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,

Vanda
www.supporthosplus.com

Who Looks Out For The Security of Your Legs

Spring has officially arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere or has it. A couple who are friends have returned to their home on the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan after a lengthy vacation traveling the nice warm southern United States and are questioning their decision to return at this time. They shared on Facebook that they woke up to snow on the deck, the bay is still frozen and it was 35 degrees. For the rest of us the spring time weather like here in Amarillo, Texas gives us the travel bug.

If you are flying, airport security will be looking out for your safe flight by checking for bombs in shoes, explosives in hats, and (oh, of course) the .357 magnum that someone “forgot” to take out of their carry on bag. But what are you doing to make sure you arrive at your destination safely and are not attacked by enemies of a differ kind, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or the even more deadly Pulmonary Embolism (PA).  Either one can ruin a wonderful vacation. It is not just flying that can create these enemies… any travel by car, bus, or train that lasts 5 hours or longer is a candidate for creating these vacation ruining enemies. 

Air travel has been put on the most wanted poster more times because you are sandwiched between two other travelers, you are sitting, and sitting, and sitting in very dry, low-pressure air with lower than normal oxygen levels. Your legs are bent in the same position for hours and the seat you are sitting in for your safety is constructed with a fairly rigid  metal frame which is cutting into the back of your legs compressing the popliteal vein and slowing down the blood returning to your heart. It is at this point that you become a great candidate for a DVT. As I said, you do not have to be on a plane for this to occur…all you have to do is travel for long distances in the same position. Sitting can be dangerous for your health!

Lets make your journey one you remember because of the wonderful time you have and not because you encountered your enemies DVT and PA. Begin by choosing support socks (knee high will usually be appropriate) that will aid in returning the blood in your lower extremity back to your heart. If you have no swelling in your legs, no predisposition for developing a DVT then a 15-20mmHg compression will probably be adequate.  

Following is a list of factors that increase the risk of developing DVT:

  • Injury to a vein, often caused by:
    • Fractures
    • Severe muscle injury
    • Major surgery (especially of the abdomen, pelvis, hip, or legs)
  • Slow blood flow, often caused by:
    • Confinement to bed (possibly due to a medical condition or after surgery)
    • Limited movement (a cast on an extremity to help heal a injured bone)
    • Sitting for a long time, especially with crossed legs
    • Paralysis
    • Sedate lifestyle
  • Increased estrogen:
    • Birth control pills
    • Hormone replacement therapy, sometimes used after menopause
    • Pregnancy, for up to 6 weeks after giving birth
  • Certain Chronic medical illnesses:
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Cancer and its treatment
    • Inflammatory bowl disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • Other facts that increase the risk of DVT include:
    • Previous DVT or PE
    • Family history of DVT or PE
    • Age (risk increases as age increases)
    • Obesity
    • A catheter located in a central vein
    • Inherited clotting disorders
    • Varicose veins

If you swell when you are not traveling or are predisposed to developing a DVT, you should choose a 20-30mmHg compression or discuss this with your physician. It is up to you to be proactive to make sure your legs arrive safely.

Here’s to a wonderful journey and thanks for shopping SupportHosePlus.com,

Vanda

PS: Next week things you can do when you travel that can save your life.

April is Foot Health Month 2014 – 3

This month I have been addressing foot health. Since we currently have All Sigvaris products on sale right now, I thought I might review the Sigvaris Sport Socks and why they are so great for foot health. I don’t know if your realize it; these socks cannot be normally discounted below our regular price. So this is a great opportunity for you to try some fabulous socks with the 10% discount.

A growing trend among competitive athletes and weekend warriors is the use of gradient or graduated compression socks to help improve their athletic performance and recovery. Whether it is during the actual event, after the event, or while traveling, today’s athletes are making gradient compression socks a part of their attire.

Sigvaris has an entire line of sports products perfect for athletic activity and recovery. Professional athletes, weekend warriors and active individuals alike can all benefit from wearing the true graduated compression the Sigvaris Sports provides.

