Your body relies on sufficient blood flow to bathe your organs and tissues however sometimes pregnancy, age, smoking, inactivity, chronic fatigue, and certain medical conditions can slow vital circulation. When this happens, you may notice increased swelling in your arms, legs, and feet along with symptoms like varicose veins, edema, phlebitis, or even thrombosis, which is a life-threatening blood clot. When this happens, your physician or therapist may prescribe a medical grade stocking to help compress the limb so enough pressure pushes blood upward for increased flow. However, with so many brands to choose from, how do you know which is the right fit for you?
Here are some key factors to consider before you purchasing a compression garment:
- Medical Grade Compression Garments. Medical grade stockings are measured and fitted to match your condition, shape, and size. The length, fit, cut, stretch, force, of which factor into how well the stocking will reduce your swelling.[i] Compression Stockings need to be strong enough to contract the veins, thus returning blood flow to the heart instead of your feet.
- Consult with a therapist. Perhaps there is something more going on with your limbs than varicose veins. Edema, phlebitis, or even thrombosis could be to blame. Pre-made compression garments are often manufactured in a lab using a wooden model, not a human leg, [ii] which is why we recommend you meet with a clinician who can properly evaluate your condition.
- Choose from a well-made Brand. pt Health offers Sockwell and Therafirm brands for men and women which are made in the United States and offer gradual compression and relaxed fits. They are also crafted using sustainable ingredients that are meant to last, so you do not have to sacrifice style as both brands come in a collection of designs.
Come to pt Health, and you’ll not only get a physical exam, evaluation, and diagnosis but someone who cares about your progress. You will get to meet with a trained clinician who will help facilitate your recovery over time. After your start wearing compression stockings, your clinician will have you back in to check how you are adjusting and will make any alterations that might be needed to increase your comfort level. From the start to finish, pt Health will do whatever it takes to make sure your limb pain improves.
Want to learn more about compression garments? Visit http://beta.pthealth.ca/service/compression-garments/ or come to our clinic and speak directly with a physiotherapist.