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

WHY DO WE GET VARICIOSE VEINS

Varicose veins are the result of venous insufficiency. There are many things that influence the health of the veins in our legs. Among these are hereditary, obesity, sedate life styles, and of course, age. The population of the United States is getting older, the Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s, and, unfortunately many of us are over-weight (including Rod and Vanda).

heart_veins_arteries_circulculatory_system

The Heart is responsible for the blood flow in our bodies. The circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries which carry blood from the heart to our legs and arms, arterioles and capillaries (where oxygen is exchanged), and veins which carry blood back to the heart. The heart is an excellent pump, but it needs assistance in getting blood flow from our legs and back to the heart. This is where the valves in our veins come in. The tiny valves in the veins open and close to allow blood to flow only one-way back to the heart. The problem occurs when the valves get damaged form age or from physical injuries to the leg and do not close properly. When the valves get damaged they cannot close properly and the blood can then back-flow and create pooling. This can cause stasis dermatitis, edema, and in severe cases blood clots or even lymphedema.

Now let’s discuss the particular vein diseases

spider_veins

Spider Veins

Spider veins are created by small dilations of the veins just below the skin. Yes, they are unsightly; they may cause your legs to ache.  They are giving you a warning to wear compression stockings to keep them under control so that varicose veins do not develop.

varicose-veins

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are created by poor circulation in the venous system. They are generally ropy looking and if should be evaluated by your physician. If left untreated, they can lead to much more serious problems. With varicose veins the valves in the veins become incompetent and the function of returning blood to the heart has been compromised. This condition is called venous insufficiency and can have very serious consequences. Wearing your support hose can assist in maintaining control of the varicosities. There are also many physicians who can advise you of various medical treatments including oblation surgery.

stasis-dermatitis

Stasis Dermatitis

Is a red looking inflammatory skin disease that is common with people with chronic venous insufficiency. Again, wearing compression stockings will help maintain control of this disease, if left untreated it can lead to venous ulceration and lymphedema.

Venous Stasis Ulcer

Venous Stasis Ulcer

As you can tell venous diseases of the leg can become progressively worst. When you are experiencing leg problems always consult with your physician. They can direct you to wearing the correct compression stockings and can assist you in maintaining control of the disease.

For assistance in choosing a garment, call one of our Certified Fitters at 1-844-472-8807.

Thanks,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

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

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.

Noninvasive Treatment of Varicose Veins and Venous Insuffeciency

By JON SENKOWSKY, MD FACS

Venous disease is a health problem that affects almost everyone. Despite the fact venous disease has been acknowledged since the time of Hippocrates, hundreds of years B.C., innovative technology and significant diagnostic advances in treating venous disease are only now emerging in the field of vascular surgery.

Venous disease occurs for the simple reason that veins are always working against gravity. Veins in the legs carry blood from the leg to the heart. In order to cover this long distance efficiently, veins contain valves that allow blood to move up the leg, and not down. If these valves become destroyed, blood pools in the lower portion of the leg causing leg swelling, varicose veins and other venous problems. Typical symptoms include heaviness in the legs, swelling, development of varicose veins, and even skin damage, dry skin, and brownish pigmentation at the ankle level leading to ulcers.

Another more serious symptom includes blood clots in the legs. Indeed, recent reports indicate people who frequently fly in airplanes are at risk of developing blood clots, which can break free and cause pulmonary emboli. This situation appears to be minimized by the use of hose (see the Travel Socks section of the Support Hose Store web site).

The majority of people with venous disease have chronic problems with their legs. The most effective treatment can be found by making an accurate diagnosis; determining if blood clotting is present; and identifying whether any venous valve disorders are present. Valve disorders often indicate venous reflux, or pooling of the blood located in the deep veins of the muscle or on the surface veins underneath the skin. (The surface veins, when enlarged, are actually varicose veins.) By utilizing a machine called a Duplex Scan, a noninvasive and painless diagnostic test, all these questions can be answered.

Perhaps the simplest and most well known treatment for venous disease is the compression garment. Compression garments can be used to prevent the complications of venous disease. These are essentially tight hose or wraps that control the swelling in the leg by forcing the blood into the deeper veins. It is important to use gradient compression hose, obtained from a reputable manufacturer, such as Jobst, in order to get the right fit and avoid problems. The compression garments force the same amount of blood into a smaller volume of veins, resulting in more efficient removal of the blood from the lower extremities. A variety of different hose products, both knee high, thigh high, and waist high, and a variety of different strengths and colors, are now available from Jobst at Support Hose Plus. Other techniques, such as lymphedema wraps and pumps can be used in order to decrease the swelling associated with venous disease (see the lymphedema section of The Support Hose Plus web site).

New techniques in the treatment of varicose veins are emerging. An accurate diagnosis with ultrasound and physical examination are essential for the correct care of varicose veins. Hose are the mainstay of treatment, and are available at www.supporthoseplus.com, or by calling 1-844-472-8807 to speak to a certified fitter.

Dr. Senkowsky is a Board Certified vascular surgeon in private practice in Arlington, Texas. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Vascular Surgeons.