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

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.

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

Compression Stockings 101

Gradient Compression Support Hose — What are they?
This month we are answering one of our customers most frequently asked questions. If you have questions or comments, please go to our blog www.askvanda.com. Each and every question or comment will be addressed.

To begin, we will discuss diseases, which started your leg or arm problems. Venous diseases start by a feeling of heaviness, a tired feeling in your legs or a discoloration or swelling. Minor pain may be felt. This may be the result of insufficient blood flow back to the heart as blood pools or congests in the legs. When you see warning signs of venous diseases the first step is to see your doctor. But, before you do you may want to become an informed patient. We are supplying you with information and resource links on venous diseases and compression therapy. This newsletter and information provided in the links are not intended to be a substitute for your physician’s medical advice and treatment. Your Doctor is the best source of information on venous diseases. Here is a special list on symptoms you may want to take with you when you see your Doctor:
 Tired legs at night
 Heavy legs at night
 Shoe feels tight at night
 Swollen legs in the morning
 Swollen legs in the afternoon
 Swollen legs at night
 Swelling is gone in the morning
 Leg pain from prolonged sitting
 Dull, aching pain in leg
 Tingling, numbness burning
or cramping in the legs and feet
 Legs “fall asleep” often
 Spider veins
 Varicose veins
 More than one pregnancy (even though
varicose veins, swelling and pain may
disappear after giving birth, problems
may occur later in life)
 Pregnant
 Discoloration of the skin
 Hardened skin on the lower leg
 Patches of dry skin on the lower leg
 Open sores on the lower leg
 Ulcers on the lower leg
 Family history of venous disease
 Diabetes

Varicose Veins: Varicose veins are veins that become visible, primarily in your legs, as enlarged or twisted superficial veins. As your legs move the leg muscles push on the veins which activate tiny valves in your legs to pump the blood back to the heart. The veins become enlarged when the valves fail to work and allow the blood to pool in the legs. Varicose veins are frequently painful, itchy and look unsightly. If left untreated they can lead to much more serious problems. Compression therapy assists in the management of varicose veins by applying a gradient compression to the leg and assisting the muscles in moving blood back to the heart.

Lymphedema: A swelling primarily in the legs and arms resulting from the lymphatic vessels being unable to transport the protein rich lymph fluid back into your circulatory system. You can be born with this problem or it can be the result of injury or surgery. When the lymphatic system is not functional, fluid can build up which results in swelling or thickening of the skin. There is no cure for lymphedema, but it can be managed. The lymphatic drainage system must be opened through MLD (Manual Lymphatic Drainage) therapy. The compression stockings/arm sleeves/gloves can then be used to exert a constant pressure on the affected area to maintain the reduction achieved through MLD therapy. This in turn assists in the drainage of the lymphatic system to minimize the swelling.

Gradient compression: There are several levels of gradient compression support stockings. Gradient compression is measured in millimeters compression mercury. Please note that not all hose are a gradient compression. Gradient compression reduces swelling and helps prevent pooling of blood in the legs, by delivering the highest level of compression at the ankle and gently decreasing up the leg. Improving blood flow helps the wearer experience immediate relief from tired, aching legs. Generally support stockings come in 8-15mmHg, 16-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg, 30-40mmHg and 40-50mmHg.

The symptoms determine the amount of compression, as follows:

  • 8-15 mmHg Compression:
    • Feel good therapy for tired, achy legs
    • Minor ankle, leg and foot swelling
  • 16-20 mmHg Compression:
    • Minor varicosities
    • Minor varicosities during pregnancy
    • Tired, aching legs
    • Minor ankle, leg and foot swelling
    • Post Sclerotherapy
  • 20-30 mmHg Compression:
    • Moderate edema
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Help prevent recurrence of ulcerations
    • Post surgical
    • Moderate to severe varicosities
    • Moderate to severe varicosities during pregnancy
  • 30-40 mmHg Compression:
    • Severe varicosities
    • Severe edema
    • Lymphatic edema
    • Post surgical
    • Orthostatic Hypotension
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Management of active venous ulcerations
    • Helps to prevent recurrence of venous ulcerations
    • Helps to prevent post-thrombotic syndrome
    • Manage manifestations of PTS (post-thrombotic syndrome)
    • CVD/CVI (Cardio-vascular disease/insufficiency)

At Support Hose Plus we carry the four leading manufacturers of gradient compression stockings, Jobst, Medi, Juzo and Sigvaris. All four of these manufacturers have true gradient compression in the stockings.

