Stocking Therapy

Compression stockings can be a necessary part of therapeutic healing, but how do they work? What if they’re uncomfortable? Here are a few of our most common questions regarding this treatment:

Q: How does the stocking work?

A: The prescribed compression stocking applies an external or counter pressure to the surface of the leg. This external pressure compresses swollen veins and assists the calf muscle’s pumping action to increase the blood flow returning to your heart. The stockings' external pressure also reduces the amount of excess blood in the veins of your lower legs. The mini-veins closest to the surface will empty more effectively, resulting in less swelling of your legs.

Q: How do I care for my stockings?

A: To obtain a maximum life span for the stockings you should remove all hand and arm jewellery before putting on the stockings. It is important your toenails are trimmed short. Rubber gloves are recommended and are very helpful when putting on the stockings. Special application aids are available if required. Always care for your stockings as per the stocking manufacture guidelines. Some fabrics may have different care requirements. With proper care your stocking should last approximately 6 months. Replacement at this time is necessary to maintain the proper compression prescribed by your doctor. Proper size and fit is required to attain the maximum medical benefit for your leg. It is recommended you be measured each time you purchase replacement stockings. Measurements should always be taken in the morning, when your leg is at its most reduced state. As the day progresses the size of your leg increases.

Q: Aren’t the stockings too hot to wear, especially during the summer?

A: Compression stockings are available in a variety of fabrics; natural rubber, cotton blends and synthetics. A cotton blend or a sheer fabric may be cooler to wear during the summer months. For your personal comfort, you should discuss the options available with the certified fitter, when purchasing your stockings.
Patients with venous problems should avoid excessive temperatures especially in the summer months, when you need the stockings the most. Take precautions against SUNBURN. It will cause skin damage and swelling of your legs. On extremely hot days take a break and lie down. Place your legs on pillows so they are raised higher than the level of your heart to reduce the swelling in your leg.

Q: The stockings feel tight on my legs. What happens if I don’t wear the compression stockings?

A: The compression stocking will feel firm at your ankle and the firmness will lessen as it goes up your leg. Your physician has ordered the necessary compression based on your symptoms/diagnosis. It is estimated that approximately thirty percent of those who have venous disorders develop leg ulcers. Once leg ulcers are healed and stockings are prescribed and not worn on a regular basis the estimated recurrence rate is one hundred per cent. However it drops to approximately sixteen per cent when patients are compliant.

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