The Benefits of Compression Garments: Beyond Travel
Compression therapy is the application of gentle pressure via stockings, socks, sleeves or bandages. The medical practice has evolved over the course of thousands of years, with modern science only further uncovering its applications and benefits. And yet, what does the average consumer know about compression garments? As providers of compression stockings and socks, we at soléa have found few clients are initially aware of their uses beyond travel or the breadth of compression therapy's applications in daily life.
In this blog, we set out to demystify lower-body compression garments, as well as walk you through the start-to-finish process of accessing compression stockings and socks through soléa Pedorthic Services.
HOW COMPRESSION GARMENTS WORK
Compression stockings/socks use medical grade fabrics to apply controlled pressure to the returning blood in our veins. Veins are the blood vessels that bring oxygen-depleted blood and waste products back to the heart, whereas arteries are blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the body. The external pressure simultaneously supports the pumping of our arterial muscles while narrowing the diameter of the valves in our veins, improving venous return (the rate of blood flow back to the heart).
The veins and muscles in our legs have a literal uphill battle when it comes to pumping blood back towards our hearts. Insufficient venous return or Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) results in blood pooling in our legs, which can lead to venous thrombosis (blood clots), pain, cramping, varicose veins, reduction of healing, ulcers, as well as cardiac issues incurred from the additional stress.
COMPRESSION CLASSES EXPLAINED
Compression garments are measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg, which is a measurement of pressure. The four medical grade classes of compression (shown below) require prescriptions, whereas over-the-counter products are available in 15-20 mmHg. The numbers shown refer to the graduated compression or range of compression a stocking or sock has, with the level of compression being strongest at the ankle and becoming lighter as you go up the leg.
THE BENEFITS OF COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
- Reduces symptoms associated with CVI such as pain, peripheral oedema (swelling), cramping, skin issues, varicose veins, etc
- Prevents further damage to veins
- Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Improves healing
- Reduces fatigue in legs and feet at the end of the day particularly for those who work extended hours on their feet, such as medical, retail, service, and labour workers
- Assists with pregnancy and postpartum support, reducing swelling and fluid retention
- Assists with athletic performance
- Improves recovery time after injury
HOW TO BOOK
- Book an appointment with your health care provider to address your lower-body compression needs and to ensure there are no contraindications. They will provide you with a prescription which is required to access medical grade compression products.
- Check with your insurance provider regarding your coverage requirements.
- Call 613.728.6905 to book an assessment with our expert clinician, Jill Rick.
- Attend your assessment. You will have your measurements taken and will then choose from a wide array of colors and textiles for a custom look that doesn't compromise on personal style. Please wear clothes that offer easy access to the lower leg for socks, the upper thigh for thigh-high stockings, or, in the case of pantyhose, a comfortable, snug undergarment.
- Place a 50% deposit. Your compression garment is ordered directly from the manufacturer and can take between 2 and 3 weeks for delivery.
- We will call you when we receive your compression garment in order to book your fitting appointment. You will be required to pay the remaining balance before we can dispense your product. An official receipt for insurance purposes will be provided upon payment.
HOW DO YOU WEAR THEM
Generally speaking, compression stocking wearers use their garments daily, putting them on in the morning before they get dressed (when swelling is at a minimum) and taking them off in the evening before bed. Daily, consistent use is of particular importance when addressing CVI and related issues.
WHY CHOOSE SOLEA
Our clinician, Jill Rick is a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and lower body biomechanics specialist. For more than twenty years, Jill has worked in clinics with widely differing clientele. As a former elite athlete, fitness and strength trainer, sports coach and certified doula, Jill has extensive experience using compression therapy in her practice for various vein dysfunctions such as peripheral oedema, general venous insufficiency or CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency) and lymphoedema.
ABOUT MEDI CANADA
We are excited to introduce Medi products to our compression clients. With 65 years of excellence in the field of compression, Medi products are marked first and foremost by their versatility, their numerous possible combinations, their first-class finishing, and unparalleled comfort. What sets Medi apart from other brands is their additional points of measurement. These additional measurements create an accuracy in fit that is unmatched in the industry. We have chosen Medi as our premier compression product line due to the superior quality of their medical grade graduated compression garments.
Feel like a total POWERHOUSE in Medi compression!
- Fashionable compression that fits with your style! Medi products are available in a wide variety of colours, styles and fabrics
- Incredibly accurate fit that maximizes comfort while ensuring you are getting the most out of your compression stocking or sock
- High level of breathability to keep you cool and reduce perspiration as well as the use of antibacterial materials to reduce unpleasant odors associated with perspiration
- Easy to care for, Medi products are machine washable and dryer safe.