Compression socks are commonly used to the circulation of blood through the veins of the legs. In a similar way, the compression sleeve can be used to increase the aid of circulation through the veins of the arms. Compression stockings are often used to create pressure which sends the blood circulating toward the heart. The reduction of swelling in the legs is a natural consequence of the improved circulation which occurs because of the use of compression garments. The medical benefits are not the only reasons why people choose to purchase and wear compression stockings. An increasing number of athletes are choosing them to reduce muscle soreness and to increase the rate of recovery after an athletic event.
Determine the Type of Compression Stocking You Need
The first step in choosing the correct compression stockings is to determine which type you need. Consider these types of stockings:
- Graduated Compression Stockings: These socks are used to minimize the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome for those individuals who have suffered a blood clot in their leg.
- Medical Compression Stockings: These stockings may be used during a pregnancy to prevent the occurrence of varicose veins, for the treatment of a main venous ulcer, or for use in the management of orthostatic hypotension. Medical compression socks are available in a range of rigidity.
- Light Compression Stockings: These stockings are often used to provide relief for tired legs, mildly swollen legs, and during pregnancy. Although individuals suffering from medical conditions will wear these stockings, so will those who spend many hours on their feet for work.
- Athletic Compression Stockings: Athletes will choose compression garments specifically developed for running, swimming, and other sports.
- Recovery Socks: These compression stockings are typically used by athletes to increase the rate of recovery after an injury. CW-X compression stockings will be used to add support for the high-risk areas of the foot or leg.
If you aren’t sure which type of compression stocking is most appropriate for you, consult with your medical advisor.
Determine the Correct Size and Fit
Your second step is to determine the size and fit of the compression sock (or compression sleeve). For stockings, begin taking measurements at the smallest part of the ankle, the fullest part of your calf, and at the fullest area of your thigh. Also measure the length of your leg.
It is a good idea to keep your initial order small in the event that you have purchased compression garments in the wrong size.
When you first begin wearing compression stockings or a compression sleeve, be prepared for a snug fit. Work with your doctor to be sure that the compression garments aren’t too tight, however. The correct fit is very important to be sure that the correct amount of pressure is being applied. It may be a very good idea to work with your doctor or medical advisor the first few times you apply the compression garments in order to be sure that the compression is occurring at the right areas.
Practice Putting the Stockings On
It is typically easier to put your compression socks on when you first wake in the morning, before you have begun to swell. If your skin isn’t dry, then you might want to put a very small amount of powder or cornstarch over your skin. Remove any jewelry and be careful not to catch your fingernails on the fabric. The stocking or sleeve fabric should be smooth over the body. Avoid any type of gathering, bunching, or rolling. If you want to use lotions or moisturizers, apply them after removing the compression garments.
This post was written by Don Johnson.
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