Compression stockings gently massage the feet and legs as you wear them in order to improve your circulation in this area of the body. By doing this, these stockings prevent fluid from accumulating that can cause uncomfortable swelling in the legs and feet, relieve fatigue and under certain conditions may lower the risk of blood clots. Stockings of this nature come in various strengths ranging from light support to moderate support. Doctors will recommend a specific strength to fit your unique situation.
The Various Strengths of Compression Stockings
Since not everyone has the same need for compression stockings, they come in the following strengths:
- Light support stockings provide a pressure of less than 15 mm Hg
- Light to moderate support stockings offer a pressure of 15 to 20 mm Hg
- Moderate support stockings give the wearer a pressure of 20 to 30 mm Hg
Reasons to Wear These Stockings
People often select to wear the light support or light to moderate support stockings to help prevent leg fatigue when they stand or walk a lot during their workday. These stockings will also keep the feet and ankles from swelling and may prevent muscle cramps or varicose veins from developing. The moderate support stockings offer relief from chronic leg pain, along with foot and ankle swelling. These also relieve fatigued and heavy-feeling legs and varicosities. Doctors may also prescribe this level of compression post Sclerotherapy. In addition, doctors often prescribe various levels of compression stockings post-surgery to reduce the risk of edema and blood clots.
This Type of Stockings Come in a Variety of Styles
Compression stockings come in a wide assortment of styles to meet the needs the wearers, such as the following:
- Below-knee ones are ideal to wear under slacks or trousers.
- Thigh-high versions offer support for the knee, calf, ankle and foot and even work with knee-length or longer dresses, or with slacks or trousers.
- Maternity ones are specifically designed for pregnant women.
- Pantyhose styles offer whole-leg support that may or may not include the stomach and hips.
- Single-leg or chap style for the times when only one leg needs support.
- Ulcer compression kits also are available.
Along with various strengths being available in the styles of compression stockings above, you can select from styles with or without the toes. Some prefer the toeless version to prevent pressure on the toes. Consult with Northern Orthotics to learn additional information or to order the right styles of these stockings for your needs.