A Gift From Your Garden

Create an herb garden to enjoy being outside

As May draws to a close I feel I would be remiss if I were not to mention that May is National Gifts from Your Garden Month. I know April is National Garden Month, but how many places are there in the United States where it was really warm enough to really enjoy getting out in your garden this year? Here in Amarillo, Texas April was really cool and May almost blew us away. Thankfully we are beginning to get rains now and that makes me want to work more in my garden to have lovely flowers, herbs and vegetables to share.
If you have not already prepared your herb and garden beds, I would invite you to join Rod and me (we are running a little late) in getting out in the yard and digging in the beds. Be sure to wear your compression socks or compressions stockings when you get out in the yard. At the end of the day, you will have enjoyed your time in the garden more if your feet and legs are not swollen. Remember, compression stockings work best when you are moving.

Couple Taking Herbs and Flowers to Friends

It always makes us feel good to get out in the sun and fresh air. (Did you know your body makes vitamin D when you skin is exposed to the ultraviolet B rays in sunlight?) According to Web MD, a small study of women suggests that vitamin D deficiency and depression “may travel together” and increasing your vitamin D may help relieve some of the symptoms. You probably need at least 5 minutes of sun on your face, arms, back or legs (without sunscreen) two times every week. Since exposure to sunlight is a risk for skin cancer, you should use sunscreen after a few minutes in the sun, even on hazy or cloudy days.)

If you have no yard, I would suggest you fill a plant pot with herbs and place on a sunny porch or patio. There is something about having the scent of herbs around you that is so nice. Once your flowers and herbs begin to mature, you can pick a few and make an herbal bouquet to take to a friend or neighbor (especially one that is shut in). The little walk will make you feel better because your calf muscles are working in conjugation with your support hose and increasing your circulation and you have brought a bit of sunshine to someone’s life.

I am quite sure you get tired of me trying to persuade you to get up, get out and get moving. When you view the chart from National Podiatry Association that I have included below, you will realize how each and every one of us needs to increase our activity. If we start with small steps and are successful, we can build up our stamina and increase our quality of life.


Perhaps the greatest gift that comes out of your garden is the gift you give yourself.

Here’s to feeling better,


More Answers To Your Questions

Many of our customers have submitted more questions they would like answered. I would like to share these questions with you as well as my answers.

I purchased my compression socks from a sports store. I have spider veins and am on my feet many hours. When I remove my socks I have indentions and red marks where my knee highs end. Are they too tight?
How to Measure

Without having all the facts, it is very difficult to say. The socks may not have a good release built in the top of the socks. They may be helping you and move your swelling up, but cannot move any further because the socks end. You may need a thigh high garment instead of a knee high. They may be an incorrect size. Why don’t you take your measurements 1st thing when you get up and call one of our Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, and let us assist in a garment that is appropriate for you?
Here is how to take your measurements:

Measurements should be taken upon arising when your legs are at their smallest.
  • Using a measuring tape measure around the smallest part of the ankle. This will be above the round bones (malleoli) on both sides of the ankle.
  • Next measure around the fullest part of your calf.
  • For thigh length styles also measure around the fullest part of the thigh.
  • *The measurement from the crease in the bend of the knee straight to the floor will also be needed.

For thigh high stockings you will need a length measurement from the glutial fold straight to the floor.

I was told by my OBGYN that thigh high stockings were not appropriate during pregnancy, because they could cut off the circulation in the groin area.

I do not feel properly fit thigh high stockings will cut off the circulation in the groin area. If you have a lot of swelling, they could move the swelling into to the vulva area. Maternity pantyhose are my garment of choice for pregnancy, because the tummy panel will give some support to the fetus and lift it off of the veins. Most maternity pantyhose have elastic in the waist band which can be adjusted or completely removed. That being said, I do have many customers who are pregnant wear thigh high stockings successfully.

I have a group of veins on one leg that always hurts, but especially when I go up and down stairs. What should I do?

Varicose veins usually do not hurt. If you are in that much pain, you should find a good vein specialist and have a complete evaluation. It may not be your varicose veins which are hurting. It could be something else and only a full evaluation can determine the true cause.

My doctor told me I have orthostatic hypotension and I should wear compression stockings. There is so many choices, what stocking should I choose.

As you know, when people have orthostatic hypotension and stand, their blood pressure drops and they may pass out. Compression stocking can help with this. The garment of choice is pantyhose, but many people are able to manage with a thigh high garment. A knee high garment is really not appropriate. The compression usually varies with the severity of orthostatic hypotension. At least at 20-30mmHg is used for this disorder, but sometimes a 30-40mmHg is required.

I have a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) should I wear my stockings 24/7 or just during the day?

You get the most benefit from your stockings when you are standing or sitting (vertical position). They are less helpful when you are sleeping (in a horizontal position). That being said, it depends on the severity of the DVT. It is very important for you start walking and getting exercise as soon as possible. If you are in doubt, consult your physician.

I have been diagnosed with lymphedema. I wear 20-30mmHg compression stockings, but I keep swelling more and more. Help! What should I do?

First you need to find a good lymphedema therapist. Your physician may give you a referral to a lymphedema therapist. The therapist will evaluate your swelling and probably wrap your extremity with layers of bandages to reduce your swelling as well as teach you some special massages you can do yourself later on. Once your swelling is reduced as much as possible, the therapist will recommend garments for you to wear each and every day. Remember you may need to go back into bandages occasionally  for a “tune up”. Lymphedema may not be currently curable, but is controllable if you follow your therapist instructions.

