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

Specialist Who Diagnose and Treat Venous Disease

In today’s medical world a new specialty is emerging, Phlebology. The Phlebologist is a medical specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous origin. The specialty of Phlebology has developed to enable physicians with a variety of backgrounds such as: dermatology, vascular surgery, hematology, general surgery or general medicine, to share knowledge and experience. Not only do they share an interest in venous disease but also in diagnostic techniques used. This includes the history and physical examination, venous imaging techniques and laboratory evaluation related to venous diseases.

A significant part of a Phlebologist’s work deals with the treatment of superficial venous disease, usually of the leg. Conditions often treated include varicose veins and Telangiectasia (spider veins). Other conditions managed by Phlebologists include deep venous thrombosis (DVT), superficial thrombophlebitis, chronic leg ulceration (venous ulcer), and venous malformations.

The American College of Phlebology(ACP) is a professional organization of physicians and health care professionals from a variety of backgrounds. The American College of Phlebology holds meetings to enable the continuing education and sharing of knowledge regarding venous disease. There are other equivalent bodies of learning around the world.

There are two general treatment options for varicose veins: conservative measures (non-invasive), such as compression stockings, and corrective measures such as sclerotherapy,
endovenous procedures, and light-based treatment. In some cases, a combination
of treatment methods works best. Untreated varicose veins may lead to adverse consequences. The consequences may vary in their severity from person to person depending on the circumstances. Many people who have untreated varicose veins will experience continued symptoms of pain, fatigue and swelling of the legs or ankles. More advanced medical problems may include hyper pigmentation (reddish skin), lymphedema, venous leg ulcers, spontaneous bleeding, superficial thrombophlebitis, and a potentially life-threatening condition called deep vein thrombosis.

Phlebologists use compression stockings in the range of 20-30mmHg or greater. They know the importance of proper fitting support hose in managing their patients’ venous disease. Our manufacturers of support hose have made it so much easier for us to find a garment which fits our clients’ lifestyle and body measurements. As we always say “They don’t look like the stockings your grandmother wore”. They come in styles which range from pretty and sheer to dress socks for men and athletic socks for men and women. Just call one of the Certified Fitters at Support Hose Plus (1-844-472-8807) and they will assist you in the proper garment and fit.

Be sure to check out our link above to the American College of Phlebology. It is a treasure chest of information for you in the treatment of your venous disease.

Vanda

Don’t Let Your Legs Go Untreated

High blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes are very common and when people recognize symptoms of these conditions, they seek a physician and undergo treatment.  Venous disorders are also extremely common.  In fact statistics show one in three American over the age of 45 are affected by venous disease.  It is just a shame that only 4% of those are being treated.

Perhaps it is because they fail to recognize the signs of venous disease.  Let’s review a few of the venous diseases and their ramifications:

jobst-spider-veins

Spider veins are not only unattractive, but can signal problems to come

Spider veins are small varicose dilations of the veins in the skin and do not seem to be very important.  They are a bit unsightly, but can signal a need to wear compression stockings to prevent large varicose veins.

 Varicose veins - unsightly veins which can cause serious health issues

Varicose veins – Ropy looking veins which, if left untreated, are a health issue that can lead to much more  serious problems.

venous-insufficiency3

Chronic venous insufficiency – Swelling, discoloring of the skin

When varicose veins develop, the valves in the veins become incompetent and can no longer function to return blood to the heart. This causes very high pressure and congestion in the lower leg area. This condition is called venous insufficiency. It can become chronic and has very serious consequences.

society-of-interventional-r

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – Obstruction of a deep vein by a blood clot with the risk of the blood clot breaking loose and becoming a pulmonary embolism.

When a deep vein has incompetent valves, the blood circulation is hampered and a clot can form near the valve. The clot is called a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Part of the DVT can break loose and pass through the heart to the lungs, block the pulmonary artery and result in a pulmonary embolism.

stasis-dermatitis1

Stasis dermatitis – inflammatory skin disease occurring on the lower extremities

Stasis dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disease that occurs on the lower extremities in patients with chronic venous insufficiency.  Stasis dermatitis is usually the earliest cutaneous manifestation of venous insufficiency, and it may be a precursor to more problematic conditions, such as venous leg ulceration and lymphedema.

venous-stasis-ulcer1

Venous stasis ulcer – in most severe cases of chronic venous insufficiency

A chronically insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients to the tissue develops. Fluid accumulates in the tissue and weeps on the skin and in a worse case scenario the tissue dies and an ulcer of the lower leg forms. This can take months under a physician or wound care specialist to heal.

