Manufacturers and Styles of Compression Stockings

We are writing this week’s Leg Health News to briefly describe the manufacturers and some of the styles of compression garments provided by Supporthoseplus.com.
There are 5 leading manufacturers of compression stockings in the USA. They are JobstMedivenSigvarisJuzo, and Therafirm. Each manufacture has different styles of knee-high, thigh-high, and waist-high pantyhose. The hose also come in different compressions of millimeters of mercury (mmHg). “mmHg” stands for millimeters of Mercury. This measurement is the same measurement used to measure your blood pressure as well as the atmospheric pressure. It is the force per unit area exerted by an atmospheric column (that is, the entire body of air above the specified area). When you have a blood pressure reading, such as “120/80 mmHg,” we say it is “120 over 80 millimeters of mercury.” The top number, the systolic, measures arterial pressure during the heart’s contraction. The bottom number, the diastolic, assesses arterial pressure when the heart is relaxing between beats, refilling itself with blood.
When we talk about compression in garments, is usually expressed as a range, i.e. 20-30 mmHg. That is the range of pressure the garment is capable of exerting at the ankle dependent upon the measurements the fitter takes. Since the compression garments are gradient or graduated, the pressure gets less as it goes up the leg and less as it goes toward the toe. 
You can order knee-high stockings in a sock fabric like a Therafirm core-spun (for men or women) or Jobst for Men Casual sock (both are knee-high socks) or in a stockings like Jobst Ultrasheer (a pretty compression stocking), Sigvaris Opaque (a stocking which can hide an imperfection,
Medi Comfort from SupportHosePlus.com

Medi Comfort

 

or Mediven Comfort (one of our favorites) to maintain reduction as well as coverage. If you have lymphedema in the arm or hands may I recommend the Juzo brand of products. I know that many of you have your favorites. 
If you are unsure of what style you desire you can always call and speak to one of our certified fitters at toll free 1(844-472-8807)
I know in these difficult times many of you are concerned about cost. As a family owned company, we want to offer you a 20% discount off manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) on most products and a 30% discount on the Jobst Relief product line.

Thanks for shopping with www.supporthoseplus.com!

– Vanda

What is mmHg?

Many of you have asked what is mmHg or mm Hg (it is written both ways) when we talk about compression hose. “mmHg” stands for millimeters of Mercury. This measurement is the same measurement used to measure your blood pressure as well as the atmospheric pressure. It is the force per unit area exerted by an atmospheric column (that is, the entire body of air above the specified area). When you have a blood pressure reading, such as “120/80 mmHg,” we say it is “120 over 80 millimeters of mercury.” The top number, the systolic reading, measures arterial pressure during the heart’s contraction. The bottom diastolic number assesses arterial pressure when the heart is relaxing between beats, refilling itself with blood. When we talk about compression in garments, is usually expressed as a range, i.e. 20-30 mmHg. That is the range of pressure the garment is capable of exerting at the ankle dependent upon the measurements the fitter takes. Since the compression garments are gradient or graduated, the pressure gets less as it goes up the leg and less as it goes toward the toe.

Compression garments were developed when a person with lower extremity venous insufficiency (a condition  that occurs when the veins in the legs are not working effectively to pump blood from the legs back to the heart) realized that when they went into a body of water such as a swimming pool the increased pressure in the pool relieved the pain and discomfort from the venous condition. The deeper they progressed in the pool, the more relief they felt. From this discovery a very rudimentary wrap developed which reduced the swelling or edema and improved their quality of life.

Through the years, this rudimentary wrap has evolved into the wonderful compression garments we have today. They are available in many different compressions to accommodate the severity of disease. Compression classes
Support hose or support socks fit every lifestyle…from the sheerest, most fashionable stockings, or men’s dress socks to many types of athletic socks for both men and women. The stockings and socks are made of a wide variety of yarns which include nylon, wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, and Lycra Spandex or Elasthan (Lacra Spandex or Elasthan is the yarn which give the garment its “stretchability”). All are knit in a manner to move the perspiration next to the skin to the outside of the garment so it can evaporate to keep you more comfortable. Many of our clients have several different styles of stockings and socks to fit their myriad lifestyles.

The stockings you wear with compression (mmHg) are not the old “supp hose” your grandmother use to wear. Call one of our Certified Fitters on our toll-free line, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of new garments or go to  www.supporthoseplus.com

Here is to healthy legs,

Vanda Lancour

February is American Heart Month 2015

SHP BeKindToYourHeartFebruary is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) include heart disease, stoke, and high blood pressure is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States. One in four deaths is attributive to CVD. It is the leading cause that prevents Americans from working and enjoying family activities (quality of life).

