Men’s Health Awareness

Physician consultation with manDuring the month of November each year, “November” asks men across the world to grow a mustache with the aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues. This is specifically targeting Prostate Cancer Awareness as well as men’s health issues. The other Men’s Health Issue we at Support Hose Plus would like to address is their reluctance to seek health care. In fact, according to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), men are 24 percent less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the past year. A look at men’s health issues shows they experience different, but no less serious, health problems than women. Millions of women already know one of the secrets. For decades women have been wearing support hosiery to keep the veins and valves inside the veins from weakening or becoming defective. Men are beginning to recognize the energizing effects a pair of support hose.

There are many reasons men should choose to wear support socks or support stockings. Here are a few:

  • Tired achy legs at night
  • Heavy legs at night
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg pain from prolonged sitting or standing
  • Dull, aching pain in leg
  • 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 (see your doctor immediately)
  • Family history of venous disease
  • Travel (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Surgery (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis)

There seems to be a stigma of people being able to recognize that a man is wearing a compression garment, but many young men are becoming staunch supporters of compression garments which definitely do not look like their grand mother’s support hose.

Professional athletes know:

  • 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 Sleeve   will 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.

Happy Man Wearing Compression Socks

The “week-end warrior” can also appreciate what support socks can do for their sporting activities as well as their everyday living. Why should the non-athlete not have the same advantages as the athlete? By taking action to wear an appropriate compression garment, our special men could prevent more serious problems which ultimately could affect his quality of life as well as his family.
Please have that special man, visit with his physician about compression and then call one of our Certified Fitters at 1-844-472-8807.  Our Certified Fitters can assist him with the selection of a garment (dress sock, casual sock, athletic sock, thigh sock or even waist high garment if necessary) appropriate for his life style as well as his legs.

Lets encourage the special men in our life to see their physician regularly, grow a mustache and wear their support socks,

Vanda Lancour
www.supporthoseplus.com

Pregnancy and DVT

Pregnancy brings many joys into the life of the expectant mother. However pregnancy may also bring spider veins and varicose veins. 33% of women pregnant for the first time and 55% of women who have had two or more full term pregnancies develop varicose veins.

There are several causes of varicose veins in pregnancy.

  • Heredity is a major contributing factor.
  • Hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels rise during pregnancy which causes the wall of the veins to stretch and weaken.
  • The blood volume doubles to supply both the mother and fetus with an adequate amount of blood.
  • As the fetus grows in the uterus, more pressure is exerted on the inferior vena cava; this increases pressure on the leg veins.
  • Carrying the extra weight of the fetus and standing for long periods of time make it more likely to develop varicose veins.
  • Crossing your legs while sitting increases your risk of varicose veins.
  • There may be a decrease in physical activity.EnlargedVeinAndDamagedVein

All of these factors cause extra pressure on the leg veins causing them to dilate and expand. This weakens the vein walls and damages the valves in the veins. Due to the downward pressure, the blood flow back to the heart is slowed, spider veins appear and the already compromised veins bulge more.

Varicose veins tend to get worse with each pregnancy. They many go away after delivery. However, they may reappear later in life for no apparent reason. The damage done to the valves in the veins during pregnancy is permanent. These problems can be avoided if compression therapy is prescribed during pregnancy. We urge women with a history of venous disease in their family or who experience swelling or pain in their legs to discuss this with their physician.

maternityThere are some things you can do to improve your leg health while pregnant:

  • Keep your weight within the recommended range for your stage of pregnancy.
  • Exercise daily, including walking. The calf muscles act as a secondary pump to move the blood back to the heart.
  • Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible.
  • Don’t sit or stand for long periods without taking a break. If you will be sitting for extended periods of time, use a stool or box to elevate your feet. If you find yourself in a situation where you will be standing for an extended period of time, place one foot on a stool and alternate every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Sleep on the left side with a pillow between your legs and behind your back will help increase the venous flow back to the heart.
  • Don’t wear clothing that is binding around the tops of your legs, waist or ankles.
  • Wear medical grade compression stockings. You may want to put them on before getting out of bed to prevent blood from pooling in the legs.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity during and after childbirth. A DVT can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. DVT can also happen if you don’t move for a long time or have surgery. DVT is a serious condition because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in you lungs, blocking blood flow. This is a life threatening occurrence called pulmonary embolism. A DVT is more common before 20 weeks of gestation and during the first six weeks postpartum. Compression stockings should also be worn postpartum to help prevent DVT. In warmer weather they may seem hot, but will keep your legs healthy!

Here’s to happy, healthy moms and babies,

Vanda Lancour
http://www.supporthoseplus.com

 

 

 

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

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

Let’s Keep Your Legs Looking Great

EnlargedVeinAndDamagedVein

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is one of the leading causes of swollen feet, ankles, and legs. There are several things that can cause CVI. In CVI the butterfly valves which help blood move from the lower extremity back to the heart are damaged (incompetent) and do not close properly. Ultimately long-term blood pressure in the leg veins that is higher than normal causes CVI. Prolonged sitting or standing can stretch the superficial vein walls and damage the valves. Compression stockings and compression socks help the veins to close by applying a specific amount of pressure to the leg (this is the compression which your physician recommends). The compression stockings and compression socks also work with the muscles of the lower extremity to act as a secondary heart pump to move the blood out of the lower extremity and back to the heart.

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

At the end of the day, someone with CVI may experience only slight swelling and their legs may be tired and heavy. Now is the time to visit your physician and get some compression socks or compression stockings to keep the CVI from becoming worse.

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

If you have a parent who has had varicose veins, if you are overweight, or if you sit or stand for long periods of time, again now is the time to visit your physician and get some compression socks or compression stockings to keep the CVI from becoming worse.

CVI can be diagnosed by your physician by reviewing your patient history and a 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.

Chronic 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.

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

More serious cases of Chronic Venous Insufficiency 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 and can improve the quality of life. The stigma of wearing compression garments is in the past.

Let’s wear our compression stockings and socks to keep our legs looking great!

Vanda

http://www.supporthoseplus.com

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

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