The Benefits of Compression Garments: Beyond Travel
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Compression therapy is the application of gentle pressure via stockings, socks, sleeves or bandages. The medical practice has evolved over the course of thousands of years, with modern science only further uncovering its applications and benefits. And yet, what does the average consumer know about compression garments? As providers of compression stockings and socks, we at Handi-House Limited have found few clients are initially aware of their uses beyond travel or the breadth of compression therapy’s applications in daily life.
In this blog, we set out to demystify lower-body compression garments, as well as walk you through the start-to-finish process of accessing compression stockings and socks through Handi-House Limited.
HOW COMPRESSION GARMENTS WORK
Compression stockings/socks use medical grade fabrics to apply controlled pressure to the returning blood in our veins. Veins are the blood vessels that bring oxygen-depleted blood and waste products back to the heart, whereas arteries are blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the body. The external pressure simultaneously supports the pumping of our arterial muscles while narrowing the diameter of the valves in our veins, improving venous return (the rate of blood flow back to the heart).
The veins and muscles in our legs have a literal uphill battle when it comes to pumping blood back towards our hearts. Insufficient venous return or Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) results in blood pooling in our legs, which can lead to venous thrombosis (blood clots), pain, cramping, varicose veins, reduction of healing, ulcers, as well as cardiac issues incurred from the additional stress.
COMPRESSION CLASSES EXPLAINED
Compression garments are measured in millimeters of mercury or mmHg, which is a measurement of pressure. The four medical grade classes of compression (shown below) require prescriptions, whereas over-the-counter products are available in 15-20 mmHg. The numbers shown refer to the graduated compression or range of compression a stocking or sock has, with the level of compression being strongest at the ankle and becoming lighter as you go up the leg.
THE BENEFITS OF COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
- Reduces symptoms associated with CVI such as pain, peripheral oedema (swelling), cramping, skin issues, varicose veins, etc
- Prevents further damage to veins
- Improves circulation and lymphatic drainage
- Improves healing
- Reduces fatigue in legs and feet at the end of the day particularly for those who work extended hours on their feet, such as medical, retail, service, and labour workers
- Assists with pregnancy and postpartum support, reducing swelling and fluid retention
- Assists with athletic performance
- Improves recovery time after injury
COMPRESSION THERAPY IN SPORTS
Compression therapy has largely been embraced by the sports community due to its incredible benefits for athletes. Wearing compression socks during and after physical activity has been shown to maximize performance while reducing injury and boosting recovery, as they provide increased oxygen to the muscles, improve circulation to the heart and speed up the removal of lactic acid. Better recovery means less down-time between training and greater fitness gains.
Ask us about our sports and athletic compression socks and sleeves.
HOW TO BOOK
- Book an appointment with your health care provider to address your lower-body compression needs and to ensure there are no contraindications. They will provide you with a prescription which is required to access medical grade compression products.
- Check with your insurance provider regarding your coverage requirements.
- Call 613.728.1115 to book an assessment with our certified fitter Sonja Beaton.
- Attend your assessment. You will have your measurements taken and will then choose from a wide array of colors and textiles for a custom look that doesn’t compromise on personal style. Please wear clothes that offer easy access to the lower leg for socks, the upper thigh for thigh-high stockings, or, in the case of pantyhose, a comfortable, snug undergarment.
- Place a 50% deposit. Your compression garment is ordered directly from the manufacturer and can take between 2 and 3 weeks for delivery.
- We will call you when we receive your compression garment. You will be required to pay the remaining balance before we can dispense your product. An official receipt for insurance purposes will be provided upon payment.
HOW DO YOU WEAR THEM
Generally speaking, compression stocking wearers use their garments daily, putting them on in the morning before they get dressed (when swelling is at a minimum) and taking them off in the evening before bed. Daily, consistent use is of particular importance when addressing CVI and related issues.
WHY CHOOSE HANDI-HOUSE
Our certified Sigvaris fitter, Sonja Beaton has fully completed the requires courses and testing for her certification in November 2020. She has demonstrated superior knowledge of compression therapy and is to be recognised as fully qualified to measure for and apply SIGVARIS Graduated Medical Compression Stockings.