Last Updated January 15, 2020
There are many different levels of compression socks. One of the most popular is 15-20 mmHg compression socks. These socks are ideal for both men and women for different reasons. They are popular among men especially athletes, teachers, and nurses. This is because these types of people are always on their feet.
The 15-20 mmHg compression socks are also known as moderate compression socks that are good for anyone who is seeking better circulation. This level of compression is just enough to relieve people with tired feet. They are also popular among people who fly a lot; they offer moderate compression that is good for improving circulation and preventing excess swelling.
Despite what many people think, compression socks are not for the elderly only. Essentially, more elderly people require compression socks due to health matters. However, younger people also need compression socks due to various health risks. What is more, people who are not ill also need compression socks for various reasons such as swelling, pain, aching, and even fatigue.
It is popularly known that more women than men wear compression socks and stockings. This is due to the fact that women are at a higher risk of developing conditions such as edema, and varicose veins that require compression therapy. What is more, stockings were once considered ‘female’ wear. Unfortunately, many men are not open to the idea of being associated with what was traditionally considered feminine.
This, unfortunately, has left many men suffering from diseases, and conditions that can easily be treated or maintained with compression wear. When it comes to this debate, the question really is whether to protect the male ego or to ensure proper leg health. The answer should always be leg health.
It is important to note that compression wear is very beneficial to men. compression socks with the 15-20 mmHg compression level can be used to treat or maintain the symptoms of several conditions among men. The first is varicose veins and an epidemic that is slowly affecting more and more men each day.
To understand varicose veins, it is important to understand the normal function of the veins. Veins are blood vessels that run all through the body. Their work is to return blood from all the organs in the body toward the heart. Different organs in the body use oxygen carried in the blood to perform their functions.
In return, they release waste products such as carbon dioxide through the blood into the veins. The veins carry the deoxygenated blood back to the heart where it is returned to the lungs for oxygenation.
Other than blood transportation the veins also work as storage vessels. When the body is at rest, such as when you are sleeping, not all the blood circulates through the body. Only a portion of the available blood circulates in the body while the rest is stored in the veins. The storage capacity is possible thanks to the elasticity of the walls of the veins. When the body becomes active again, the inactive blood enters the circulation again.
Veins come in different sizes depending on their function and location. The biggest veins are located in the center of the body. Their work is to collect the blood from all the other smaller veins and channel it into the heart. The branches of these large veins get smaller and smaller as they move away from the center of the body. The veins located deep and closer to the center of the body are called deep veins. Those located closer to the skin surface are known as superficial veins. Perforating veins connect superficial veins to the deep veins.
Veins transport blood back to the heart through the support of surrounding muscles and valves. Arteries often have muscular walls that help with blood circulation. Valves rely on cup-shaped valves. These valves are responsible for circulation by opening to let blood flow through and then closing to prevent the backflow of blood. Properly functioning valves often ensure that blood flows properly to the heart with no backflow.
However, with time, the valves may weaken due to the wearing and tearing brought about by being on your feet for too long or sitting for too long. Aging can also cause this deterioration, as can some diseases. When the valves deteriorate, the opening and closing functions are immediately affected. They do not close properly, thus allowing blood to flow backward.
When the blood flows back into the veins, they swell and overwhelm with pressure. They become large, twisted, and discolored in dark blue or purple. This condition is what is known as varicose veins. Varicose veins also come with pain in the affected areas. You may experience pain, a burning sensation in the affected area, throbbing in the vein, muscle craps especially when you go to sleep, and dry and itchy skin in the affected area.
Certain things have been known to increase your chances of getting varicose veins. They are known as risk factors; some controllable, and others beyond control. The first is being old, as you grow older, your muscles deteriorate which affects how well the veins do their job. Another risk factor is standing for too long. Standing for too long such as in the case of nurses and teachers takes a toll on your muscles. As a result, your muscles deteriorate which in turn affects circulation, causing varicose vein symptoms.
Being overweight also increases your chances of developing varicose veins. Hormonal changes in women such as during pregnancy, highly contribute to the formation of varicose veins in women. Statistics actually show that a lot of women get varicose veins. However, this does not mean that men do not get varicose veins. As many as 45% of all men will get varicose veins at some point in their lives. This is due to one of the most popular causes of varicose veins; genes. Many people have a background of varicose veins in their family.
Family history plays a very significant role in varicose veins. People whose parents or grandparents have had varicose veins are at a higher risk of developing varicose veins. Varicose veins can affect men of all ages depending on the lifestyle that they live. However, the risk increases with age because of the loss of tissue tone and muscle mass, as well as a weakening of the venous walls.
There are three main types of varicose veins. The first is reticular varicose veins which present themselves as red and clustered together in a network. The second is trunk varicose veins which are found nearer to the surface. They are thick, long, and knobbly in appearance. Many people say that they look very unpleasant.
The last type is telangiectasia varicose veins which are also known as spider veins or thread veins. They present themselves as small clusters of blue or red veins that sometimes appear on your face or legs. They are mostly harmless and, unlike trunk varicose veins, do not bulge underneath the surface of the skin.
Generally, men have the same symptoms as women who have varicose veins. You will experience leg cramps, leg heaviness, pain, tiredness, and swelling. Unfortunately, men are less likely to seek treatment. This, of course, is dangerous because varicose veins are a chronic condition that gets worse without treatment. If you want a more active lifestyle, it is best to seek treatment.
