Leg compression is specialized apparel that will be worn from the foot up to the knee or higher. There are also special designs for leg compression apparel that come in the form of tights or pantyhose that can reach up to the waist; other designs include sleeves or footless socks that stretch from the ankle to the knee. Leg compression apparel is specialized to provide gradient pressure, which means the compression is tighter near the feet and gradually loosens up toward the knees and thighs. If compression apparel are correctly fitted, it can reduce swelling and also improve blood circulation of the lower extremities like the legs and the feet.
Compression apparel help with venous leg conditions when they are worn, ideally daily, and eventually removed during the night before going to sleep. When alternative treatments do not suit patients, they turn to leg compression apparel which can be worn for years and even for life.
Millimeter of mercury or mmHg is the standard unit of measure to rate the pressure of compression apparel. Generally, compression apparel are available in a range of 8 to 40 mmHg, but for most patients it is recommended to use up to 20 to 30 mmHg compression. It is recommended that you get a proper diagnosis from a trained medical professional if you decide to use pressures above 20-30 mmHg because it may instead deter blood circulation if it is too tight. They can even come in a variety of colors and patterns to suit the demand of the users' personal taste and lifestyle.
To ensure you receive the proper leg compression, it is best to accurately measure the ankle, calf and thigh circumference because if it's too tight the compression apparel will begin restricting normal and healthy blood flow or if it is too loose it may not provide the much needed benefits on the affected area.
Wearing compression on a regular basis can improve stagnant blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage in the muscles. Aside from injuries or medical issues, compression apparel can also improve athletes' competitive performance by reducing lactic acid build-up in the arms and legs, and speed up recovery time after a high-impact workout or intense game. Even if you're not involved in heavy activities such as hiking, running, snowboarding, weight lifting, or playing sports, compression apparel are great for idle work like when traveling, sitting at a desk, or standing all day - such is the life of your everyday businessman, doctor, nurse, retail worker, or if you're pregnant. It is considered a conservative method for treating disorders such as Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI), lymphedema, Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) and prevent blood clots from forming in the lower extremities.
Although compression apparel can't eliminate varicose veins completely, it can help alleviate the discomfort and pain related to the underlying vein disease. If you've experienced this issue before, you may also feel the sensation that your legs have become lighter from the reduced stress as a result of wearing compression sleeves or socks. It encourages blood flow back up to the heart due to graduated compression which means more pressure is applied to the ankle and foot, decreasing as you go up the leg. Another benefit of leg compression is its affordability and convenience; if you don't have the time or money to spend on expensive massages or medical procedures, compression apparel may be your best solution. It not only stops the deterioration of varicose veins, it minimizes bruising and prevents blood clots from forming, especially after surgery, and even adds the benefits of leg warmers.
Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as medical advice. Please contact a licensed physician for a proper diagnosis of your specific case.