About graduated compression
What are compression stockings?
Compression stockings are elastic garments worn on the legs to help mediate a variety of symptoms. Unlike traditional socks or hosiery, these stockings are specifically designed to offer medical support via integrally-knit graduated compression. This therapeutic pressure is designed to be tightest at the ankle and gradually less above. By squeezing the leg in this specific way, compression stockings can provide a variety of health & beauty benefits.
How does graduated compression work?
The venous system pumps deoxygenated blood out of the extremities, through the limbs, and back to the heart. This function is achieved by the veins themselves, which act as the passageway for blood transportation, and by the valves within them, which open to allow blood through and flap closed to prevent blood from flowing backward.
Over time, gravity, increased weight, age, medical conditions, occupational stressors, and even certain clothing can wreak havoc on this system and its basic functions. Vein walls are constructed of thin elastic fibers which, like any elastic fiber, can become overstretched and dilated. When this occurs the one-way valves within them cannot close properly, making them incapable of preventing back-flow and allowing blood to accumulate down the leg. The result can first surface as tiredness, heaviness, discomfort or swelling and eventually develop into a variety of conditions, such as venous insufficiency, varicose veins, spider veins, edema, etc.
By applying pressure around the circumference of the leg, compression stockings temporarily reduce the size of small surface veins forcing blood into the deep vein system. Simultaneously, they constrict the diameter of compromised vein walls deep within the leg helping to restore deep vein integrity and improve the flow of blood & fluids. By squeezing tightest at the ankle and gradually less above, graduated compression can help accelerate the flow of blood upward from the feet & back to the heart.
Having trouble visualizing this concept? For a helpful comparison try thinking of your veins as a garden hose. Have you ever turned on the water to your backyard hose, found the pressure to be a bit too low, and squeezed your hand around a portion of the hose opening to make the water flow more forcefully? Compression stockings work in a similar way. Just like a person can use a finger to change the diameter of a hose opening & resulting water flow, compression stockings utilize pressure to constrict the diameter of the veins and resulting blood flow.
What does it feel like?
First time users of medical compression are sometimes surprised by how firm it actually is. The pressure offered via these garments will be meaningfully stronger than what you might experience with a piece of traditional shape wear or tights, so be patient with yourself when donning for the first time. An extra wiggle & shimmy may be needed as you get used to the new compression strength.
The good news is, though it may take a bit of getting used to at first, most wearers adjust to compression stockings within a short period and quickly come to love the feeling of support & relief they provide. Frequent wearers often describe compression like a “hug” for the legs.
What are the benefits of graduated compression stockings?
With regular usage, properly-fitted graduated compression stockings can offer both health and beauty benefits.</>
Unlike fashion tights you might buy at the department store, all brands of compression stockings featured on www.rejuvahealth.com are FDA-listed medical support stockings designed specifically for medical and health purposes. The graduated compression in these types of support stockings can help:
- mediate leg discomfort
- reduce feelings of heaviness and tiredness in the legs
- relieve leg swelling
- energize fatigued legs
- combat occupational leg swelling and fatigue occurring from prolonged sitting or standing
As an added bonus, full-length compression garments can offer slimming and shaping benefits too. By applying firm pressure to the calves, thighs, and bum, compression stockings can help:
- provide the appearance of longer, leaner legs
- tame and smooth the tummy
- control and conceal trouble areas in the upper thigh
- flatter your figure
Who wears graduated compression stockings?
People with the following symptoms may benefit from support stockings. Those that experience:
- tired, aching, fatigued legs
- swollen feet and legs
- occupational swelling and discomfort caused by prolonged sitting or standing
In addition, certain compression products can be used for treatment of symptoms associated with:
- venous insufficiencies
- post-surgical recovery
- athletic recovery
- spider veins
- varicose veins
- post thrombotic syndrome
Along with those that use compression stockings for the treatment & prevention of medical conditions, some people enjoy wearing compression simply because if feels good & delivers more support than an average stocking can provide. A few examples of common occupations that may benefit from the feeling of relief and support which light compression can provide include:
- nurses and doctors
- masseurs, cosmetologists, and stylists
- chefs, line workers, and restaurant serving staff
- warehouse, packing, or delivery occupations
- businesspeople with desk positions that require prolonged sitting
- frequent travelers or anyone taking a long plane flight
- and more ...
For your convenience, this information is also summarized in the brief video below.