For men with varicose veins, there are two things you should know when debating about treatment. The first thing is that varicose veins are more than just a cosmetic problem. Many men refuse to get treatment because they do not care what their veins look like.
However, it is bigger than that; varicose veins mean that there is something wrong with your blood circulation. Varicose veins are a sign that blood flow from your legs to your heart is restricted; and will cause more problems in the future.
If you have varicose veins then you should not be ashamed of it. It is estimated that up to 30 million Americans are suffering from varicose veins right now. The prevalence of varicose veins is real and so seeking treatment will not make you feel like a lab rat being experimented on.
There are several ways you can treat varicose veins. One of the most popular ways to manage symptoms of varicose veins is compression therapy. Compression therapy is the use of compression wear to stimulate blood flow in the legs where most people develop varicose veins. The legs are furthest from the heart in the body and so blood circulation is harder due to gravity.
Compression therapy is easy and affordable because it calls for buying a few pairs of compression socks and wear them regularly. The best compression level for managing symptoms of varicose veins is the 15-20 mmHg compression socks. This level of compression is moderate to help apply pressure to the vein in order to improve internal pressure and improve blood circulation.
Of course, compression socks are not capable of curing varicose veins but they are known to greatly reduce the symptoms. People who have worn this level of compression have noticed that the discoloration in the veins greatly reduces. Second, people notice less swelling in their legs and feet. Another effect of compression therapy is less twisting in the veins. 15-20 mmHg compression socks apply firm pressure to reduce twisting.
One of the most important things to remember when seeking compression therapy is to ensure that you have the right size. This level of compression is best worn after getting a professional fitting done for you. Professional fitting is done to ensure that you have the right size compression socks. People often buy the wrong sizes of compression socks. Too big does not do anything for your circulation except make you feel uncomfortable. A size too small cuts of circulation completely which is worse than varicose veins.
When measuring legs, ensure to do it first thing in the morning. This is because your legs tend to be swollen most in the morning. The first measurement you need is the ankle circumference; it should be at the narrowest part of your ankle, usually right above the anklebone. Next, measure calf circumference at the fullest part of your calf.
You will also need calf length, which is measured from where your heel touches the floor to the bend in the back of the knee. If you are planning on buying thigh-high compression socks or pantyhose, then measure your thigh circumference at its fullest part. Lastly, measure the length of your thigh from where your heel touches the floor to the gluteal fold. You should also measure your hips at the widest part if you are planning on buying a compression hose.
Wearing 15-20 mmHg compression stockings takes a little practice because they are more firm than normal socks. You should always wear compression socks first thing in the morning because your legs are least swollen in the morning. This will make wearing them much easier. If you have already started moving around then you should lie down and elevate your feet for thirty minutes before putting them on.
The elasticity and material make it hard to put on compression socks. Therefore, start by turning the stocking inside out by putting your hand inside the stocking, grasping the heel and pulling it inside out. Never roll or bunch up the stockings before putting them on because they can easily refuse to lie flat when you wear them. Slide your foot into the pocket so that your toes are positioned correctly.
Now, you can pull up the stocking up and over your foot to position the heel correctly. Pull the stocking up and smooth the wrinkles as you go. This ensures that the stockings lie flat on your leg. If they are not flat, then they will bunch up and cut off circulation which goes against their main purpose. When using this method, ensure that you sit on a chair with proper back support.
If you are still struggling with wearing your compression socks then there are a few things you can do to make the wearing easier. First, ensure that you have dried your legs thoroughly. Wearing compression socks with wet feet or legs is more difficult than wearing regular socks with wet feet and legs. Therefore, it is best that you dry your feet and legs well before wearing compression socks.
Your legs may be a little dry especially during the winter and this will make wearing compression socks hard. If this is the case, then a few blobs of lotion or moisturizing cream will do you some good. Apply a layer of lotion or cream to moisturize your legs in order to allow them to slide up more easily.
In the summer, you will sweat; especially your legs and feet. The excess moisture will make it difficult to wear your compression socks. A helping of talcum powder or cornflour is great for absorbing excess moisture.
This will allow your stockings to glide up easier. When wearing your compression socks, take off all your hand jewelry to prevent them from getting caught in the socks. Also, grab the socks with your fingers rather than your nails to prevent tearing.
Getting a good grip of your compression socks can be difficult even with all the directions on how to best wear them. A pair of rubber gloves can help with this. The rubber allows you to get a better grip on your compression socks thanks to the fabric. They are also best for smoothing out wrinkles and bumps.
At the end of the day, a stocking donner will do great for you to ensure that your socks fit well. A donner is a device that helps to keep the hosiery in place and partially open, making it easier to insert your foot into the sock. Always remember to work the fabric gently up the leg and carefully smooth any wrinkles.
After you have worn your socks, check for a few things to ensure that you have worn them correctly. Ensure that the foot of the stocking is placed correctly on your foot. It should be the same as the shape of your bare foot. If you are wearing knee-high or hose, then check the back of your knees to ensure that it is not buckling.
Ensure that your socks have not folded over as it can cut off circulation to the heart. If you notice any redness of the skin on your legs or feet, then you should consult your doctor to check for allergies or get a better prescription. If you notice increased swelling, pain, or numbness then you may be wearing too high a compression level and it is cutting off your circulation.
Finally, a great part of compression therapy is consistency. Learn to wear your compression socks as often as possible, especially if you spend most of your days on your feet. You do not have to wear them to bed; simply elevate your feet to improve blood circulation and ensure proper leg health.