What are compression stockings?
Compression stockings (also known as compression hose, pressure stockings, support stockings, and gradient stockings) are special stockings designed to improve blood flow in your legs. They work by squeezing your leg, which helps the blood flow upwards and return to the rest of body. Poor blood circulation in the legs may lead to the formation of a clot, known as a deep vein thromboembolism, which can cause a life-threatening stroke.
People who might benefit from the use of compression stocking include
- Sit or stand most of the day
- Have a history of blood clots or other circulatory issues
- Have had recent surgery
- Are overweight
- Are of older age
- Are pregnant
Most people are probably surprised that healthy and younger adults would benefit from compression stockings However, Sherry Scovell, M.D., a vascular surgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital stated, “most people think that compression stockings are for older people, but compression socks help to keep your veins healthy, and many vein problems start when people are young.”
Compression stockings come in multiple sizes depending upon the amount of compression required. And, just like regular socks, they are available in multiple colors and styles. Both knee-length and thigh-high stockings can be found at Bremo Pharmacy, where one of their specialties is fitting compression stockings for patients. When scheduling an appointment, book one between 9:15am and 11:30am. By coming in for an early appointment, Bremo Pharmacy staff can get the most accurate measurement since the leg has the least swelling in the morning.
How do I use my compression stockings?
Regardless of if you are a first-time user of compression stockings or have used them for years, it can be difficult to put on the stockings by yourself. If you are having these issues, here are some tips to get them on with minimal difficulty:
- Put on stockings first thing in the morning before you get out of bed.
- Hold the top of the stocking and roll it down to the heel of your foot.
- Put your foot into the stocking as far as you can. Put the heel of your foot into the heel of the stocking.
- Pull the stocking up over your calf. Unroll the stocking over your leg.
- After the top of the stocking is in place, smooth out any wrinkles.
- Knee length stockings should come to 2 fingers below your knee. Do not let the stockings bunch up or wrinkle and change each pair used every day.
Bremo Pharmacy even sells the Sigvaris Doff N’ Donner, a device specifically made to aid those who have trouble putting on the stockings. For more information, this video provides a great demonstration and this website can tell you more about how to keep your legs healthy. You can tell if your stockings are on on correctly if you feel most of the pressure around your ankles and less pressure higher up your legs.
Contact your health insurance to see if you qualify for compression stockings and get a prescription from your doctor. Bremo Pharmacy can measure you and order you compression stockings to fit your needs. Appointments are held between 9:30am and 11:30am, Monday through Friday. If interested, please call 804-288-8361 ext. 134 to make your appointment! Give your legs a break and get your legs measured today!
Written by: Tyler Willey, PharmD Candidate 2017