Attractive Compression Stockings for Venous Disorders
Compression Stockings CAN Be Attractive
Wearing compression stockings for a venous disorder used to be a dreaded fashion endeavor. You could pick from medical white, white, and more white. There was nothing discreet about them! When my cardiologist wrote me a prescription for Joubst stockings I was horrified. The thought of ugly white stockings clashing with my adorable flats was downright frustrating. I walked into the store with an air of resignation about the whole situation. If they would make me healthy then I would wear them but it did not mean I had to be happy about it.
Instead of walls of white I found myself with all different shades to choose from. I was downright amazed. Could these truly be those dreaded medical stockings I had seen on hospital patients? Was I dreaming? Nope! Someone caught on to the style situation and decided it was time to change compression stockings for the better. Now they can be discreet, attractive, or even downright fun.
So if you need to start wearing or do wear non-prescription (mine are prescription) stockings then get excited because there are so many options to choose from. I will showcase many of them here so you can get a head start on finding an attractive pair which you will actually LIKE. So let's discuss who should wear them, what they do, and attractive options which can be worn proudly.
*Picture from Amazon.com
The Doctor Scenario - Your doctor just told you to start wearing compression stockings for your health.
Your doctor just told you to start wearing compression stockings for your health.
What's your HONEST reaction?
What are Compression Stockings? - Aren't they just dress nylons?
When my cardiologist prescribed compression stockings I knew what they were because of a family member who wore them for varicose veins but I did not know the specifics. Specifically, compression stockings are special hosiery which help to prevent and stop progressing venous disorders (more on those later). They are made of elastic material which compresses the leg, applying pressure against them and by doing so reduce the size of distended veins (those which expand from the inside). What they end up doing is increasing the velocity of the vein's blood flow and improve the effectiveness of a venous valve.
So by using compression therapy a person can help lower the pressure within their veins, prevent slow blood flow from causing blood clots, and ease aching pain caused by leg swelling. To do all this compression stockings must be made of strong elastics which can create large amounts of pressure.
I know how they feel because I wear them almost every day. They are super tight around the ankles but gradually get less constrictive out towards the knees and thighs. The reason for the tightness is so they can compress the veins, arteries, and muscles into forcing the blood through narrow channels in the circulatory system. Increasing pressure then means pressure in your arteries (they carry blood away from the heart) is greater which means your veins take more blood back to your heart and leave behind less in your legs.
In the picture I am wearing Jobst knee-high stockings in a nude shade. They look far more natural then any brilliant shade of hospital white ever could.
Jobst Stockings - Keep your stockings a secret
Jobst stockings are the ones prescribed for me and I believe the best medical pick. They come in styles ranging from knee-high to pantyhose. Jobst has stockings designed for both men and women. In the picture I am wearing Jobst stockings in a nude shade.
I wear this pair on long flights but because of my tiny size I have to glue and reglue throughout the trip. Most people fit these to a T and they are wonderful in preventing DVT.
These stockings are made to be a silky sheer which you can wear for any occasion.
These waist high are easier to wear than thigh-high because they are worn just a regular pair of pantyhose.
Jobst Stocking Donner - Put on Jobst Stockings with Ease
If you are new to compression stockings then it is a good idea to get a stocking donner.
Compression Stocking Disorders
What do they treat?
Compression stockings cover a range of venous disorders. Some people use them for tired and aching legs while others require them for varicose veins. Here I will list disorders approved to be treated with compression stockings and a short explanation of each.
*Those with tired or aching legs - When your blood flow becomes slower in the legs it can cause them to feel tired or achy. This often occurs on long plane flights when you are not getting up and moving around.
*Edema (simply called swelling) - Your legs can actually swell from the blood flow slowing in them. On my trip back from Texas I did not have my stockings on the flight. One had disappeared somewhere with her dog and I was to tired to think about it. I am eternally grateful I was wearing leggings as my poor legs and feet swelled up (my feet couldn't even fit in my flats). They hurt for hours afterwards and I forever learned my lesson.