    • Those wearing Sigvaris Sports Socks will benefit from:
  • Increased circulation and improved blood flow
  • Increased oxygen to muscle tissue
  • Reduce pulled muscles and less exercise-induced muscle soreness in the legs
  • Less lactic acid buildup in the legs during exercise
  • Improve energy, performance, and recovery
  • Injury prevention and reduced shin splints and calf cramps

Peak Your Performance with Sigvaris High TechSigvaris Performance Sock

  • 20-30mmHg gradient compression optimizes athletic performance
  • Improved blood circulation and oxygen delivery
  • Less aching and cramping
  • Thermal and odor control
  • Achilles tendon protector reduces vibration on ligaments

Speed Up Your Recovery Time with Sigvaris Athletic RecoverySigvaris Recovery Sock

  • 15-20mmHg gradient compression promotes lactic acid flush-out and relieves delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Superior athletic sizing assortment and comfortable fit
  • Patented DriRelease® treatment virtually eliminates odors

Peak Your Performance with Thermoregulating Wool

Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Performance Sock

  • 20-30mmHg gradient compression optimizes athletic performance
  • Fine Australian Merino Wool Socks constructed with itch-free fibers feels soft and comfortable against the kin
  • Naturally durable, anti-microbial, and thermo-regulating for all seasons
  • Absorbs 35% of its weight in water, keeping skin dry longer
  • Cushioned padded sole keeps feet blister-free and mesh flex-zones provide ventilation


Speed Up Your Recovery Time with Sigvaris Merino OutdoorSigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock

  • 15-20mmHg gradient compression promotes lactic acid flush-out and relieves delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Fine Australian Merino Wool Socks constructed with itch-free fibers feel soft and comfortable against the skin
  • Naturally durable, anti-microbial, and thermo-regulating for all seasons
  • Absorbs 35% of its weight in water, keeping skin dry longer
  • Cushioned padded sole keeps feet blister-free and mesh flex-zones provide ventilation

Wool is not just a winter garment. Its thermo regulating properties keep you warm in winter and cool in summer. This natural fiber absorbs 35% of its weight in water to keep the skin dry. On a personal note, I love the Sigvaris Merino Outdoor when I am hiking.

When blood is properly circulated, it provides much-needed nutrients to tired muscles that have been, or are being deprived during a workout. Unlike the Sigvaris Sports Products, many other sports products do not feature “true gradient compression”. Sigvaris products have become popular among many high-profile athletes and are often recommended by trainers and sports physician world wide.

Here’s to Healthy Feet for a Healthy Life,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

March is DVT Awareness Month – What is a DVT

March is DVT Awareness Month. This month I would like to address DVT (deep vein thrombosis) to inform you and your loved ones what a DVT is, risk factors of a DVT, and the symptoms of DVT.  I want you to become an activist and recognize when medical attention should be obtained. Roughly 600,000 people in the United States are affected by DVT each year. Not all of these are hospitalized. We all fear AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents, but what about DVT?  DVT kills more people every year than these maladies combined!

So what is a DVT and how is it formed? The arteries transport the oxygen rich blood away from the heart which is a one way pump. The veins are thin-walled blood vessels that carry oxygen poor blood from the tissues back to the heart. In order to move the blood against gravity the leg In order to move the blood against gravity the leg   In order to move the blood against gravity the leg Calf Contraction and Relaxation muscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart.muscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart. Wear support hose to prevent DVTmuscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart. The human body has three types of veins; superficial veins which are the veins that are close to the skin (the ones that you can see), deep veins which lie within the muscle structure within the body and perforating veins which connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. The veins contain one-way valves for the return of the blood back to the heart. When these valves do not close, stagnation of the blood can occur and a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can form most often near a venous valve. The DVT can permanently damage the vein wall and valve with scarring or fibrosis which can cause them to become incompetent resulting in reflux (backward) flow of blood and venous congestion. Compression socks and stockings work as a secondary pump and along with the calf muscles close the valves to move the blood back to the heart. Consult with your physician to determine if you have risk factors and seek advice on appropriate preventative measures, including the amount of compression to wear. We carry many compression socks and compression stockings which can help prevent DVT. Please check out our JobstMediSigvaris and Juzo support socks and support hose. Did you know all of the manufacturers offer a extensive line of garments which range from athletic socks, men’s dress and casual socks to women’s opaque and sheer thigh high stockings and pantyhose so that each of us can choose a style or styles that are targeted at our lifestyle?