Men are twice as likely to die of preventable CVD as women. Having a close relative with CVD puts you at a higher risk. Disparities based on location also seem to exist. During 2007 – 2009, death rates due to heart disease were highest in the South and lowest in the West.

While race and ethnicity also affect your risk, the larger majority of cases are due to risk factors that respond to things we can change.
These factors are:
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Elevated cholesterol
• Uncontrolled diabetes
• Being a smoker
• Being sedentary

Heart disease can be silent. We may not know we have it until we have a cardiac event. At that time one or all of the above factors can manifest themselves. That is the reason we are encouraged to have routine check-ups: so we can correct these factors before they lead to heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease can affect your quality of life and we are all about having a great quality of life! As we know race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Be a good example for friends or relatives that you can turn CVD around and have a good quality of life.

We see the heart as a symbol of our love, but it is the organ in our body that enables the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood through our body. As we age the valves in our legs may not function efficiently. This puts more stress on the heart. Compression stockings work with the muscles in our legs to help the valves in our legs close better.

• Love your heart and learn how to keep it healthy
• Go for a yearly physical each year
• Get informed about the 6 risk factors and how you can change them
• Get 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 days a week.

Each one of us must make a personal decision to modify our lifestyles in order to have a better quality of life. So I encourage everyone to put on their support hose or support socks and take a walk. It’s the first step to a healthier heart for you.

Here’s to a healthy you,

Vanda

Signs of Orthostatic Hypotension

Do you remember when you were younger and had a lot more energy? Sometimes you would get up too fast and get dizzy. This is called orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension.  You may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even faint. You may not have to get up fast any more to experience the dizzy feeling. This episode may last a few seconds to a few minutes after standing. If it lasts longer than that, you need to visit with your physician to make sure there is nothing else to be concerned about. Orthostatic hypotension can occur in anyone, but can be seen particularly in the elderly and those with low blood pressure.

Some of the signs and symptoms of orthostatic hypotension after sudden standing are:

  • Dizziness
  • Intense feelings of well being or disorientation
  • Lightheaded
  • Nausea
  • Distortions in hearing
  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Fainting

Orthostatic hypotension is caused primarily by pooling of blood in the lower extremity caused by gravity. This can set off a chain reaction:

  • Venous return to the heart is compromised
  • Decreased cardiac output
  • Lowered arterial pressure
  • Lowered systolic and diastolic pressure
  • Insufficient blood flow to the upper extremity

Normally the blood pressure does not fall very much when you stand, because it automatically triggers vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels caused by muscular contraction of the muscle in the vein wall). Orthostatic hypotension may be aggravated when there is a lower volume of blood present (bleeding, diuretics, dehydration vasodilators or other types of drugs, or prolonged bed rest). There are also certain diseases which could aggravate orthostatic hypotension, but those are best diagnosed and addressed by a physician.

BPStanding BPSitting

One simple test for orthostatic hypotension is taking the blood pressure while sitting or lying down and again when standing.

A drop in systolic blood pressure of 20 mmHg and/or a drop of diastolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg could be diagnostic. A tilt table test or other tests may also be used.

lwa-ask-your-physician

The treatment of orthostatic hypotension will depend on the cause, but physicians will usually review the medications you are currently taking to
make sure there is nothing that could cause your symptoms. Your physician may recommend lifestyle changes such as increase in fluid intake, standing slowly, and avoid bending at the waist. Sometimes wearing compression stockings will help control the drop in blood pressure you have experienced. Some physicians will recommend a 15-20 mmHg knee high: other physicians recommend a 20-30 mmHg knee high. A knee high garment may be adequate to control a mild drop in blood pressure, but in severe cases, a 30-40 mmHg waist high garment may be required. In any case, if you are having symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, consult with your physician.

SupportHosePlus.com offers many styles of garments your physician may recommend. Remember there is a wide range of athletic, dress, casual, and sheer stockings to fit your lifestyle. Check your latest e-mail for specials and call one of the Certified Fitters at SupportHosePlus.com. Toll-free 1-844-472-8807

If you have orthostatic hypotension please share with us how you and your physicians have been able to manage it, go to the bottom of the blog entry and leave a comment.

