Sitting Can Be Dangerous For Your Health

car3It is the time of the year that I start thinking about vacations. One of the first things I plan for is not my wardrobe, but my compression stockings. They can save my life. Vacations can be a particularly dangerous time for DVT because the extended time spent in an airplane, car, or train can increase your risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Air travel is the notorious culprit for causing DVT.  In an airplane you are sitting crammed between two other travelers. The air on the plane is dry, and the pressure is decreased with lower oxygen levels. The passenger’s legs are bent in the same position for hours and the seat you are sitting in for your safety is constructed with a fairly ridged metal frame which is cutting into the back of your legs compressing the popliteal vein and slowing down the blood returning to your heart. At this point you are a prime candidate for developing a DVT. Any situation in which the leg is bent at the knee for prolonged periods with little or no activity may lead to the reduction of blood flow and increase the risk of blood clots.

Risk factors which can increase your risk of DVT include:

  • 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 an 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

A DVT may not have any symptoms but can cause pain, swelling and your leg (or arm) could feel warm to touch. If left untreated, a piece of the DVT (blood clot) can break loose and travel through the right side of the heart, and lodge in small or large branches of the pulmonary artery (blood vessels going to the lungs). This is called a pulmonary embolism or PE.  The symptoms can be chest pain, difficulty breathing, or coughing up blood or as extreme as collapse and sudden death.

Here are some simple steps to keep your travel from ending with a prolonged trip to the emergency room:

  • Wear properly fit compression socks or compression hose to prevent stagnation of the blood and increase the blood flow back to the heart.
  • Keep moving.  When you travel, get up and move around when it is safe to do so.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps keep you hydrated and less likely to develop clots
  • Avoid alcohol! Alcohol contributes to dehydration, which thickens the blood
  • Exercise your legs. Bend and straighten them several times ever half hour to hour.

The following was provided courtesy JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

LegExercisesForAirTravel

Leg exercised for air travel. Lift toes and lift heels.

AtRest

At rest blood flow with the vein slows or stops.

FootPumpExercises

Foot pump exercises…Muscle contractions push blood through vein valves.

For your convenience you might want to check out our SIGVARIS Products at 20% off MSRP. We also have THERAFIRM Products 20% off MSRP. These are great products to make sure you are prepared for your vacation.

Sitting can be dangerous to your health,

Vanda Lancour
www.supporthoseplus.com

PS What is your favorite sock for travel?

Guard Agains Varicose Veins and DVT

June is Men’s Health Month.  It is the goal of Support Hose Plus to heighten the awareness of preventable leg health problems for men and to encourage men to wear their support socks to prevent leg health problems.

Most men think varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem (a woman thing), however varicose veins are just as detrimental to men’s leg health as women’s leg health.

Here are some reasons men should choose to wear support socks or support thigh highs:

  • Tired achy legs
  • Heavy legs
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg pain from prolonged sitting or standing
  • Dull, aching pain in legs
  • Tingling, numbness, burning or cramping in the legs and feet
  • Legs “fall asleep” often
  • Spider veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Reddish discoloration of the skin
  • Hardened skin on the lower leg
  • Patches of dry skin on the lower leg
  • Open sores on the lower leg that do not heal
  • Family history of venous disease
  • Travel (to prevent a deadly Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Surgery (to prevent a deadly Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Orthostatic Hypotension ( a form of low that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down…dizzy spell)
  • Injury

Men seem to be very self-conscious of wearing support socks, but many professional athletes know the value of wearing a compression sock. Can you imagine if one of the valued players of the NBA got a DVT because he did not wear compression when he traveled or had an injury to his leg? Not only would he be on out of the game, but his whole team would be put at disadvantage.

Think of the professional athlete…ProBasketballAthlete

  • As he travels long distances to compete, he wears compression socks. He definitely does not want to arrive at an event for which he has been training to be knocked out of competition by a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis).
  • During his competition he wants to be at his best. Performance athletic socks increase arterial flow, reduce muscle strain, decreases exertion, and reduces skin temperature.
  • After he has completed his competition he wants a speedy recovery, so he wears his recovery socks to help get the lactic acid out of the muscle so there is less muscle soreness.

weekendwarriorsYou may be a “week-end warrior” not a professional athlete, but you can also appreciate what support socks can do for your sporting activities as well as your everyday living. Why should the you not have the same advantages as the athlete? By taking action to wear an appropriate compression garment, you could prevent more serious problems which ultimately could affect your quality of life as well as your family.

weekendwarrior

It is not just the week-end warriors that need the support socks. All males can use compression socks to increase circulation and guard against varicose veins and DVT everyday. I want the best for the males in my life. They are just as important to me as the valued NBA player is to his team. So lets encourage all the men we know to visit with their physician if they have any problems listed above and wear their support socks faithfully.  Remember, you can always call one of the SupportHosePlus.com Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of a garment.