Next week we look at Risk Factors for DVT…

Let’s all get out there and let our friends know about DVT,


Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

More Questions You Have Asked

Our clients have certainly given us some questions that need to be addressed. One of the main concerns seems to be that of being able to don and doff (put on and take off) their own compression stockings. Staying independent is important to all of us. One question that was asked is if there is a donner for support pantyhose similar to the one for knee high or thigh high support socks. Yes there is. However I do not recommend using it. I believe it is one thing to have one leg in a donner trying to pull up a support sock, but to have both legs involved in a donner I feel could lead to a nasty fall.

It seems everyone wants to know the easiest way to put on support pantyhose. I would like to share with you how I put my panty hose on. I wear 20-30 pantyhose and it takes me about 5 minutes and a bit of patience to put my stockings on in the morning. While it is not an easy task, it is really no more difficult than putting on a pair of knee high stockings. The hardest part of putting on any lower extremity compression garment is getting it over the heel. First I will repeat what I said last week, never gather the stocking. I use the Sigvaris Donning Gloves to put on my support pantyhose. I call them my “magic green gloves”. They enable arthritic hands to have better grasp. I use the little “nubbies” to pinch and pull the stockings up. They also protect my stockings from my fingernails. Even when I have the Sigvaris Donning Gloves on, I use only the balls of the finger tips to grasp the stockings.

First I sit down and with out my “magic green gloves” I pull the stockings on one leg as far as I can.  (For me, it is easier to start with the left leg.) Then I put on my gloves and pull the stocking up and over my heel and then up my leg as high above the knee as I can by pinching the garment and pulling it up. Then I start the other leg into the stocking and use the gloves in the same manner to pull the stocking up to the same level.

When I have them as high up my legs as I can get them while sitting down I remove the gloves, stand up, and pull the stockings up and over my tummy. Once this is accomplished, I put the gloves back on and start at the ankle of each leg and re-stretch the stockings by pinching and pulling all the way up the leg.

Then I take the gloves off and place my hands in the back of the stockings with my palms out. I push away from the body and lift up without grabbing the stockings. This seats the crotch of the pantyhose.

If the color or appearance of the stockings is uneven, I put on the gloves and use the flat of the hand to rub gently up or down the leg to adjust the stocking so it has an even appearance.

peel a banana3

Now that we have managed to put on stockings or socks, how are we going to get them off? I have had clients become so frustrated and panicked that they cut (yes, cut) a very expensive garment off. Same thing applies here as when putting on a compression garment…never gather the garment (or allow it to roll) when removing it. It becomes like the rubber band again and extremely difficult to remove. Instead start at the top and pull the garment down allowing the garment (it does not matter if it is a knee high, thigh high, or pantyhose) to slid on itself until you are able to pull it off your foot. The stocking slides on itself.  Peel your socks off just like you peel a banana.

If the “Peel a banana” method is not working for you, we have another option the Mediven Butler Off. The Butler Off looks similar to a shoe horn. There is a handle on top for pushing and a “tooth” to help push the garment off. The Butler Off is not meant for use with sheer support hose, but with more substantial garments. The Butler Off is not to be used to help push yourself up from a sitting position.

How to Use the Medi Butler Off for Removal of Stockings or SocksHow to use Medi Butler Off

  • Slide the tip of the horn under the top band of the stockings.
  • Now push the handle gently downwards: the far end of the horn slides down your calf and then over your heel. During the whole process the inner surface of the horn should remain in contact with your skin. At the same time the “tooth” helps push the stocking downwards. In order to regain contact with your skin you can start again with the horn a little higher and then continue with the downward movement if necessary.
  • As soon as you reach your heel lift your heel up. Then tilt the stick downwards a little to guide the horn along the underside of your foot. Caution: Make sure you do not press the stocking against the ground with the doffing aid. Otherwise the stocking may be damaged. Now push the handle forwards gently: the stockings slides off your foot, but stays on the horn.

