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Guide to Choosing a Compression Stocking (with Pictures!)

Are you feeling sporty? You might be picking up the wrong stockings if not told. There’s a thing called compression stocking that looks like the tights you will wear beneath your mini dress or with your gym clothes. They are cute and easily mistaken for pantyhose but they are far from that.

Did you assume that athletes wore fancy, colored stockings because they complimented the beauty of their uniforms? No, they are meant for a healthier purpose than aesthetics. These high-quality elastic stockings that often come in different colors are not fashion wears but medical ones.

Footballer wearing socks to prevent leg aches

Compression stockings and how they work

They might seem identical to pantyhose but their material make and purpose are from that. Comprogear compression stockings are designed to support people that suffer from leg pain, others that are in sports, and aids in treating deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and varicose veins.

DVT and varicose veins are conditions that occur when blood clots form in the veins in the deeper parts of the body. Such happenings would result in tenderness in the leg, pain, swelling, and the leg’s skin feeling warm when touched.

Our compression stockings prove to be effective in preventing and treating these conditions. Merely, when worn, they gently exert pressure on the skin, which improves blood circulation from the lower leg and thigh to the heart.

Lady relaxing in nude stockings

Once blood moves freely, it is harder for clots to form. When clot forms, unfortunately, travels with the blood and enters a dangerous zone like the lungs, this occurrence could lead to critical health problems and sometimes premature death. Thankfully, our compression stockings come in handy to make it harder for clots to form in the legs so that blood can flow freely within the body.

Our stockings aren’t restricted to these conditions only. Sporty individuals, people who have recently undergone surgery, pregnant women, and people who stand for long hours at work like nurses and flight attendants can use them. Also, folks who spend long hours on flights and those who struggle to move their legs can wear these stockings to prevent and ease leg pain.  As the stockings apply pressure to your ankles and legs, they will possibly do the following:

  • They will lessen the diameter of major veins by increasing the velocity and volume of blood flow.
  • Ease blood flow to the heart.
  • Stop blood from moving downwards to the foot or into superficial veins.

How are they designed?

Cute multicolored pieces

These compression stockings may look like tights but they aren’t made from the same material. They are made tightly with firm elastic, mostly of quality polyester, and are knee-high with 20-30mmHG compression. Their length and fit should be excellent to use without medical prescription but do seek your doctor’s advice as necessary. These are made differently to focus pressure on certain areas of the legs and at varying pressure levels.

Common types available

Three ladies showing off their stockings

There are three primary types; graduated compression stockings, anti-embolism stockings, and nonmedical support hosiery.

  • Graduated compression stockings

These are designed for mobility and meet certain length and strength specifications backed by medical advice.

Pressure compression is strongest at the ankle and it gradually reduces towards the knee and thigh. You may find them in two lengths but cannot be purchased off the shelves. They require professional fitting for effectiveness.

The types that end right below the knee are meant to lower leg swelling due to fluid congestion. For the ones that extend to the thigh or waist, they aid in preventing orthostatic hypotension and limits blood pooling in the legs. Meanwhile, you may choose between colors, material types, and choice of fit when purchasing them.

  • Anti-embolism stockings

These stockings are specially designed to prevent DVT by providing gradient pressure compression like the graduated stockings. The level of compression for these stockings may differ and they are made for those who are immobile.

  • Nonmedical support hosiery

Our knee-length compression stockings fit this category the best. You can purchase and use them without a medical prescription. They are made with elastic support and can be worn to ease tired and aching legs.

The compression is uniform and exerts lesser pressure than the other types above. For people that stand for long hours, this type is recommended for use, and they can be purchased at most pharmacies and online medical supply stores.

Choosing the right types for yourself

It is most advisable to consult your doctor when considering getting compression stockings. As seen above, the different types of work for varying conditions. Also, the prescription of pressure will need medical assistance before they are used.

Different shades of colors that they appear in

Adversely, although your doctor can prescribe the right compression stockings for you, types with up to 20 mm Hg may not need a prescription. They often have the least amount of pressure and are okay for basic ache-soothing uses.

However, for treating or preventing DVT, a doctor’s word is paramount. Stockings for treating these conditions are tighter with pressure levels mostly ranging from 8 to 40 mm Hg. The compression options are identified as mild (8 to 15 mm Hg), moderate (15 to 20 mm Hg), tight or firm (20 to 30 mm Hg), and extra tight or firm (30 to 40 mm Hg). The doctor’s test will reveal the right amount of compression needed for DVT. Meanwhile, choosing your stockings has a bit to do with your preference. Here’s a guide for choosing the right fit.