Hope all of our loved ones have healthy legs,

Vanda Lancour

Defy Gravity

The condition of men’s legs are not something that they are concerned with; they don’t sit around and talk about varicose veins while drinking a beer and watching a game for the FIFA World Cup or their favorite sports program. Perhaps the condition of their legs is at least something they should think about and talk to their physician. About 10-15% of younger men have varicose veins whereas about 20-25%of the young women experience the problem. As I wrote about last week, it’s the women who will seek a physician’s advice about varicose veins and not the men. Most men think varicose veins are no big deal…a woman’s problem. Think again. By the time men are in their sixties between 50 and 60% have varicose veins.

Exercise regularly...It's important to involve your calves. It is the calves that act as a secondary pump to return the blood to the heart.

When sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time, blood pools in the lower extremity expanding the vein walls. Over time the veins loose their elasticity and do not return to their taut state. Some people (both men and women) have a genetic preponderance to varicose veins. If one of your parents has vein disease (venous insufficiency), you have about a 33% chance of developing it. If both of your parents have venous insufficiency, your chance jumps up to 90%.

  • Exercise regularly…It’s important to involve your calves. It is the calves that act as a secondary pump to return the blood to the heart.
  • Wear compression hose… Some physicians recommend everyone wear knee-length compression stockings—even if they don’t have signs of varicose veins. The compression of the stockings assists the calf muscle in pumping the blood from the ankle back to the heart. Usually a 15-20mmHg or 20-30mmHg compression is adequate.
  • Watch your diet… Foods high in sodium may cause your body to retain more fluids and swell.

Some people experience no symptoms with varicose veins, for others, the varicose veins hurt (throbbing, aching or burning). Other people experience itching or the vein feels hot, and many experience swelling in their legs. Symptoms are usually less severe in the early morning and worse at the end of the day (after standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time). The cause of the pain may be nerve irritation. As varicose veins dilate, they can begin to press against adjacent nerves.

Some athletes relate that their legs feel fine when training, but a short time later the legs that have varicose veins begin to ache, throb and feel heavy. If they lie down and elevate their legs, they feel better. While an athlete is exercising, their muscles required more oxygen. So the oxygen rich blood is transported through the arteries and the muscles helped the veins return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. When the exercise is completed, there is no calf pump action to help the veins return blood to the heart resulting in pooling of blood in the lower extremity. Elevating the leg helps the body defy gravity and return the blood to the heart (just as compression stockings and socks do).

Sports which add more weight to the legs such as weightlifting, skiing, backpacking and repetitive motion sports such as running, cycling and tennis put a lot of stress on the veins in the legs. These activities can damage the delicate valves of the venous system and exacerbate the venous insufficiency. There are positive and negative reasons to exercise or not, but they cancel each other out. So stay active and defy gravity by wearing compression socks!

Visit your primary care physician so he can make arrangements to have them checked out and defy gravity by wearing compression socks.

If your legs ache and swell, it could be a bigger problem than simply overdoing it at last week’s soccer game. And even if your legs aren’t in pain, if you’re seeing weird vein patterns, chances are there could be something wrong. Visit your primary care physician so he can make arrangements to have them checked out and defy gravity by wearing compression socks.

Vanda

March is DVT Awareness Month – Risk Factors

About 2 million people experience DVT each year. It can affect anyone (male or female),at any age without warning. Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism (DVT/PE) are often under diagnosed. They are  serious, but preventable medical conditions. It is to your advantage if you know DVT risk factors. Some of the factors you can change and some of them you cannot.

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 

      mediMaternity
  • 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

The more risk factors you have, the greater are your chances of developing a DVT. Change the risk factors you can to give yourself a better chance of not developing a DVT. If you have a muscle injury or you are scheduled for surgery, discuss the option of wearing a 20-30mmHg support stockings or support socks to prevent the DVT. When Rod and I have surgery we discuss this with our surgeons and receive their approval to bring our own 20-30mmHg garments (which we know fit correctly) rather than wear their TEDS!

If you have a sedate lifestyle or sit behind a computer, get up and move around at least once an hour. WALK!! WALK!! WALK!! If you have surgery, get up and move as soon as your physician gives you permission. Sometimes that is even the same day as surgery. According to a study from Oxford University, patients recovering from surgery are at a high risk of DVT for much longer than previously thought. In this study, it was found the likelihood of a patient to need hospital treatment for a DVT was 70 time higher than the norm. For those who had day surgery, the risk was 10 times higher than the norm. The danger was highest in the third week post-op, but continued for around 12 weeks.