There are more ways to don and doff compression stockings or support socks that these, but perhaps this will get you started. If you have comments or more questions, please click on the title of this newsletter, More Questions You Have Asked, scroll to the bottom of the blog, and leave your message as a guest.

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

 

Support Hose – Questions You May Have Asked

I had a gentleman email me the other day asking how to sort his compression socks into pairs. This started me thinking…there are questions we get asked over and over again so I thought I would devote a few newsletters covering some of these questions.

How can I sort support socks so I don’t embarass myself by having on mismatched support socks?

mismatched socks

    Compression socks are dyed so very heavy that it is often very difficult to tell the difference between blue, brown and black until you have mismatched socks on! (Even in this photo one sock is brown and the other back.)
  • You should get your socks in really good light. They are much easier to pair that way.
  • You could put each pair in a separate lingerie bag when you remove the socks. They are always paired that way.
  • When you receive your new socks, take a few running stitches in the top of the socks. Use a different color for each pair.

Is there any way to make support socks or support stockings with silicone tops stay up?  
wiping silicone band with alcohol small

    After you have had your socks or stockings with a silicone band for a little while (less than the 4 – 6 month life of the garment), they may start to slide down.

  • Sometimes you will get a body protein and lotion (accidental application) build up on the silicone band (even if you wash these garments every night).
  • Take a wash cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and wipe only the silicone dots or silicone strips. This could be done weekly as a deterrent to garments sliding
  • This will restore the tackiness of the silicone.

 

Is there an easier way to put support hose or support socks on someone else?

Donning a Sock

    I have clients who are caregivers make comments about how hard it is to put compression support hose or support stockings on someone else.

  • To begin with, never and I mean never, gather the compression sock or stocking like you would an ordinary sock or stocking. The garment becomes like a rubber band and you cannot stretch it open far enough to insert the toes… no matter how strong you are, it is next to impossible. Fold the top of the sock down until you are right above the heal pocket.
  • Insert your thumbs into the opening and stretch the garment open. (You are only stretching two layers of support sock and not a clump of support sock).
  • Next sit next to the person you are going to put the stockings on and pull the garment on them as though you were pulling the garment onto your leg.
  • It is many times easier to pull a sock or stocking on than try to push one on!

If you have questions or comments, scroll to the bottom of this blog and leave your comment or question as a guest.

The Newest (and Driest) Technology in Compression Socks

sweaty feetOur feet are the second sweatiest part of our body next to our armpits. The 250,000 sweat glands found on each foot can generate between half a cup and a cup of perspiration per day, depending on our level of activity. Unless this moisture is wicked away, our feet will become soggy and the skin soft and damp. Mushy skin becomes damaged a lot faster than dry skin. This is why 100% cotton socks are not a good choice. Cotton appears in a lot of less expensive socks. It absorbs more moisture than many other fibers, but loses all of its insulating ability when saturated, takes forever to dry, and will sag and bunch when wet. Socks which contain high percentages of cotton should be avoided.

Our socks take extreme wear and tear from our daily activities. They protect our feet from blisters and all the abuse we can deal out. Thus as we don (put on) our socks each day their job is to manage moisture and keep our feet dry. Their second job is to give enough padding to keep our feet warm or cool depending on conditions and our activity, and protect our feet from blisters.

Socks and the yarns which are used to knit them are probably one of the least thought about issues of our time. However, if our feet are not happy, we are not happy. The right socks make us feel good. Our manufacturers spend a lot of time and money on research looking for the best yarns to use to knit compression socks and compression stockings to make them both durable and effective. So let’s take some time to consider the yarns used to knit them.

Nylon and polyester are extremely durable. When a sock wears out the nylon is the last threads seen which are holding those favorite socks together. These synthetic, non-porous materials absorb very little water, dry quickly, and help give socks form and structure. Nylon and polyester themselves do not move moisture, but manufacturers apply a variety of coatings to the fibers to wick moisture away from our feet. (Dry feet are less susceptible to bacteria and fungus.) Examples of polyester and nylon socks are the Sigvaris Recovery SockSigvaris Performance SockTherafirm Core-Spun Knee High and Therafirm Core-Spun Cushioned Knee High, and the Sigvaris Performanace Sleeve.