If you have more questions or comments, please scroll to the bottom of the blog entry to leave a comment or ask a question.

Thanks so much to those who submitted these questions,



May is National Physical Fitness and Sport Month 2014

Now I know a lot of you are thinking, “I am doing good to get up and go out to buy groceries and do daily tasks, but the call to action from Support Hose Store may be a little more fun than donning your tennis shoes for a walk or run around the block. This is the time of the year when the weather across the country is practically begging you to spend as much time outdoors as possible. How about going out for a morning bird watch? The birds are so beautiful that you forget about the exercise you are getting. Or plan a day at the creek with a friend fly fishing. Just imagine the thrill of a trout hitting your fishing line.

Physical therapists are using the Nintendo Wii gaming system for rehab therapy for stroke victims, patients with Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis as well as victims of car accidents. Can you imagine a wheel chair bound patient being able to ski down the mountain, drive a golf ball down the green or take on an energetic game of tennis. Well, now they can with a game that is now enjoyed by young and old alike. No matter what your age is, exercise can strengthen your heart and your bones. Physical activity raises energy levels and sharpens concentration. Exercise also brings down your stress level.

It seems a coincidence that May is National Bike Month. National Bike Month is a month-long event when people are encouraged to get off their couches, from behind the wheels of their cars and off the subway and onto a couple of rubber tires to enjoy the thrill and enjoyment of being out of doors. With such beautiful weather, bike as often as you can during the month (and hopefully longer). Your ride does not have to be a race, but 30 minutes spent “crusin'” around the neighborhood can strengthen your heart. Rod and I just purchased two “Cruisers” and are looking forward to some nice rides through the neighborhood and parks.

May is also National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Estimates indicate as many as 50 percent of Americans older than 50 will be at risk for osteoporosis fractures during their lifetimes. Osteoporosis is often called the “silent disease” because bone loss occurs without symptoms, but early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or prevent fractures from occurring. One of the best ways to prevent Osteoporosis is with weight bearing exercise such as walking. 

www.supporthosestore.com is a family owned business located in Amarillo, TX
Just remember when you are becoming more active, you need to continue wearing your support socks or support stockings. As for me I will be wearing my Mediven Sheer and Soft or Mediven Comfort and Rod will probably be wearing the Sigvais 230 Cotton. For us they are great choices because we are short. Many other folks prefer the Jobst forMen AmbitionSigvaris Athletic RecoveryMedi Comfort, or Juzo Silver Sole Whatever your favorite support sock or stocking, be sure you have it on!

Hope you enjoy Spring!


Thanks for shopping SupportHosestore.com

What You Can Do When You Travel That Can Save Your Life

Last week we discussed wearing support hose and support socks to protect you against your enemies DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and PE (Pulmonary Embolism) when traveling (“Who Looks After The Security Of Your Legs“). Well, you are finally preparing for that trip of a lifetime (one that lasts more than 5 hours). If you have ever had a DVT or have a family history of DVT, a trip to your physician might be in order. Discuss with your physician if a preventative dose of asprin or low-molecular-weight heparin would be appropriate for you. Once this is done, be sure you have a good pair of knee high or thigh high support socks or support hose. Be sure and wear them for your trip and for three days after you arrive at your destination. The support socks or support hose do you no good if they are in your bag!

If you are flying choose an isle seat so you can get up and move around easily. If you are traveling by other means, be sure when you stop for gas or bathroom break to take a few extra minutes to walk around and keep your circulation moving. Don’t just sit there – do something. If you are traveling by plane and the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is lit, here are some exercises you can do (some of these are from Boston Magazine):

Figure Eights
With your toes pointed, lift right leg off the floor and make circle eights with your foot: repeat with left leg. Repeat both several times.

Simulate Walking
Place heel on floor and rotate to toes to simulate walking. Do this at least 8 to 10 times with each foot. This activates the calf muscle pump to increase circulation.

Neck Rolls
Sit up tall and put your hands on your knees.  Nod your chin down, then roll your head to the right, then back to the left until you have completed a full circle. Do 8 to 10 neck rolls each direction.

Upper Stretch
In your seat, place the back of your hand on the small of your back. Then turn your head left and look down. You will feel a deep stretch on the right side of your neck. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Do up to 3 to 5 reps on each side.

Seated Cat Stretch
Begin in a tall seated position with hands on your knees. Bring upper body towards your lap, rounding your back shoulders and neck and hold for 1 to 3 seconds. Then lift your chest and your neck, arch your back and hold. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Quad Pulses
In your seat, hold your mid-thigh so that your thumbs are against your inner leg. Squeeze your legs so you can feel them press against your hands, hold for 3 to 5 seconds and then release. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

When the “Fasten Seatbelt” sign is off:

Standing Calf Raises
Stand up and slowly lift your heels off the floor for a three count, and then slowly lower them back down: repeat 10 times.

Hip Circles
Stand with your feet hip distance apart and place your hands on your hips. Press hour hips forward, to the right, then back, and complete a circle. Do the 8 to 10 times in each direction. Try this while waiting for the bathroom.

Sort-of Side Lunges
Stand with feet a little wider than hip-width, and shift your weight to your right leg, then lightly bend you right knee. Then shift back to the left leg and bend the left knee. Continue alternating 8 to 10 times.
You may feel a little awkward…don’t worry these exercises are much more subtle than the person doing yoga in the seat beside you! Drink lots of water (avoid alcohol and caffeine which dehydrate you), choose healthy snacks, and get up in move around frequently. It is up to you to be proactive to make sure your legs arrive safely.

Here’s to a wonderful journey,