The Wonders of these Support Hoses
If you’re new to wearing 15 – 20, 20 – 30, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee or ankle high wild calf compression socks, your legs will be amazed! These specialized knee high and thigh highs hosiery boosts circulation, energizing your legs and improving vein function.
If your calves are muscular or larger than average, you need 15 – 20, 20 – 30, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee or thigh high hosiery tailored to their width. Otherwise, your legs will be too constricted and your blood flow impaired.
Knee high, ankle high, or thigh high wide calf socks with a support level of 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg are sometimes more elastic than standard types, being made with extra spandex. To ensure a comfy fit, you must consider several factors. Here’s a detailed guide to finding compression hose your legs will love!
Both women and men can wear 15 – 20, 20 – 30, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high, ankle high or thigh high compression stockings, also called pressure socks. Their elastic weave hugs your legs, providing strong vein support, care and relief. Such garments are classified as either non-gradient or gradient. Non-gradient types exert an equal amount of tension throughout the fabric. Consequently, they don’t enhance blood flow.
Gradient styles ( 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high or thigh high hosiery) are snug at your ankle, easing the fit as they rise up your leg. This differential has a squeezing effect. The sustained force overcomes gravity, pushing blood toward your heart and fostering better distribution. The knee high or thigh high wide calves compression socks and compression stockings discussed here apply gradient compression.
Benefits of Support Hoses
The 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg wide calves knee high or thigh high compression socks and compression stockings come in a range of styles, including knee high, thigh high, waist high, and sleeves, which are footless.
This article covers knee highs, having four advantages — promoting vein health, clot prevention, leg comfort, pain relief and exercise gains.
Knee high or thigh high wide calves compression socks and compression stockings of different support levels ( 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) ward off varicose and spider veins. They prevent and heal venous ulcers, leg wounds caused by lethargic blood. Additionally, they control leg swelling, medically termed edema.
That’s because gradient compression (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) boosts more than blood flow. It also circulates lymph. This is a pale fluid surrounding our cells, carrying infection-fighting white blood cells. Lymph travels through vessels that empty into the bloodstream. Since gradient (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) socks expedite lymph movement, leg swelling decreases accordingly.
Our leg veins are vulnerable to hosting blood clots that don’t dissolve. A clot that forms in a deep leg vein can travel through the bloodstream and lodge in a vital organ. Medically, this type of clot is called a deep vein thrombosis, abbreviated DVT.
A common DVT trigger is being sedentary. This is why doctors urge you to wear 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee or thigh high wide calves compression socks and compression stockings during long drives and flights of four hours or more. Clots can also result from prolonged bed rest, such as after certain types of surgery. In women, clots can develop from taking birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
If a DVT wedges inside a lung artery, it can block blood flow to the rest of the body. This acute condition, called a pulmonary embolism, is fatal in the absence of swift medical care.
Thankfully, wide calves compression socks and compression stockings of different support levels ( 15 – 20, 20 – 30, or 30 – 40 mmHg) improve venous flow through the legs, substantially lowering the chance of DVT. If you’re at risk for clots, wearing these knee high or thigh high hosiery can be lifesaving!
Wide calves compression socks and compression stockings of different support levels (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) are a godsend for people who spend their workdays standing, such as cashiers, restaurant waitstaff, nurses, and flight attendants.
The fabric has a massaging effect, activating leg muscles and preventing the feeling of heaviness. Since wide calves compression socks and compression stockings (which can have a support pressure of 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) curb leg swelling, walking is easier. In the case of existing varicose veins, knee high or thigh high pressure hosiery provide blessed relief of the aching and throbbing.
Athletes wear 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high or thigh high hosiery to minimize leg fatigue, muscle cramps, and soreness. Consequently, they have better exercise endurance. Research confirms these boons.
In 2015, scientists performed a comprehensive analysis of exercise data from SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE, PubMed, and Web of Science, along with relevant journal articles. The researchers found that compression gear can help runners jog longer while incurring less muscle inflammation, injury, and pain. (Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27106555 and https://comprogear.com/doc-socks-reviews/ )
A Warning about Support Compression Socks
Note that, for certain diagnoses, the 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high or thigh high stockings are prohibited. One such disease is peripheral neuropathy nerve damage in the extremities, causing leg pain, weakness, and numbness.
Since sensation is impaired, it’s hard to tell when a sock is too tight, jeopardizing blood flow.
Compression garments of different support levels (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) can worsen skin infections and irritations. They’re also dangerous for those with pulmonary edema and peripheral artery disease.
Therefore, if you have any medical conditions, before buying compression garments, consult with your primary care doctor.
Gradient wide calves compression socks and compression stockings have different ratings based on how much force they apply. This effect is measured like blood pressure, in millimeters of mercury, abbreviated mmHg. The higher the numbers, the greater the compression.
