Before we discuss what compression to choose, let’s look at how the compression helps control edema and makes our legs feel better. The muscles of the legs act a pump to assist the heart in the return blood flow from the extremities. When veins and valves of the legs become damaged or incompetent, compression stockings provide a little extra “squeeze” to help reduce the diameter of distended veins and help the valves to close. When this happens, the blood flow is increased. The “squeeze” is measured in mmHg compression.

If your physician has not suggested compression of support hose (compression stockings or support socks) to purchase, it can be very confusing. A garment with too little compression for your diagnosis may not contain the swelling. On the other hand, I have clients purchase 30-40 mmHg compression because they want to be certain of getting rid of their swelling. Once they receive their purchase, they are even more frustrated because they are not able to don the garment. The correct compression, correct size, and style are some of the secrets to being a successful support hose (compression stocking or support sock) wearer.

For someone with little or no swelling, an 8-15 mmHg compression may give the gentle message they desire.

For someone with mild swelling or to prevent varicose veins, a 15-20 compression may give them support they want.

For someone with moderate swelling, a 20-30 mmHg compression may give them all the “squeeze” they need.

 

Here are some guide lines we follow when fitting a new client:

  • 8-15 mmHg compression is generally used for
    • Minor ankle, leg and foot swelling
    • Those who want just a little gentle massage to help their tired, fatigued legs
    • A client who is very elderly and has serious heart problems or is not able to don a higher compression
  • 15-20 mmHg compression is used for
    • Minor varicose veins
    • Travel (when there is no other leg problems)
    • Prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy
    • Post Sclerotherapy
  • 20-30 mmHg compression is used for
    • Moderate to severe varicose veins
    • Moderate swelling (edema)
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Prevention of recurrence of venous ulcerations
    • Superficial Thrombophlebitis
    • Post surgical
    • Management of Neuropathy
    • Travel
    • Prophylaxis during pregnancy
    • Burn scar management
    • DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) prevention
    • Healing of joint replacement
  • 30-40 mmHg compression is used for
    • Severe varicose veins
    • Severe edema
    • Lymphedema
    • Management of active venous ulcerations
    • Prevention of recurrence of venous ulcerations
    • Prevention of Post-Thrombotic Syndrome
    • Management of PTS (Post-Thrombotic Syndrome)
    • Orthostatic Hypotension
    • Post Surgical
    • Post Sclerotherapy
    • Burn Scar Management.

For our returning clients, are you having problems such as your garment not containing your edema or your garment is rolling, pinching or otherwise not fitting properly? Call our Certified Fitters at 1-800-515-4271. Your problems could be due to wrong compression, wrong size, or wrong garment. For example a knee high 20-30 mmHg from one manufacturer does not fit the same as the same garment from another manufacturer. Even different styles of garments from the same manufacturer (such as casual compared dress) can fit different.

In conclusion a properly fitting compression garment of the proper compression and correct style can make your legs happy!
Our goal at SupportHoseStore.com has always been to help you improve the quality of your life!

Vanda