What Does mmHg compression mean?

So your doctor or health care provider has recommended you to wear compression stockings or socks. They may have mentioned knee-high, thigh-high or waist-high (pantyhose) and may also have suggested the compression which would be more appropriate for you to purchase or even a particular brand of stockings.  (Some physician do have their favorites.)

Generally speaking support stockings come in three medical compressions: 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg. Compression is expressed in mmHg (millimeters of Mercury) just the same as barometric pressure. Compression is the average pressure exerted at the ankle and lessens as you go down the leg towards the toes, and lessens as you go up the leg toward the heart. If you are wearing a 15-20mmHg compression, you are getting between 15-20mmHg compression. For example, if you are in a Jobst size medium and your ankle circumference is around 8 3/8 inches, then you are receiving 15mmHg of compression, or if your ankle measurement is around 9 7/8 inches, then you are getting 20mmHg of compression. This is the principle behind “gradient compression”.

The recommended compression is associated with the problem or problems you are having with your legs. The 15-20mmHg is recommended for tired, achy legs, mild swelling or mild varicose veins /spider veins. The 20-30mmHg is recommended for moderate to severe lymphedema/edema (swelling), moderate varicose veins. The 30-40mmHg is recommended for severe lymphedema/edema (swelling), severe varicose veins, redness or discoloration of the skin.

What causes these leg diseases?

Most leg problems are caused by age, obesity, sedate lifestyle, standing or sitting for long periods of time, past surgeries, pregnancy, or heredity. You must remember the heart is a one-way pump. The heart pumps blood from the heart through the arteries to the various parts of the body. The veins return the blood to the heart to be re-oxygenated. The veins have little one way valves that work with the muscular system to pump the blood back to the heart. Many things can happen that interrupts this blood flow and venous disease is many times the result. Fortunately, the compression provided by your support stockings or socks assists the muscles and veins to pump the blood back to the heart. The stockings and socks help the valves in the veins to close and help eliminate the pooling of the blood in the lower extremities and thus help the varicose veins from getting worse and help to eliminate the leg pain and swelling.

So, how do you get these compression stockings on?

It is important that you follow steps in donning (putting on) stockings. It makes it so much easier.

For those of you who wish to view a video on donning please go to Secrets of the Best Fitters on our blog, AskVanda.com

Remember, being compliant with wearing your Jobst, Mediven, Sigvaris, or Juzo compression stockings and support socks is the key to keeping your legs and body healthy. Thank you for shopping with Support Hose Plus.


Contact us at customerservice@supporthoseplus.com or on or toll free number 1-844-472-8807

March 2010 – DVT Awareness Month

A DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Can Strike Young and Old Alike

A DVT develops when a blood clot forms in the deep veins of the body (usually the lower extremity, but rarely in the pelvic region). A small piece can break off the blood clot and travel to the lungs, where it can cause a pulmonary embolism. It is estimated that pulmonary embolisms kill 300,000 Americans a year. Most of these deaths can be directly linked to DVT.

The prime reason for a DVT is a recent surgery. The chance of forming a blood clot is 70 times greater and stays elevated for up to 3 months after surgery. Generally, after a surgery, stockings are put on your legs which assist the venous system in getting blood back to the heart and eliminate the pooling of the blood in the lower extremity. So it is very important to continue wearing compression stockings after surgery.

DVT can be experienced by young and old alike. A DVT can also be caused by obesity, heredity, pregnancy, an injury (such as an athlete might experience) or stand/sitting for long periods of time (students, airline passengers and long distance drivers). Some occupations (such as mechanic) may lend themselves to putting employees at risk of DVT because of confinement. There is no warning of a DVT. If a blood clot forms, your leg will be painful or feel very hot to the touch. Your Physician can do a Doppler test on your appendage which will detect the blood clot. If you are susceptible to a DVT, wearing of support stockings can reduce the risk.

Your heart is a one way pump in getting blood from the heart to your entire body. Your veins have one way valves which together with your muscles help the one way flow of the blood supply. When these valves do not close properly, a blood clot can form. Compression stockings work in conjunction with the valves in helping the valves close correctly and help eliminate the possibility of clot formation.

It was seven years ago that a news correspondent, David Bloom, was covering the Iraq invasion and his death was caused by a fatal blood clot. What seemed like dangerous assignment dodging bullets and explosions ended in death not by anything we would have thought, but by a pulmonary embolism caused by a DVT. Pulmonary embolisms take more lives each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined! Protect yourself everyday! Drink plenty of water, and take hourly breaks to walk and stretch your legs. If you feel short of breath, or feel unusual swelling and warmth in your legs, especially after surgery or long distance travel, call your physician.

Remember, being compliant with wearing your Jobst, Mediven, Sigvaris, or Juzo compression stockings and support hose is the key to keeping your legs and body healthy.


Contact us at customerservice@supporthosestore.com or on or toll free number 1-800=515=4271