*Chronic peripheral venous insufficiency-This condition happens when the low-oxygen blood cannot be pumped back to the heart.
*Varicose Veins- Varicose veins are a sign of venous weakness.. These veins are saccular and extend out of the body cause painful inflammation within the veins. If you look at them on a person, they generally appear a bluish or reddish shade which can be seen through the skin. After varicose veins appear, they will not disappear on their own and over time may need treatment.
*Deep Vein Thrombosis- DVT is a serious threat for those who spend long periods of time in a stationary sitting position, especially those on long airplane flights. In DVT blood flow decreases which causes it to pool and leads to a dangerous clot.
*Lymphedema-In a healthy body the fluid of the lymph system drains back into the blood. When something interferes with this drainage the lymph fluid starts to build up causing that part of the body to swell. Swelling is typically in the legs, neck, arms, or the abdomen.
Phlebitis- Put simply phlebitis is an inflammation of the vein. The cause can vary from infection, inflammation, or damage to the vein. Having varicose veins puts a person at greater risk for developing phlebitis.
Pregnancy- During pregancy the body experiences a surge of hormones and some of those can end up causing excessive pressure on the body's Inferior Vena Cava. This is the critical vein for bringing low oxygen blood to the heart and pressure on it can affect the veins of the leg.
Types of Compression Stockings
Prescription vs. Non-Prescription
The type of compression stocking worn truly depends upon whether it is prescription or not prescription. Just because a doctor tells you to wear them is not the same as him actually writing out a prescription for you. If he does then it is usually because you require a specific type or elastic strength.
Let me explain via my own stockings. If my cardiologist had just said "you should wear a pair of over the counter stockings" then it would have meant my need for pressure was between 10-15 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. He wrote me a prescription because I needed a much higher pressure than over-the-counter. My cardiologist also had to write me a separate prescription for thigh high stockings. I find thigh-high miserable and wear them only on long plane flights otherwise it's knee-high all the way.
My stockings also fall in the gradient compression stocking type. In my case I wear them to help with my low blood pressure and keep me from fainting. The other type of stockings are known as anti-embolism stockings. They are used to support drainage of the veins and lymph system. I really am not exactly sure how they are so different considering both are tightest at the ankle and gradually become less constrictive as they move up the leg.
Super Cute Butterfly Motif Compression Socks - No one will even know what they are!
Super cute in pink or blue! Never mind the color, the butterfly motif is what makes this pair truly stand out among compression socks. Plus, you can wear them on a long flight and prevent DVT with pride!
Compression Stockings with A Bit of Flair - Compression socks in concorde, espresso, and stripes
These stockings are for those who want to slowly venture outside of the world of solid colors. Each of the designs has its own creative flair but most importantly, they all are dedicated to helping improve the blood flow to your heart.
Compression Stockings & Sports - Usable for Hikers, Cyclists, Climbers, Runners, etc
Compression stockings are becoming a growing trend in the area of sports. Athletes use them to provide greater muscle support to help improve performance. Sports compression stockings are designed to improve blood flow and reduce pooling. By doing so it can prevent damage from shin splints, cramps, issues with the Achille's, blisters, etc. In the picture above hikers are sporting compression socks but you will find them on runners, cyclists, rock climbers, and just about any athlete who wishes to enhance their performance.
Compression Stockings for Athletes - *Also known as Compression Athletic Socks
Athletes who wear compression socks can completely stay true to their own unique styles. Whether you love neon colors, plaid sock motifs, or crazy stripes there are so many compression options to choose from!
Compression Leg Sleeves for Athletes
Compression leg sleeves focus on providing support to the calf and shin while improving blood flow to the area. The improvement in blood flow allows an athlete to train harder and recover faster. Note: these socks are designed for athletic purposes. If you are looking for an all-day supportive stocking then do not get a leg sleeve.