What Are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are specialized hosiery that provide graduated pressure on the lower leg and foot, and in some cases the thigh, to alleviate blood circulatory problems. Unlike traditional stockings, compression stockings are made of elastic fibers or rubber to create pressure on the legs, ankles and feet.
Blood circulation, the movement of blood throughout the body, is crucial for proper functioning of the heart and brain. Circulatory problems arise when there is limited blood flow to the body, including legs, feet and toes. Blood vessels become blocked when a fatty substance called plaque builds up, hardens and constricts the walls of the arteries and veins. The interruption of normal blood flow results in poor circulation.
What Can Cause Poor Leg Circulation?
A number of conditions can affect the circulatory system such as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), peripheral artery disease (PAD), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) along with heart, kidney and lung disease. Some people have inherited weakness of the vein walls or valves, which create additional challenges to venous circulation.
Lifestyle behaviours will also have an impact on blood circulation:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Lack of exercise
- Improper diet
- Certain nerve and thyroid conditions
- Long periods of sitting or standing
What Are the Symptoms of Poor Leg Circulation?
There are a number of symptoms associated with poor leg circulation including:
- Cramping or pain in the legs and/or feet
- Tingling sensation of feet or legs “falling asleep”
- Aches and swelling
- Cold and numb feet
- Varicose veins
How Can Appletree Treat Your Poor Circulation?
Poor circulation can be treated in a number of ways, including compression stockings. The socks or stockings are normally donned upon rising in the morning, and removed at night. Throughout the day, the compression they provide will prevent blood from pooling in leg veins and helping overall circulation.
Compression increases the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin. This reduces excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries and increases absorption of tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels. Compression stockings for runners improve blood flow and circulation, and can reduce shin splints, cramping, and varicose veins. Compression therefore reduces and helps to prevent swelling. This is why wearing compression socks or stockings are vital for the treatment or prevention of varicose veins and other circulatory problems, especially for individuals who are at risk.
Book an appointment today to get your assessment and learn more about how compression stockings can treat your circulatory issues.
Putting On Your Compression Stockings
- First, turn the upper part of the stocking inside out to the heel and gently slide the stocking down to the foot part.
- Carefully slip your foot into the foot part of the stocking.
- Gently pull the remaining part of the compression stocking over your heel.
- Use the palms of your hands to massage the stocking up toward your knee. Try not to pull at the upper edge of the compression stocking.
- Repeat the same steps for the other leg.
- If you have any difficulty applying your compression stockings, contact your doctor or pedorthist at Appletree to inquire about donning agents and instruments.
How Can I Access This Service?
This service is available at select Appletree Medical Centres. Appointments are required.