Here are the four pressure ratings and their corresponding merits:
8 – 15 – Light Support
– averts limb fatigue and aching
– invigorates the legs during prolonged standing and sitting
– controls minor swelling
– prevents varicose and spider veins, including during pregnancy
15 – 20 – Medium Support
- Protects against DVT
- Eases mild leg fatigue, aching, and edema
- Relieves the discomfort of small varicose veins
- After corrective surgery, curbs the reappearance of spider and varicose veins
20- 30 – Firm Support
- Controls moderate edema, varicose veins, and spider veins
- Promotes healing of venous ulcers
- Prevents wooziness when rising from a seated or horizontal position, termed orthostatic hypotensio
- Post corrective surgery, hinders recurrent varicose and spider veins
- Lowers DVT risk
- Decreases vein inflammation beneath a clot, called superficial thrombophlebitis
Extra Firm Support Compression Socks – ONLY WEAR UNDER MD SUPERVISION
- Treats severe varicose veins and edema
- Post corrective surgery, combats the return of varicose and spider veins
- Prevents dizziness upon standing
- Hinders DVT formation
- Manages venous ulcers
If your doctor has specified a pressure rating, adhere to that. However, if you’ve never worn wide calves compression socks and compression stockings , opt for 20-30 mmHg. This grade targets numerous circulatory problems. Accordingly, it’s the most frequently prescribed pressure rating.
Keep in mind, the compression level (10-20 mmHG, 20-30 mmHG, 30-40 mmHG, etc…) is different from the Size (Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, Wide Calf, Narrow Calf, etc…)
|Large||40 to 62||18 to 21|
|Medium||46 to 70||21 to 25|
|Small||40 to 62||18 to 21|
If your physician has advised wearing knee high or thigh high 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg compression stockings, hopefully, you were measured in the office. If so, use those numbers to select the proper hosiery size. If the doctor’s office didn’t measure your legs, have someone do it for you at home.
The best time to measure is upon arising in the morning, before swelling builds. This ensures the optimal size for hosiery effectiveness.
While standing with your legs bare, ask your helper to measure the following:
- the narrowest part of your ankle, above your ankle bone
- the widest part of your calf
- from the floor to the crease behind your knee
Note – For accurate readings, the tape measure must be held tightly against your skin at each level.
Wide calves compression socks and compression stockings are made to fit calves over 18 inches in circumference.
Typically, the fabric is a spandex blend. The wide calves compression socks and compression stockings we sell are 65 percent nylon and 35 percent spandex, offering daylong comfort without leg constriction.
Before putting on
(15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg)
make sure your skin is dry. (A dusting of cornstarch helps to eliminate moisture.)
Then, while seated, follow the steps below:
- First, obtain a pair of disposable or rubber gloves, aiding your grip while guarding against snags by nails and jewelry. Note that if the material runs or tears, you’ll need to buy replacement wide calf compression socks or compression stockings .
- Place your hand inside the stocking and grasp the toe section.
- Still holding the toe section, turn the sock inside out by pulling the top down and over your arm, stopping at your wrist.
- Keeping the toe right-side out, slide the sock off your arm. Wearing gloves, insert your foot in the sock, sliding your toes to the end.
- Then, straighten the hose over your foot, centering the heel at the back.
- Pull the compression stocking over your heel and slide it up your calf and leg.
- The fabric will now be right-side out. Using both hands, smooth out the material. The top of the hose should rest two finger-widths below your knee. Repeat this process for the other sock.
Caution – To ensure good circulation, make sure the fabric is free of folds, bunching, and wrinkles. Also, don’t fold or roll down the tops, which impairs blood flow.
While wearing 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high or thigh high compression hosiery, periodically check your skin color and temperature. If you note any abnormalities, remove the wide calves compression socks and compression stockings immediately.
Be sure to sleep without your compression hose, unless your doctor says otherwise.
To remove one compression sock:
- Grasp the top with both hands, turning it inside out.
- Next, gently pull it down to your ankle.
- Place one finger between your leg and stocking, creating clearance.
- Then, slowly pull the fabric over your ankle and off your foot.
(Repeat these steps for the other sock.)
Wash your compression stockings after every use. Once you’ve worn them for eight hours, their compression effect starts to wane. Washing restores this property.
Hand-wash the garments in a sink or basin, using mild soap and cool water. After soaking and swishing the wide calf compression socks or compression stockings for a few minutes, rinse them thoroughly with cool water. Never use hot water, as heat can weaken the sock elastic.
Next, gently squeeze the water from each sock. Avoid wringing the material since this may damage the weave. To further remove moisture, roll the hose in a towel, followed by hanging up to dry. To ensure you always have clean socks on hand, buy at least two pair.
Happy Legs (and Feet and Calves and Knees)
Pressure socks of different levels (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg) improve blood flow, preventing DVT and its complications. By invigorating your muscles, they ward off aching, cramps, and fatigue. Through gradient compression, circulation problems are better managed, including leg swelling, varicose veins, and venous ulcers.
Workouts are more enjoyable! Any 15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg knee high or thigh high large compression socks stabilize joints, reducing muscle soreness and speeding recovery.
If your legs are larger than average, you can amass these rewards with the correct width of compression socks for your specific feet and calves.
By choosing the optimal hose size and pressure grade (15 – 20 mmHg, 20 – 30 mmHg, or 30 – 40 mmHg), your legs will be happy campers. Treat your socks with TLC, and they’ll take good care of you!