Compression stockings are specialized hosiery designed to apply gentle pressure to the legs and improve circulation. Unlike regular stockings and socks, compression stockings squeeze the legs, helping blood flow return to the heart. It provides many health benefits that alleviate various medical conditions.
Compression stockings are tight-fitting elastic garments made from stretchy fabrics that gently squeeze the legs. This gradual pressure acts against gravity to push venous blood up from the feet and lower legs back toward the heart. As a result, blood pools less in the veins and circulation improves. Compression ranges from 8-15 mmHg for mild pressure up to 30-40 mmHg for maximum graduated compression. The more compression provided, the greater the circulation benefits.
The squeezing effect of compression stockings improves circulation in several key ways. First, it prevents blood from pooling in the veins of the lower legs and feet. Poor venous circulation leads to swelling, varicose veins, leg heaviness and pain, and other discomforts. Compression aids the muscles in pumping blood back to the heart. This enhanced circulation reduces pressure in the veins and valves. It also decreases leakage into leg tissues which causes fluid buildup and swelling. Better circulation provides more oxygenated blood to the muscles and tissues.
Relieves varicose veins
Many people turn to compression stockings toronto to alleviate varicose veins. Varicose veins are abnormally enlarged veins that twist, bulge near the surface, and fill with blood. They often appear as ropy, blue-green veins in the legs. Varicose veins develop from weakened valves and veins and increased pressure in the lower body. Compression stockings help reduce distended veins by improving valve function and moving blood more efficiently throughout the legs.
Swelling or edema in the lower legs and ankles is another common problem with compression stockings. Edema results from the accumulation of fluid in surrounding tissues. Chronic venous insufficiency is a major cause as weak veins and valves cause increased pressure. Lymphedema, pregnancy, obesity, and prolonged sitting or standing also trigger edema. The gentle squeezing action of compression stockings provides support against the walls of veins and reduces leakage into tissues. It decreases swelling and discomfort in the legs and feet.
Supports after injury or surgery
Compression stockings play an important role in recovery after leg injuries or surgeries. Doctors often prescribe compression stockings after treatment of blood clots, varicose vein procedures, or orthopedic surgery involving the legs, hips, or knees. The compression minimizes swelling and the risk of blood clots while immobilized. It also aids healing by supplying more oxygenated blood to the area. Patients should continue wearing compression stockings after these medical procedures to maintain benefits.
Improves symptoms of chronic conditions
People with certain chronic medical conditions also gain relief from compression stockings. Conditions like postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS), chronic venous insufficiency, lymphedema, and peripheral artery disease often cause leg pain, fatigue, skin changes, and other issues from poor circulation. Gradient compression stockings enhance blood flow and oxygenation of tissues. It alleviates many symptoms related to these chronic illnesses. Compression also helps prevent complications like leg ulcers and blood clots.