks will provide little support for those aching legs after a fatigued day.
2. Airline Flights - Mild Swelling
Another common reason to consider compression stockings are going to be for those long flights and travels where you are constantly walking a distance and then also sitting up in the air for a long period of time. Sitting for long periods of time can commonly develop blood clots in your legs causing mild to moderate swelling. You would expect this to be a problem when you’re much older but many people can develop swelling as early as their 30’s.
For this reason, a moderate compression sock may be of great benefit in order to help reduce the swelling by providing a graduated “tightness” to your legs. Moderate compression are medically referred to as 15-20mmHg. This basically means that there is a level of 20 compression at the bottom of your feet and it is gradually decreasing to a level of 15 in order to push the blood flow up from the bottom of your feet and flow towards the rest of your body. Increased blood flow will naturally reduce your swelling over time.
3. Varicose Veins - Severe Swelling
Higher grade compression socks are typically prescribed by a doctor because in many cases, they are recommended for a condition called DVT or deep vein thrombosis which is a medical condition that is caused by blood clotting in one area. This condition will sometimes cause your veins to bulge out and look a blueish color also referred to as “varicose veins”. In order to reduce this heavy swelling and clotting of blood, doctors will recommend a 20-30mmHg or even 30-40mmHg compression!
With compression socks this tight, it may be very difficult for people to get them on themselves and they might need some assistance from someone else or even a “stocking donner/aid”. For more info on finding the right stocking aid, you can check out our other blog post on "cool products to use to put your socks on"
As always, we would recommend visiting our local Houston medical supply store to get correctly fitted for your compression socks. You can also ask your doctor or vein specialist to measure your size at the clinic. Sizes can vary by brand so use your best judgement and accurate measurements. Remember, your socks WILL be difficult to get on for those of you who are not used to wearing them. Your doctor may also advise that it’s easier to put on your compression socks during the morning while also elevating your legs because swelling will tend to be less.
When purchasing compression socks, expect to pay more than your casual sock price. Retailers like Amazon may have a broad and affordable variety of brands selling compression socks but we trust the companies that have been doing it for years such as Jobst, Sigvaris and Medi USA. We can personally vouch for these brands as we've sold them for years and have noticed positive feedback for all three.