Vanda

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,

Vanda


http://www.supporthoseplus.com

February is American Heart Heath Month

 

February is American Heart Month. The heart is part of the circulatory system which also includes veins, arteries. The heart is a little powerhouse, about the size of a closed fist and weighs only about 10.5 ounces, yet it is the strongest muscle in the body. It powers the circulatory system by moving 5000 to 6000 quarts of blood through the body each day. It transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste products throughout the body. At rest the heart easily pumps over 5 liters of blood throughout the body every minute (that is approximately the total volume of blood in the body).

Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood away from the heart. The arteries are in such close proximity to the heart that they do not need valves to keep the blood from back flowing. The veins are blood vessels that carry the oxygen depleted blood back to the heart. Because the arteries use most of the energy from the heart’s contractions, the veins have lower pressure and the walls are thinner, and relay on gravity and movements or contractions of skeletal muscles to push the blood back to the heart. Some veins have valves which keep the blood from “back flowing”. When these valves become damaged, swelling will occur usually in a lower extremity. Apply a compression stocking or compression sock will help the damaged valve to close enabling the blood to continue the journey back to the heart. This takes some of the load off the heart and helps your heart stay healthy. Who would have thought a compression sock or stocking would help your heart stay healthy!

To keep my heart healthy I love to take walks and Sigvaris Sock and Sleeves or any of the Jobst Socks and Stockings (15-20mmHg or greater) will help increase my circulation and help keep my heart healthy. (You do not have to be an athlete to love some of these socks.)

Here’s to a heart healthy journey for all of us,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

New Beginnings

NewBeginningsFromSupportHoseStore

January is a great month to pursue new beginnings. Last January we discussed New Year’s resolutions and how not to overwhelm yourself with too many goals. Even if we were not successful last year, we can start from right now. January is a great month to pursue new beginnings. The best place to start is in what we eat. We can start by not getting rid of anything, but by increasing our water, vegetable, and fruit consumption. This will begin your journey to a healthier you. The next natural step is to put on those support stockings or support socks and increase your activity level. Start with attainable goals that fit in your current lifestyle. If the only walking you do is from your car to the grocery store, then park a few spaces further away from the entry. Increase your goals as you reach your objective.

Support Hose Store Struggling with Stockings
Your morning should not have to start like this!

Now the big question is…have you been wearing those compression stockings or compression socks or have they been sitting in you dresser drawer? If they are not on your legs, you are doing yourself a disservice. We’ve all gained a few pounds or lost a little “muscular integrity”, and the support stockings will increase the circulation in your legs and help them feel better while you are increasing your activity.I know they are not easy to get on and some of you say, “I just can’t get them on”. Yes, you can! Our Certified Fitters at Support Hose Plus know the “Secrets of the Best Fitters”! You might want to take a look at Secrets of the Best Fitters in our September 9, 2008 blog entry. If you are still having trouble, please call our Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807 and they will help you walk through the donning techniques!

As Oprah once said,
“Cheers to a New Year & another chance for us to get it right!!”

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com
1-844-472-8807

September is Healthy Ageing Month

September, “Healthy Aging” month, was started to give seniors and those “almost seniors” a way to make little changes in their lives which can greatly affect their quality of life down the road. Now you and I know growing older is one of the hardest things we have done. (Perhaps it is just something we thought would never happen to us.) We need to look at the positive aspects and not the negative aspects. We need to realize that it is not too late to take control, because it is never too late to start something new.

I read something the other day… “Dance like there’s no tomorrow”, it really caught my eye. Just as getting better oxygen flow to the lower extremities by wearing support stockings or support socks improves your leg health; exercise increases the oxygen to the brain. Older adults involved in regular physical activity are less likely to get dementia.

No matter our age, we should all be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We still have a great abundance available in the markets and we should be taking advantage of the difference they can make in our health. For example a woman my age should be eating at least 1.5 cups fresh fruit and 2 cups of vegetables a day. If you are not eating at least this, you are neglecting your health. Fresh fruits and vegetable contain fiber as well as vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight chronic diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.

As you all know regular check ups with your physician are also an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Although there are many tests that should be done, blood sugar for diabetes, colonoscopies for colon cancer, mammogram for breast cancer, and bone density for osteoporosis are a must as well as keep an eye on your blood pressure.

There are so many small steps you can take so you can enjoy “Healthy Aging” “Dance like there is no tomorrow”, eat healthy, and breath deep and slow.

Here’s to our “Healthy Aging”,

Vanda