Compression stockings are a type of elastic socks generally prescribed by physicians to treat various medical conditions related to veins such as varicose veins, deep venous thrombosis, and edema. The primary function of these stockings is to help increase the circulation of blood in the lower limbs.
Some people suffer from vein disorders, where the blood flow decreases in the legs, causing the blood to pool, resulting in edema and blood clots in the lower limbs. Compression stockings create more pressure on the ankles and feet by compressing the veins and muscles, thus causing less blood to pool and return more blood to the heart.
Compression stockings generally come in two variants: knee high and thigh high.
Though the differences between the two are negligible, knee-high stockings provide better comfort and are easier to wear. Depending on the severity of the problem, stockings can be chosen from various compression levels, ranging from mild to more severe. The compression levels of various stockings are measured in mmHg, medically read as millimeters of mercury; higher the mmHg, higher the compression.
In women, the need for compression stockings increases during pregnancy, where some women face various blood clotting issues in the legs. Several hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy play a significant role in raising the risk of thrombotic disorders.
Apart from pregnancy, women who lead a sedentary lifestyle, sitting at a desk for prolonged periods of time or travel a lot on flights are also at higher risk of developing blood clotting disorders. The two main types of compression stockings are listed as gradient and uniform. Gradient stockings provide more pressure at the ankles and less towards the knee and thigh, while uniform type provides the same amount or pressure throughout.
Depending on the severity, the type of stockings to be used is prescribed by a physician. The gradient type is the most commonly used stocking. It is not advisable to wear compression stockings while sleeping at night unless suggested by a physician.
The market place is filled with numerous brands offering different sizes and types of compression stockings. Here are three of the more popular brand offerings explained:
With over 60 years of service history, Jobst is one of the oldest manufacturers of medical products used in care and management of various venous and lymphatic diseases. JOBST UlcerCARE is a 2-in-1 compression system used for management of venous leg ulcers. It provides a graduated compression of 40 mmHg delivering a high stiffness factor for effective compression. The JOBST UlcerCARE Liner provides a more milder compression for effective treatment of lower leg edema.
It’s automatically shaped heel and toe liner provides greater comfort. The JOBST Stocking is a knee-length compression stocking designed to provide low friction on the liner, making it easy to slide through. It comes with a zipper for easy changing, which has an improved locking mechanism to prevent the zipper from opening. The Ultrasheer range of products offer gradient compression therapy with superior comfort and style. The knee-high stockings are available in six fashionable colors and boast of their unique SoftFit technology, which comes with knitted-in silicone yarns in the inner knee area, providing superior comfort.
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Medi has been in the US market since 1982. Its products are developed using their proprietary German designs. The compression stocking range is available under their mediven Ready to Wear category. Mediven sheer & soft is the company’s most transparent compression stocking. It provides unique softness with moisture regulation. Their SilverPlus technology prevents multiplication of bacteria on the surface of the stocking. It features a unique open and closed toe design. It’s available in five different colors. The mediven comfort stocking is a semi-transparent class offering more comfort with Clima-Comfort technology that releases moisture to regulate the temperature
The ClimaFresh technology inhibits bacterial growth and prevents bad odors. They also have a category that is a more economical offering, that provides all-day wearing comfort. Available in black and beige colors, it offers an open toe compression stocking too.
The TheraFirm offers a light sheer maternity pantyhose, specifically designed for pregnant women. It delivers a controlled amount of pressure, giving a more comfortable feel.
The pantyhose has a soft, knit-in waistband for an extra-soft feel. It’s patented Micro-Cool process creates a wicking effect. The moisture from the skin evaporates quickly, making you feel cooler and more comfortable. TheraFirm products are made with Latex-Free Lycra and nylon fibers for a softer feel.
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