What are Compression Stockings and Their Uses?

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Compression stockings are non-traditional hosiery intended to aid in overall circulation by imposing pressure to legs, feet, and ankles. Constricting surface muscles, veins, and arteries forces increased blood flow to arteries and onto the heart. As a result, varicose veins, thrombosis, edema, and other such maladies are reduced as less blood remains to pool in the lower extremities and feet. Physicians generally prescribed compression stockings to patients complaining of tired or aching legs, cold feet from poor circulation, or spider (varicose) veins.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are constructed from fine and tightly-woven elastic. They come in a variety of styles, from calf-covering to thigh-high. They may be single-legged or a panty hose. The stockings are made to fit snuggly around the leg, compressing the limb and exerting pressure enough to decrease the diameter of the veins. An immediate relief is felt as the blood flow is channeled from surface veins to arteries and heart.

Venous inflammation, poor circulation, normal fluid interference, and cramping may be mitigated by wearing compression hosiery. Travelers on cramped airplanes, pregnant women, and diabetic patients have found relief from wearing compression stockings. They have reduced the possibility of having an in-flight stroke or clots. They have eased effects of increased hormones and fluids during and following pregnancies. Excessive leg swelling and risk of circulatory problems are reduced when compression stockings are worn.

Types of Compression Stockings

Compression stocking are available in all shapes and sizes. It is critical that the compression stockings, regardless of style, are properly sized and the degree of compression is appropriate and customized to the particular patient’s situation.

  • Support hose – over-the-counter and available without a physician’s prescription.
  • Diabetic socks – non-binding low cut and mid-calf socks that encourage unrestrictive circulation.
  • Knee high socks – mild compression hosiery with the greatest support at the ankle to prevent or reduce swelling in feet and legs; reduces the effects of tiredness and aching in the legs and feet from long periods of standing or sitting in one position.
  • Thigh high – physician-recommended hosiery designed to prevent and treat circulation problems and venous insufficiencies such as varicose veins, post-operative conditions, edema / swollen legs, post-sclerotherapy, blood pooling / clotting, venous stasis, and body fatigue.
  • Panty hose – increases upper circulation as well as in the legs and feet; recommended for long periods of standing or sitting, intended to reduce or prevent severe leg swelling, chronic venous insufficiency, or severe varicose / venous stasis; they provide compression over the entire length of the leg.
  • Maternity – pregnancies experience a higher risk for developing “deep vein thrombosis: (DVT) due to hormonal changes that increase blood volume and coagulability; maternity compression hosiery helps relieve heaviness in the legs as well as swollen feet and varicose veins / venous disease.
  • Single leg (Chap style) – Chaps are thigh highs similar to pantyhose but without the panty; they provide compression over the entire length of the leg and are available for one or both legs; recommended for long periods of standing or sitting, intended to reduce or prevent severe leg swelling, chronic venous insufficiency, or severe varicose / venous stasis.

Northern Orthotics invites you to see our full selection of professional orthotic products and including compression socks and stockings, orthopedic footwear, ankle, arm, and knee braces and more. For more information on products and services, visit us at https://northernorthotics.com.au.

Northern Orthotics Pty Ltd
MAIN CLINIC (Shop - by appointment)
394 Bell Street. Pascoe Vale South VIC 3044
Phone:  (03) 9354 5687
Email:   enquiry@northernorthotics.com.au

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