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      Overland Park, KS 66210

      Compression Therapy

      Socks can come with different fun designs and soft materials. Putting on a pair of warm, dry socks on cold feet can feel heavenly. For some people, socks are used to prevent medical conditions and improve health. These specialized socks are called compression stockings.

      You may need a prescription or professional fitting to get the best results when wearing compression stockings. Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Ronnie G. Smalling specializes in helping you to find the best fit.

      Reach out to the Smalling Vascular Institute at (913) 912-3624 or contact us online to find out more about compression stocking fittings.

      What Are Compression Stockings?

      Compression stockings are socks that gently squeeze the leg. They come in different lengths and are specially made with materials that fit snuggly at certain areas such as the ankles. While they are meant to put pressure on your body, they should be comfortable to wear.

      What Do Compression Stockings Do?

      Wearing stockings throughout the day helps to decrease swelling and improve circulation. By giving the legs a squeeze, the stocking puts pressure on blood vessels and helps reduce the amount of fluid leaking from capillaries.

      Leakage from capillaries is what causes swelling.

      Compression allows capillaries and the lymphatic system to absorb fluids that would otherwise pool in the legs.

      The veins also benefit from getting a squeeze and can push blood back to the heart easier. Veins have less space to fill with blood and the blood is forced to keep moving forward.

      Blood needs to flow smoothly through the body to prevent congestion in the heart and lungs. Consistent flow also gives blood clots fewer chances to form. If a blood clot forms in the legs, it could break away and travel to the heart, brain, or lungs and cause serious or fatal damage.

      Pooling of blood in the legs can also lead to:

      • Damaged veins or valves
      • Inflammation of veins or phlebitis thrombophlebitis
      • Varicose veins
      • Skin changes

      Along with improving circulation and swelling, compression stockings can:

      • Help with achy tired legs
      • Prevent lightheadedness or dizziness after standing (orthostatic hypotension)
      • Prevent venous ulcers
      • Prevent DVT (deep vein thrombosis)
      • Reduce pain from and prevent varicose veins

      Wearing compression stockings is a great step to take towards better vascular health but it works best in conjunction with good hydration, exercise, and a healthy diet.

      What Types of Compression Stockings Are There?

      Compression stockings come in different lengths. They can be knee-length, thigh-high, or come as tights.

      There are also compression sleeves to help with circulation in the arms.

      Depending on your needs, compression stockings provide varying levels of pressure measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). Smaller numbers provide less compression and are used for everyday living and working. Bigger numbers provide greater pressure and compression and are used for disease prevention such as the prevention of DVT.

      There are three types of compression stockings:

      • OTC (over the counter) or Non-Medical Support Hosiery: These compression stockings don’t require a prescription or doctor’s visit to begin wearing them. They can be found at local pharmacies and provide even amounts of compression throughout the sock. These are ideal for people who are looking for mild support for tired and achy legs.
      • Graduated Compression Stocking: These compression stockings have the greatest compression at the ankles and gradually become looser going up the legs. While all graduated compression stockings follow this pattern of compression they come in varying levels of support and pressure. They are the most commonly used type of compression stocking and require a doctor’s visit for a prescription and fitting. Graduated stockings are ideal for people who have orthostatic hypotension or peripheral edema.
      • Anti-Embolism Stockings: For people who are bed-bound, or not mobile, anti-embolism stockings are designed specifically to promote blood circulation. They follow the same pattern of compression as graduated compression stockings; they are tightest at the ankle and become looser going toward the knee. These compression stockings are ideal for people who want to prevent DVT. They also require a doctor’s visit for a prescription and fitting.

      It is best to consult with your doctor to know which type of stocking is best for you.

      Who Can Benefit from Wearing Compression Stockings?

      Since compression stockings are available over-the-counter, anyone can give them a go. However, the use of compression stockings should be considered by:

      • People who have a hard time moving their legs
      • People who are bed-bound such as the elderly or post-surgical patients
      • Pregnant women
      • Athletes
      • Airline passengers or crew
      • People who are on their feet all-day

      Request Your Consultation Today!

      Wondering if compression stockings are right for you? To learn more or request a fitting please call (913) 912-3624 or contact us online!

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