Benefits of Compression Garments
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Graduated Compression 

 


As blood flows up from the feet through the veins, one-way valves assist in preventing back-flow. These valves sometimes become less effective, resulting in backflow of blood and weakening of the vein walls.

Compression hosiery helps counteract this by applying a firm continuous graduated pressure to the muscles and veins in your legs. It exerts maximum pressure at the ankle to encourage blood to flow up the leg, decreasing compression as it moves higher on the leg. This graduated compression forces the veins to constrict to normal diameter, making the valves function correctly.

 

Given that 40% of men and 50% of women will develop venous disorder at some point in their lives, compression hosiery should be used as a preventative measure by many people.  At risk people include those who have family members with venous disorders, who stand up at work, or who are pregnant. Because circulation in the legs is increased immediately, compression hosiery has immediate benefits. Compression hosiery quickly relieves the pain and swelling associated with venous disorders, while at the same time preventing more serious problems, such as blood clots in the deep veins.

 



Physiology of Compression Hosiery

Gradient compression delivers a squeezing to the leg that is tightest at the ankle. The degree of squeezing or compression gradually decreases up the leg. This compression, generally expressed in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) provides two main benefits.
 

  How Compression Works to Improve Blood Flow

 

1.       Compression is believed to increase the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin thus reducing excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries and increasing absorption of tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels. Compression therefore reduces and helps prevent swelling.

2.       The physical presence of the stocking also helps control the size (diameter) of superficial veins beneath the stocking. The stocking does not allow these superficial veins to over-expand with blood. This action helps prevent "pooling". The venous blood then flows more quickly up the leg towards the heart.






Click here to learn more about the various levels of compression.