If you are pregnant, start wearing support hose as soon as you learn of your pregnancy (learning to put them on during your first trimester helps you to put them on in that last trimester) and continue to wear them for at least 6 weeks after delivery. Besides the hormonal changes going on, there is also the weight of the baby on the saphenous veins which can cause decreased blood flow and the risk of DVT. Maternity panty hose not only increase the flow of blood by using gradient compression, but also lift the baby up off the veins and to some degree help the back.

Help keep your friends or loved ones in good health, tell them about DVT and how to prevent in by wearing compression hose or compression socks.

Here are a few tips to help you and your loved ones stay healthy:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, quite. This is one of the greatest gifts you can give your loved ones.
  • Exercise your legs regularly when sitting or laying for long periods of time…This can be as simple as making figure 8’s with your feet or just walk for a few minutes.
  • When sitting, stretch you legs and change position frequently.
  • Take a deep breath frequently.
  • Elevate you legs whenever possible.
  • Be careful about chairs and leg rests that compress the calf or behind the knee.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake (it dehydrates the body).
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear loose, non-binding clothes when traveling.
  • If you have family members with multiple DVT’s and they have been diagnosed as having a clotting disorder, consider being tested yourself.
  • If you are having surgery, discuss the possibility of DVT with your surgeon. Many are pleased that you areIf you are having surgery, discuss the possibility of DVT with your surgeon. proactive.
  • If you are pregnant, wear compression stockings during your pregnancy and for 6 weeks postpartum.
  • Above all…wear compression stockings or compression socks to increase you circulation

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

Vanda

What Compression Should I Choose?

Before we discuss what compression to choose, let’s look at how the compression helps control edema and makes our legs feel better. The muscles of the legs act a pump to assist the heart in the return blood flow from the extremities. When veins and valves of the legs become damaged or incompetent, compression stockings provide a little extra “squeeze” to help reduce the diameter of distended veins and help the valves to close. When this happens, the blood flow is increased. The “squeeze” is measured in mmHg compression.

If your physician has not suggested compression of support hose (compression stockings or support socks) to purchase, it can be very confusing. A garment with too little compression for your diagnosis may not contain the swelling. On the other hand, I have clients purchase 30-40mmHg compression because they want to be certain of getting rid of their swelling. Once they receive their purchase, they are even more frustrated because they are not able to don the garment. The correct compression, correct size, and style are some of the secrets to being a successful support hose (compression stocking or support sock) wearer.

For someone with little or no swelling, an 8-15mmHg compression may give the gentle message they desire.

For someone with mild swelling or to prevent varicose veins, a 15-20 compression may give them support they want.

For someone with moderate swelling, a 20-30mmHg compression may give them all the “squeeze” they need.

Here are some guide lines we follow when fitting a new client:

  • 8-15mmHg compression is generally used for
    • Minor ankle, leg and foot swelling
    • Those who want just a little gentle massage to help their tired, fatigued legs
    • A client who is very elderly and has serious heart problems or is not able to don a higher compression
  • 15-20mmHg compression is used for
    • Minor varicose veins
    • Travel (when there is no other leg problems)
    • Prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy
    • Post Sclerotherapy
  • 20-30mmHg compression is used for
    • Moderate to severe varicose veins
    • Moderate swelling (edema)
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Prevention of recurrence of venous ulcerations
    • Superficial Thrombophlebitis
    • Post surgical
    • Management of Neuropathy
    • Travel
    • Prophylaxis during pregnancy
    • Burn scar management
    • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) prevention
    • Healing of joint replacement
  • 30-40mmHg compression is used for
    • Severe varicose veins
    • Severe edema
    • Lymphedema
    • Management of active venous ulcerations
    • Prevention of recurrence of venous ulcerations
    • Prevention of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome
    • Management of PTS (Post-Thrombotic Syndrome)
    • Orthostatic Hypotension
    • Post Surgical
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Burn Scar Management.

For our returning clients, are you having problems such as your garment not containing your edema or your garment is rolling, pinching or otherwise not fitting properly? Call our Certified Fitters at 1-844-472-8807. Your problems could be due to wrong compression, wrong size, or wrong garment. For example a knee high 20-30mmHg from one manufacturer does not fit the same as the same garment from another manufacturer. Even different styles of garments from the same manufacturer (such as casual compared to dress) can fit different.

In conclusion a properly fitting compression garment of the proper compression and correct style can make your legs happy!
Our goal at SupportHosePlus.com has always been to help you improve the quality of your life!