This is but a very brief summery of a few leg diseases that can lead to serious health problems.  We will cover them in depth in later news letters.  Please wear your compression stockings.  They do you no good in your dresser drawer. If you are aware of a friend or loved one who has leg diseases such as these, please send a copy of this or a link to our blog askvanda.com and ask them to seek council with a physician. Their physician is their best source of information. They should talk to their doctor about any symptoms or problems they are experiencing.

Stockings are usually made to last 4-6 months. If yours are in need of replacement, please call one of our certified fitters at 1-844-472-8807 to place an order.  Our certified fitters are available 9 AM to 5 PM CST Monday- Friday. We have many new styles.

A Support Hose Story

One of our very good customers sent us a letter the other day that we would like to share with you.  She expressed what we have been telling our clients for a very long time.  What a difference support hose can make in a person’s life!  ….. Vanda

Untreated Stasis Dermatitis can lead to venous ulcerations

Untreated Stasis Dermatitis can lead to venous ulcerations (from Support Hose Plus)

“If I had just one piece of advice to give those who have extreme swelling in the lower limbs, it would be this – wear compression stockings and keep yourself and your loved ones out of wound care!

We always thought my husband had big legs.  Little did we know that his legs were simply swollen from lack of proper circulation.  It took 4 different doctors until we finally found one who took one look at his legs and diagnosed Venous Stasis Dermatitis as the cause for his dryness and swelling.  We didn’t know what this meant.  That doctor suggested my husband wear compression socks to rid his legs of the excess fluids, which, she said, would rid him of his Stasis Dermatitis.  So, to the Internet I went.

What I learned was this – whatever the cause, and there are many – if we did not get the swelling down quickly, we were looking at months of wound debridement and possible infections that would not be easily treated.  We searched and searched for the right compression socks, pharmacies, local health care dealers.  The first socks we bought were a diabetic sock, which is a great sock, but we soon found these did not have the proper compression to help my husband.  Within a few weeks, we noticed a wound that would not heal, just a few inches above his ankle on his left leg.  We were referred to the wound care center.

What followed were several months of compression wrapping and debridement (scraping) of his wound.  Nightly wound dressing and morning re-dressing is what we had in store for us for the next few months.

When we finally found the correct compression hose, 30-40mmHg, and found someone who would properly explain to us how to put them on, we were absolutely shocked to find that after wearing them daily for three weeks, my husband’s legs were not only NOT big, but were almost svelte.

I am a firm believer in these garments!  Almost a year later he has graduated into a lower compression garment, 20-30mmHg, and does not go one day without wearing them.  His overall health has gotten so much better as well.

Wear your stockings!  Don’t just think a water pill will be the only answer!  Compression is necessary because of the way we were all made.  Our valves in our veins are one-way only, and when they do not work properly, we must force them.

Do yourselves a favor – size your stockings correctly, wear the right compression, and do not go a day without them.  You will be surprised at how quickly and effectively compression socks work!

We are so very thankful to the good people at Support Hose Plus!  Without them, I shudder to think what would have happened to my husband’s legs!  Thank you Rod and Vanda.”

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Early intervention could prevent future complications

Up to 13 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). If not treated, CVI can result in a venous stasis ulcer.

Risk Factors

  • Increased age
  • Prior deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Family history of DVT
  • Sedentary life style
  • Obesity
  • History of leg trauma
  • Cardiac Disease
  • Multiple pregnancies

Venous Stasis Ulcer

Clinical Manifestations

  • Varicose veins
  • Leg pain
  • Distal leg edema
  • Inflammation
  • Induration (The process of becoming extremely firm or hard)
  • Skin pigmentation
  • Stasis dermatitis
  • Ulceration

Gradient compression hose can help control venous insufficiency and prevent venous ulcerations. When venous ulcerations do occur, they can take a very active role in the healing of the venous ulceration.

Compliance is Crucial to Management of Venous Stasis Ulcers

Ulcers are wounds or sores that will not heal or keep returning. They may or may not be painful. The leg is usually swollen and may burn or itch. There may also be a rash, redness, brown discoloration or dry, scaly skin.Venous ulcers are located below the knee and are primarily found on the inner part of the leg, just above the ankle. Continue reading