Doctors recommend wearing leg compression apparel for a variety of lower extremities medical problems because it can provide adequate compression on the legs that increase circulation of blood up and out of the legs and feet. If the doctor prescribed wearing leg compression apparel, it is necessary to understand how to wear it and properly care for it. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when wearing leg compression apparel.
DO measure the legs carefully before buying leg compression apparel. Having the wrong size of compression apparel can make the user uncomfortable and will not get the medical benefits of compression. For the leg compression to be comfortable and effective it is best to get the right size of the legs.
DO care for and wash the leg compression apparel every day. Most medical practitioners recommend wearing compression daily for the maximum benefit so the apparel should be wash daily also. It is not only for personal hygiene but to extend the life of the apparel. Due to the long hours of wearing the apparel, it stretches to fit the legs and washing them helps return the apparel to its original shape.
DO use gloves to put on the leg compression apparel like a donning glove, it reduces the chance that the apparel will snag from the fingernail. It also offers protection and grip which makes it much easier to put on the leg compression apparel.
DO put the leg compression first hour in the morning because the legs and feet are less swollen in the morning and it is easy to slip on the legs if it is not swollen.
Do change the leg compression apparel every 4 months because the elastic will eventually break down from daily usage. An indication that the compression apparel needs to be replaced is when it starts to sag or becomes very easy to put on.
DON’T roll the leg compression apparel when putting it on and taking it off because rolling creates a tight band in a certain part of the apparel that cuts off circulation and causes soreness.
DON’T wear leg compression apparel at night when sleeping because the legs are already in a neutral position when lying down and allows for normal blood flow. Instead of wearing compression socks when lying down, elevate the legs with a couple of pillows. This position can facilitate regular blood flow because the legs are above the heart level.
DON’T put chlorine bleach on the compression apparel when cleaning because it can damage the elasticity of the apparel due to harsh chemicals present in bleach.
DON’T wring out compression apparel when drying because forceful actions like wringing and scrubbing will damage the apparel. To remove excess water just ball it up and squeeze gently.
DON’T alter any compression apparel because cutting off any part of the compression apparel can damage and obstruct the performance of the apparel and can even cause problems rather than provide relief.
Disclaimer: This article should not be construed as medical advice. Please contact a licensed physician for a proper diagnosis of your specific case.