Why Use Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings can be worn to treat, improve and prevent many different problems that may arise in the legs due to difficulties with circulation. These stockings are available in a range of brands, colours, sizes and compression classes. An appropriate pressure, size and length should be selected to ensure the best treatment for you. It is highly recommended that you get properly measured by your healthcare professional.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) results from the formation of a blood clot inside a deep vein in the leg which blocks the flow of blood in the vein partially or completely. DVT is one part of a disease called venous thromboembolism (VTE); the other part is pulmonary embolism (PE) which occurs when a portion of the blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. DVT can affect anyone and it becomes more common with age. Other risk factors include: previous venous thromboembolism, a family history of blood clots, medical conditions, inactivity after an operation or obesity. DVT is usually treated using anticoagulant medicines which thin the blood and reduce its ability to clot. Compression stocking help prevent complications and to improve symptoms.
Varicose veins are veins which have become enlarged and swollen and are usually blue or dark purple in colour. Varicose veins develop due to valves in the vein not working properly. These valves are what prevent blood from flowing backwards in a healthy vein. In damaged or weak valves the blood can flow backwards and collect in the vein, this is what causes the swelling and enlargement of veins. Any vein can become varicose but the condition is most common in the legs and feet as standing and walking puts extra pressure on the veins lower in the body. This is a very common condition; women are more likely to be affected than men. Compression stockings can be used to treat varicose veins as they are specially designed to improve circulation through compression. The compression stocking, which is tightest at the ankle and gradually looser further up the leg, encourages blood to flow upwards to the heart.
A leg ulcer is a long lasting sore on the leg or foot, venous leg ulcers are the most common type. Leg ulcers can develop after a minor injury if you have a circulation problem in your leg veins. If an ulcer occurs the pressure in the veins is increased and this can gradually damage blood vessels in skin causing it to become fragile. A number of factors can put you at risk of developing a leg ulcer including: obesity, inactivity for a long period of time, previously having DVT, varicose veins, previous leg injury, surgery or age. These ulcers are usually treated using compression therapy and antibiotics if infected. Once a leg ulcer has healed, compression stockings can be worn to prevent the development of any new leg ulcers.
Oedema refers to fluid retention which causes swelling in the body; it can occur anywhere in the body but is most common in the feet and ankles. Oedema can be caused by sitting or standing for long periods of the day but can also be as a result of an underlying health condition such as pregnancy, kidney disease, blood clots, injury, surgery or varicose veins.
T.E.D. anti-embolism stockings have been clinically proven to reduce deep venous thrombosis (DVT) by up to 50% and promote increased blood flow velocity in the leg by providing graduated compression of the deep venous system. These stockings prevent the damaging effects of venous distension that occurs during surgery and hospitalisation. These stockings can be used to increase venous blood flow in conditions such as venous disorders and varicose veins as well as other conditions as directed by a clinician. These stockings are available in a range of sizes in knee or thigh length variations. Each pack contains one pair of white stockings that are closed toe with a small opening under the toe part of the sock to allow easy inspection of the skin and pedal pulse. T.E.D. stockings have a defined heel pocket to ensure correct placement and inlay circumferential knit that helps to provide one way horizontal stretch.
Activa Class 1 Thigh Length Support Stockings provide light compression of 14-17mmHg which can help with poor circulation and aching legs. They are effective in the treatment of superficial and early varicose veins. These stockings can reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis in lower risk groups during long-distance travel.
Activa Class 2 Thigh Length Support Stockings provide medium compression of 18-24mmHg which can help treat medium severity varicose veins and prevention of venous leg ulcers. Class 2 hosiery can reduce the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis in higher risk groups during long distance travel.
Scholl Softgrip Medium Support Class 2 Below Knee Compression Stockings have been clinically proven to reduce the recurrence of leg ulcers and provide effective treatment for medium severity varicose veins and mild oedema.
Wearing Compression Stockings
Compression stockings will need to be worn all day. They should be put on first thing in the morning before getting out of bed when leg swelling will be minimal. To put on compression stockings:
- Insert hand into stocking as far as the heel section, grasp the centre of the heel section and turn stocking inside out to this section.
- Put your foot into the stocking as far as possible. Ensure your heel is in the heel part of the stocking.
- Pull the stocking up gently over your leg in stages.
- Smooth out any wrinkles once the stocking is in place. Ensure there is no bunching of the stocking.
You should feel the most pressure around your ankle and gradually less pressure higher up your leg