Compression hose are available in three basis styles, knee-high, thigh-high and waist-high (pantyhose). Your physician will generally advise you which style to purchase. Depending upon where the problem is occurring in your legs will determine which style is best for you. Your comfort and life style will also determine which hose to consider. The support stockings are available in many styles and thickness ranging from sheer to very heavy. Some of the socks are available especially for diabetic foot-wear (well padded, thick stocking). There are socks available as a dress socks, athletic socks, silver socks (anti-odor, antibacterial and anti-fungal to help heal wounds)and even garments with 100% cotton skin contact. Whether you are looking for knee-high, thigh-high or waist-high (pantyhose) we have the hose that is right for you.

When you are experiencing venous insufficiency, edema, or lymphedema it is always best to first consult with your Health Care Provider. If they recommend support stockings please consult with SuportHosePlus.com as we are compression garment specialists. We carry all four major manufacturers, Jobst, Mediven, Sigvaris and Juzo, so we know we can fit you in the most appropriate stockings for your medical needs. Our customer service representatives are Certified Fitters and are available to assist you on our toll-free number 1-844-472-8807 . They will attempt to answer any questions you may have.

Thank-you for shopping at SupportHosePlus.com,
Vanda

Getting Started with Vein Therapy (Part 4) – What Donner is the Correct One

Using Stocking Donners

Which Donner is Right for You?

Regular size donner

We currently carry 2 metal donners. The first is our tried and true Regular Size Donner. This is a donner that can be used by those whose calf circumference is 16 inches or less.

Large Calf Donner

The next metal donner we offer is the Mediven Large Calf Donner. It will fit those with a calf circumference from 18 inches up to about 24 inches. The handles are about 18 inches long.

More Donning Aids

EasySlide

For those customers who wear open-toe stockings, we have the Easy Slide. This is made out of parachute material and enables the stocking to slide on easily and then the Easy Slide can be removed by pulling through the open-toe.

 

Easy Slide Open Toe Method

Another product which we carry is Alps Fitting Lotion. This is amazingly like putting ball bearings on your heels. To use Alps you first put on a pair of examination gloves (if you alpsput it on your hands your hands will become very slippery and you will not be able to pull your socks on). A pea size amount of Alps is applied to your heel only using examination gloves. Remove the gloves before donning stockings. Follow the instructions we send with your stockings for donning. ALPS is 100% Silicone Fitting Lotion/Skin Conditioner for Sensitive Skin that imparts a smooth, silky feel to sensitive skin that is chapped and dry and makes the stocking slip over the heal.

How to Take Your Stockings Off

Now that we have got your stockings on, we need to discuss how to remove them without cutting them off. If you have no issues with range of motion, just start at the top of the stocking and peel it down like you peel a banana. The stocking will slip on itself. When you have removed the stocking, it will be wrong side out.

Patients whose mobility is impaired can make use of simple aids. A rubber mat is recommended, (back of a bath mat or the Juzo mat soon to be seen in our donning aids). In the seated position, you pull the stocking down as far as you can by hand. Then you put your foot on the mat, use the other foot to stabilize the mat and pull your heel across the mat from front to back. This gradually pulls the stocking downward and off the foot.

ButlerOff_med[1]For those of our customers who do have problems with range of ButlerOffInstructionmotion, our friends at Mediven have come up with a very neat apparatus called a Butler Off or Doffer. It is like a shoe spoon with a long “T-handle” with a hook on it for removal of socks. In fact when used properly, you can even pick the sock up without bending to retrieve it.

Remember, if your stockings are in your drawer, they are not doing you any good!!

Call one of our Certified Fitters on 1-844-472-8807 for assistance with ordering these products,

Vanda