Compression Stocking Reference Guide
*Disclaimer: This is a guide for compression stocking use, not to be used as medical advice. You should always consult your physician to discuss proper treatment, use, size and type for your condition.
Compression Stockings: How to choose and use compression socks
Compression Stockings, often referred to as Compression Socks, are socks that are snug-fitting, stretchy and specially made to gently squeeze your legs. People wear compression socks for many reasons, including comfort, to perform better at sports, and to help prevent many serious medical conditions. Compression stockings improve your blood flow, can lessen pain and swelling in your legs, can lower your chances of getting deep vein thrombosis (a kind of blood clot), and can help resolve other circulation issues. They come in different strengths and sizes, so it's best to consult with your physician to decide which one is best for your condition.
Picking the correct compression stocking
Compression Socks come at different lengths to cover different parts of your body. They also come at different levels of pressure, measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury), and should be snug, but not painfully tight. It's important to choose the right type and correct compression level to get the most benefit out of your compression stockings.
Here are a few tips on what to look for:
Light Compression: 15-20 mmHg
These socks can be purchased over-the-counter, either online or at your local pharmacy. They are GREAT for prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
If you are someone who is pregnant, an athlete, in an occupation where you sit or stand for long periods of time, or just have a sedentary lifestyle you are at risk for DVT.
Some symptoms to look out for are Varicose Veins during pregnancy and Edema.
It is essential to purchase stockings that fit well and are the correct length.
Medium Compression: 20-30 mmHg
These stockings are GREAT for those in early treatment for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
The goal here is to keep DVT at bay. At this point you should be consulting with your physician and beginning to seek treatment for acute DVT.
You may also be experiencing mild edema, have visible varicose veins and have early stage Venous Ulcers.
Anyone finding themselves in this stage should begin seeking treatment from a physician.
Moderate Compression: 30-40 mmHg
These stockings are for patients who've received a Lymphedema diagnosis and are currently seeking treatment.
Patients are experiencing Moderate Edema, chronic Venous Leg Ulcers and swelling that does not go away.
Anyone finding themselves in this stage should be in treatment from a physician who specializes in treating Lymphedema.
Firm Compression: 40-60 mmHg
These socks are for individuals experiencing severe Lymphedema and should only be used through the advice of your physician.
Symptoms include severe edema and venous leg ulcers.
Anyone finding themselves in this stage should be in treatment and seeking advice from a physician who specializes in treating severe cases of Lymphedema.