Treating Lymphedema, Varicose Veins, And Deep Vein Thrombosis With Compression Therapy Stockings

Treating Lymphedema, Varicose Veins, and Deep Vein Thrombosis with Compression Therapy Stockings

Compression therapy is the wearing of leggings woven to produce a level of compression to the calf and thigh to support those who need a professional medical answer for blood clots, edema, poor blood flow, and blood pooling in the lower limbs. Some are more susceptible to these ailments, especially when seated or in periods of lengthy inactivity, for instance, extented air travel.
First, before going over compression treatments, we should differentiate between "Graduated Compression Stockings" and "Anti-Embolism" leggings. These are two distinctive products!
Graduated, or "gradient" compression leggings have a level of compression that starts with the greatest compression at the ankle, with slightly lower degrees of compression up the leg.
Anti-embolism leggings, also known as TED Stockings or TED Hose (Thrombo Embolic Deterrent) have an important difference from graduated compression stockings.
The compression on a pair of TED Stockings possess consistent compression from the ankle to the leg. For this reason, they can assist in circulation of blood and lymph body fluids in the legs to help prevent clots from forming. (Venous Thrombosis)
Below are some medical reasons where compression therapy garments are recommended:
Lipodermatosclerosis - A skin associated condition, possibly caused by venous disease, where the layer of body fat beneath the skin gets irritated. It can lead the way to ulceration if not treated, and is most common in middle-aged women.
Chronic Peripheral Venous Insufficiency (CVI) - CVI is a condition where defective or dysfunctional blood valves are unable to push oxygen-poor blood back to the heart. It's typically in the leg, and common in females as well as males who have experienced leg injuries. Compression stockings, in some cases, have been used to stimulate proper blood flow.

Varicose Veins - Varicose veins are undesirable veins visible through the epidermis. They are triggered by valves in the vein not meeting up properly when the blood pumps, buckling to the stress and resulting in the blood to flow down with gravity. They can be painful and itchy, and scratching them may trigger sores to form. There are many treatments available for varicose veins, both therapeutic and surgical. A medical doctor who specializes in vein care, known as a phlebologist, can provide the best treatments. Often, compression stockings are encouraged by a physician to reduce pain, cease inflammation, and improve blood circulation.
Lymphedema - AKA "Lymphatic Obstruction", this condition is when the lymphatic system swells due to fluid retention. The liquid is normally returned to the blood and recirculated to tissues, but with lymphedema, this fluid builds up, causing swollen limbs, tiredness/fatigue, and if not taken care of, deformities. Lymphedema is often hereditary, caused by a jeopardized lymph node system, or after a surgical procedure that compromises the lymph node system.
Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - DVT is a blood clot condition affecting an estimated 350,000 Americans annually. It's a clot that forms deep in legs, familiar among many post-surgery patients, regular air travelers, hormonal contraception,and obesity. Compression stockings help prevent DVT and ultimately defend against its deadly counterpart, pulmonary embolism (PE).

Athletic Activity - During any kind of jogging, swimming, kickboxing, biking, golfing, or any athletic exercise, the legs and leg muscles are working hard. Any time the calves and thighs get sore, it is common for lactic acids to build up in the muscle tissue. Putting on lower compression 15-20mmHg sports compression socks has been demonstrated to assist speeding up recovery times and reduce swollen, achy legs.
Getting Compression Stockings, Socks, and Hosiery Prescribed by Doctors
If you have a background or experiencing symptoms of the above conditions, you should consult a vein specialist and/or your doctor before self- prescribing any compression stockings. While the majority of healthy men and women can wear 15-20mmhg grade compression stockings, anything greater such as 30-40mmhg can do more damage than good in some individuals, such as artery obstruction or blood pooling in parts of the leg. Always consult a health care professional before managing with high compression!
Basically, doctors will assess the Ankle Brachial Index (ABI) - which must be >1.0 to wear compression stockings. A doctor or registered nurse can size the proper fit for your medical leggings; precise sizing is important to ensure optimum medical benefit. If you require a greater level of compression, your physician will know and recommend a level of compression appropriately.