Polyamide is a term often seen in socks. They are the basic fiber forming substances for nylon fiber. Polyamide was developed in the United States about 1935 and first used in stockings about 1940. Nylon fiber is fine, highly elastic, easy to wash, quick to dry and retains its shape well.

Acrylic is another commonly used synthetic material. It closely approximates the plushness of wool, while offering the increased durability of a synthetic. Other materials used include Lycra Spandex or Elasthan, which provide the hugging elastic. Please note that neither Spandex nor Elasthan contain rubber! In fact there are only a very few socks from our manufacturers that do contain rubber. All garments contain Spandex or Elasthan to give the support socks or support stockings the stretch. An example of socks with acrylic, nylon and Elasthan are the Therafirm Core-Spun.

Natural fibers would seem to be a good choice, but some have drawbacks. Cotton, as we have already discussed, is not a good choice. Wool manages moisture well, and wicks moisture away from your feet. Wool provides good padding and warmth, and can absorb up to a third of its weight in water without feeling damp or losing much of its insulating ability. Something you may not have known…wool regulates temperature well keeping feet cool as well as warm. However, wool is also less durable than most synthetic materials, and does not hold its shape well. So that we may have the best of both worlds (natural fibers and man made fibers) our manufacturers are now creating blends of fine wool, nylon, and spandex. Examples of the mix of fine Australian Merino Wool, nylon, and spandex mix are the Sigvaris Merino Wool and the Sigvaris Thermoregulating Wool .

Now last, but by no means least is a patented, intimate blend of synthetic and natural fibers that accelerates the water release rate of wet fabric. Dri-Release® is a micro blend performance yarn that feels like cotton. Rather than just spreading moisture across its surface, Dri-Release® actually pushes moisture to the outside of a garment, releasing water and perspiration. Tests show it dries four times faster than cotton and faster than any other performance fabric on the market. Dri-Release® is the preferred performance fabric for athletes all over the world. The unparalleled performance and moisture transferring qualities of Dri-Release® help these many athletes perform at the top of their game every time. One of the socks we have previously mentioned, Sigvaris Recovery Sock, is an example of a sock containing the Dri-Release® yarn.

In conclusion if shopping for what many of us call support hose, compression hosiery, support socks and many other names, a garment with high contents of synthetic fibers will tend to give us longer wear, provide wicking action to remove moisture from our feet and provide ample padding. Top of this list of synthetic fibers is the new yarn which was developed Optimar called Dri-Release®. It is the very same yarn used in socks worn in bicycle races and triathlons by well know athletes. Socks containing wool are also a good choice because it is  thermo regulating, moisture wicking, insulating, breathable, and durable. 


Happy Activities,

Vanda
SupportHosePlus.com

Santa Didn’t Wear His Support Socks

Hello To All,I Wish I Had Worn My Support Socks

Hope your Holiday season has been kinder to you than it was to our dear old friend Santa Clause. Santa forgot to wear his support socks for his whirl wind world trip and see how swollen his feet are!? If you have not been wearing your support socks or support stockings, your feet may look just like Santa’s and you may feel just as tired as Santa.

All kidding aside, when you take your get away this winter or spring be sure to wear your compression socks or compression stockings. The number of travel-related vein conditions is increasing each year. No matter how you travel, blood circulation in the lower extremity is reduced simply because you are sitting in one position. Symptoms such as heavy legs, leg pain, or swollen feet and ankles develop. The reduced circulation in the lower leg can lead to blood clots (DVT) or even worse the blood clots could break loose and travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be deadly.

Blood clots are more common in the left leg, possibly because the femoral artery in that leg passes anterior to the vein, and may compress the vein. Symptoms do not usually develop immediately after travel, but more likely within three days of arrival at your destination. Symptoms may not manifest themselves for up to two weeks after a long trip. Symptoms include: pain in leg or pelvis, tenderness and swelling of the leg, discoloration of the leg (reddish), areas of the leg or pelvis region that feel warm to touch, or whole leg swelling.

