Why is compression important?
Compression therapy can help alleviate the negative symptoms of of pain, swelling and discoloration that are associated with venous disease. When practiced regularly, compression therapy can prevent future progression of venous diseases.
Compression therapy is the cornerstone of treatment through all phases of care for venous disorders from preventative to advanced conditions. The use of traditional elastic stockings or inelastic wraps are both effective in promoting positive venous blood flow return to the heart.
When fit properly and worn regularly, compression garments can alleviate symptoms associated with venous disease such as swollen ankles, tired feet, leg discoloration and pain.
In humans, the venous pressure is the highest in the ankle and foot region. Medical compression stockings have a graduated pressure gradient where the pressure decreases from the ankle and foot toward the thigh. The pressure exerted by compression stockings must be particularly high in the calf region. In contrast, the pressure gradient must be relieved in the pit of the knee to prevent constriction of the superficial vein. The pressure gradient decreases steadily from 100% at the ankle to 40% at the thigh.
Why are medical compression stockings sold by prescription?
The correct fit is very important for safe and effective compression therapy. Medical compression stockings are designed to provide graduated compression and come in different pressure levels, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). A physician who understands your venous condition will prescribe a specific compression strength. Then, carefully measuring your legs, a professional fitter can provide you with the best compression garment for your individual needs.