Vanda

Compression Helping Athletes from www.SupportHosePlus.com

We frequently receive emails from our wonderful customers sharing their life experiences with us and often times how our products have benefited them and changed their lives. Last week I received an email from Mel thanking us for helping him and with his permission I would like to share it with you.

Hi Vanda,

    I just wanted to drop a note to you about how my compression socks have greatly reduced the swelling and eliminated the leg pain I have been suffering from for years. I have been power-lifting for about 20 years. About four years ago my legs started swelling and aching after heavy workouts. Like most of my power-lifting friends, I just ignored the pain and the obvious symptoms that something was wrong with the circulation in my legs. To a power-lifter, pain just meant you were building power and is just a “natural” part of the process. A year and a half after the swelling started, the veins at my ankles started to become more visible and swollen and I started noticing that the skin tones below my knees were changing to red and even purple in areas. Eventually, the swelling would not go away completely even on days I didn’t lift heavy-the damage was done.
    Three weeks ago, I decided I had to do something about it. The swelling and pain in my legs wasImage getting so bad that I was finding it difficult to do everyday activities. I called Support Hose Plus and spoke with one of the Certified Fitters. She was very knowledgeable about the problems that I was experiencing and fit me in my first pair of Sigvaris Performance socks. I received my order in two days (amazingly fast service), started wearing my new compression socks immediately to see if they would help with the swelling and discomfort of the aching legs. All I can say is that I am simply amazed at the results. My legs are once again the right color, the spider veins at my ankles are all but gone and I have not had any leg pain for over two weeks! I have since purchased three more pair and again received them in two days (it almost seems like you shipped my order before I even placed it). To the Certified Fitter, thank you for being so helpful and knowledgeable and for getting me into my first pair of compression socks. You have changed my life! I will wear them from now on and am recommending them to all my friends and those with leg problems.

Thanks Again,

Mel
Dallas, TX

Thank you for your feed back Mel. Here is the link to the Sigvaris Performance Sock. (This is now called the Sigvaris Motion High Tech.) It is a 20-30mmHg compression sock.
We love to hear from everyone. If you would like to share your experiences with us feel free to scroll to the bottom of this blog entry, you can leave a comment as a guest.

Vanda

Venous Insufficiency and You

It has been a very long time since we have discussed the major diagnosis of people who wear compression hosiery or compression socks … Venous Insufficiency. I thought it might be a good time to revisit this malady, its causes and treatment.

One of the first signs you may experience in venous insufficiency is tired, heavy legs, discoloration or swelling. You may experience minor pain. These symptoms may be the result of insufficient blood flowing back to the heart. As the blood pools or congests in the legs, the veins become insufficient. They expand to accommodate the volume of blood in the lower leg and even appear to meander. Up to 13 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Competent Vein

Competent Vein

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 have the arduous task to return the blood to the heart along with waste and metabolic residue. The movement of the blood toward the heart can be a challenge. Gravity forces the veins to work harder to return the blood to the heart. The veins have little one way valves that work with the leg muscles to pump the blood back to the heart.  In a normal vein, one way valves are located ever 2 – 5 cm to aid in the proximal flow toward the heart. When calf muscles relax, the valves close to prevent blood from flowing backward into the lower part of the veins. These valves are fragile and can be easily damaged. The contraction and relaxation of the calf muscles work as a “secondary pump” to move the blood. Many things can happen that interrupts this blood flow. The valves in the veins may be injured

Contraction of the calf muscle

Relaxation of the calf muscle

Relaxation of the calf muscle

so they do not close completely and allow the blood to remain in the lower leg. Fortunately, the compression provided by your support stockings or compression socks assists the muscles to close the valve properly and to pump the blood back to the heart. When blood remains in the lower extremities, it does not pick up the waste products of cellular metabolism and transport them to the liver for detoxification and to the kidneys for disposal. These waste products remain in the lower extremity and when a small scratch occurs it may not heal and it can become a deep wound or even cellulitis.

The moral to this story is you need to get exercise to make those calf muscles pump (you might want to consider walking or a stationary exercise pedal and wear your compression stockings or support socks. If you are in the very early stages of venous insufficiency, a mild medical compression (15-20mmHg) may be adequate. Something like the Mediven forMen or the pretty Mediven Sheer and Soft. If you have moderate Venous Insufficiency, you might consider in a 20-30mmHg compression Jobst forMen  or the new women’s Jobst soSoft and if your Venous Insufficiency has progressed further, you might consider, upon your physician’s recommendation, 30-40 mmHg the Sigvaris Sea Island Cotton  or Juzo Dynamic (Varin).

If you have venous insufficiency, and have experienced the difference a pair of support hose or support socks can make in your daily life, please scroll to the bottom and leave a comment as a guest.

Thanks!
Vanda