  • Start off by taking your body measurements (as described below) and use our sizing chart to determine the right size for you.
  • For our knee-high stockings, measure the circumference of the narrowest part of your ankle, the widest part of your calf, and then your calf’s length starting from the floor to the bend of your knee.

Usage and help on maintenance

Male sliding socks up to his knee

Once you begin wearing the stockings, follow these general tips for purchasing and using them.

  • Have the right measurements for a proper fit.
  • Read the packaging’s guidance on how to use them.
  • Follow your doctor’s directions for when to wear them and for how long.
  • Check out for any skin changes once you begin wearing the stockings. Make sure to contact your doctor for abnormal skin differences.

Basic guidelines for wearing the stockings:

  • Extend the stocking in full length, hold the top and roll downwards to the heel.
  • Fit your foot into it to the farthest possible and place your heel in the heel area of the stocking.
  • Pull and unroll the wear over your leg.
  • Once fully worn, using your hands to smoothen any wrinkles.

When struggling to wear your stockings, try these tricks:

  • Rub lotion on your legs and allow drying before wearing the stockings.
  • Apply a little baby powder on your legs, which may help them slide up easily.
  • Wear rubber dishwashing gloves to help fit the stockings and smoothen the wrinkles.
  • You may also use a stocking donner to slide the stocking over your foot. They are sold online and at most medical supply stores.

To maintain your stocking, use these tips:

  • Always keep them clean.
  • Wash them every day with water and mild soap. Rinse them well and air-dry.
  • Preferably, purchase two pairs if you can and alternate them daily as you wash the used one.
  • Technically, you should replace your stockings every three to six months except otherwise by your doctor’s advice.
  • If your stockings are uncomfortable, speak with your doctor before attempting to change them.

They have many benefits

Aside from allowing blood to circulate well in the body, our compression stockings also offer these benefits:

Lady running in black pairs
  1. They are:
  • They improve blood circulation in the legs.
  • They prevent blood from pooling in the legs’ veins.
  • They reduce and flatten leg swelling.
  • They support the operational features of the veins.
  • They aid in preventing venous or leg ulcers. Venous ulcers are conditions due to abnormal vein function that cause problems with the free flow of blood in the leg.
  • They reduce orthostatic hypotension, which is a decrease in systolic blood pressure of 20 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure of 10 mm Hg in three minutes of standing. This result is compared to the blood pressure reading from sitting or lying. This condition causes lightheadedness or unsteadiness when standing.
  • They prevent DVT in the legs.
  • They aid in lessening the pain caused by varicose veins.
  • They improve lymphatic drainage.
  • They reverse venous hypertension.

A few possible side effects of wearing these stockings

Due to the tight fit of the stockings, you may experience a few but minor side effects.

  • Skin irritation and redness.
  • Allergic reactions to the stockings material.
  • A sore, which may be due to an infection.

Once you start experiencing any of these, reach out to your doctor. A few things may cause these effects:

  • Your stocking is the wrong fit for you.
  • You have an infection.
  • You are not putting on and removing your stocking properly.
  • You are allergic to the stocking’s material.

Success tips for Using your compression stockings

  • Know your exact size before purchasing

Using your shoe or foot size to determine the measurement of your stockings will not be accurate. Ensure that you follow a proper measurement guide and match the results with our sizing chart for accuracy.

  • Be sure the material works for your skin

Wear stockings with breathable materials like polyester. Our stockings are ideal for both men and women, and they control heat and moisture better. They are durable and long-lasting too.

  • Choose your style of stockings

For medical prescriptions, your doctor may prescribe particular styles. However, for everyday use and low compression, our knee-length wears will meet your needs. Also, choose between a wide range of colors available. They are cute!

  • Know the right compression ratio that you need.

You may only be able to verify this information after your doctor’s examination. However, for everyday use, stockings with compression of no more than 20 mmHg should work well.

Woman showing off her knee-length and open-toe socks

The Summary

Compression stockings exert pressure on your legs and ankles to drive good blood circulation from your legs to your heart. You may use our compression stockings as a preventive measure for leg pains or DVT. If you stand or fly for long hours, these compression stockings will come in handy to avoid leg problems in the future. For extreme medical conditions, always seek your doctor’s guidance for using our compressions stockings.