DVT kills more people every year than AIDS, breast cancer, and traffic accidents combined. Don’t be like Santa, wear your support hose or support socks and arrive at your destination ready for a fun time!

Things You Can Do To Prevent DVT When You Travel

  • Wear comfortable, loose clothing
  • Get up and walk once every hour or two
  • Make figure eights and circles with your feet while seated
  • Breathe deeply frequently
  • Drink plenty of water (Avoid excessive alcohol intake – it dehydrates the body)
  • Elevate your feet when possible
  • Wear your support sock and stockings from Support Hose Plus

Just remember to wear support socks or support stockings when you travel and continue to wear them for the next few days after your arrival at your destination to make sure your legs return to normal size. Encourage friends or family who are traveling with you to do the same. (They may not know about the dangers of Travel Related DVT.) They may not have any problems, so a 15-20mmHg compression may be adequate for them.

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Happy Travels to You and Yours,

Vanda

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is one of the leading causes of swollen feet, ankles and legs.

    Someone with CVI may experience:

  • Ankle swelling
  • Tight feeling calves
  • Heavy, tired, restless or achy legs
  • Pain while walking or shortly after stopping

EnlargedVeinAndDamagedVeinThere are several things that can cause CVI. Ultimately, long-term blood pressure in the leg veins that is higher than normal can causes CVI. If the valves in the veins are damaged blood can pool in the lower extremities and cause varicose veins. Sitting or standing can stretch the superficial vein walls and damage the valves in the veins which keep blood from flowing back down the legs.

DVT happens when a blood clot (thrombus) blocks the blood flow back to the heart out of the deep veins or perforating veins, which connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. Deep vein thrombosis (dvt) can also cause CVI, because it blocks the flow of blood back to the heart and elevates the pressure inside the veins.

    Factors that increase your risk of CVI include:

  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising enough
  • Being pregnant
  • Smoking
  • Sitting or standing for long periods of time

CVI can be diagnosed by your physician by taking your patient history and physical exam. The physician may also measure the blood pressure in your legs and examine any varicose veins you may have. To confirm a diagnosis of CVI, the physician will usually order a duplex ultrasound or a venogram. A duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to measure the speed of blood flow and visualizes the structure of the leg veins. A venogram is an x-ray that uses a dye (contrast) which enables the physician to see the veins.

ChronicVenousInsufficiencyChronic venous insufficiency is usually not considered a health risk; your physician will try to decrease your pain and disability. In mild cases of CVI, compression stockings or compression socks may alleviate the discomfort and swelling. Physicians usually use a 20-30mmHg compression stocking or a 20-30mmHg compression sock for this. The stockings will not make the varicosities go away, but is the least invasive treatment.

More serious cases may require sclerotherapy, ablation, or surgical intervention such as stripping to correct the problematic vein. This is usually done by a vascular specialist or vascular surgeon. During sclerotherapy a chemical is injected in the affected vein or veins and a scar will form from the inside of the vein. During ablation a thin, flexible tube (catheter) with an electrode at the tip will heat the vein walls at the appropriate location to seal the vein. When a vein stripping is done one of the saphenous veins is removed. The physician will make a small incision in the groin area and usually another in the calf below the knee. The veins associated with the saphenous vein will be disconnected and tied off and the vein removed. There are other surgical procedures which are done to improve your leg health. After one of the above procedures 20-30mmHg compression stockings are usually put on and you are told to wear them for a certain length of time. Some physicians will tell their patients on their follow-up visit that it is no longer necessary to wear the compression garments. For me, this is where I have some concerns. If the real underlining cause of CVI (such as family history of varicose veins, being overweight, not exercising enough, smoking or sitting or standing for long periods of time) has not been corrected why would you not continue to wear compression stockings to keep from developing CVI again.

Compression stockings and socks have come a long way in the last few years. They no longer look like the garments our grandparents wore. They look like ordinary stockings and socks. The stigma of wearing compression garments is past.

Here’s to feet, ankles, and legs that are no longer swollen,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com