Compression stockings are most often used as a way to increase blood circulation in the legs. They provide pressure that graduates up through the leg. These stockings are used to treat a number of different medical problems, such as thrombosis, edema and phlebitis. Patients who have these and other circulatory issues, find that by wearing the stockings they can alleviate the pain that is associated with these medical problems.
Medical news has often reported on the number of health benefits of consistent wear of compression stockings. The stockings are made of stiff elastic that provides pressure on the legs. There is a wide range of stockings that provide varying amounts of pressure to treat individual circulatory issues. Stockings with limited support can be purchased over the counter, while stockings with higher degrees of pressure require a prescription and individual sizing.
In considering the right compression stockings for you, there are two types. Gradient stockings are recommended for patients suffering from blood pooling in the legs, lower leg edema or patients that are prone to blood clots. This type of stocking has the highest amount of pressure around the ankle and this pressure gradually decreases up the length of the stocking. They are usually used for people who are able to walk and therefore are able to assist the calf muscles in pumping blood to the heart.
Anti-embolism stockings are formatted to aid in arterial circulation and the drainage of lymph fluid. These stockings also deliver a gradient of pressure throughout the leg. However, anti-embolism stockings are different in that they are used to circulate different fluids throughout the legs for patients that are not able to walk. Anti-embolism compression stockings are most commonly used by patients who have recently undergone surgery in order to prevent blood from pooling in the legs.
A relatively new use of these stockings is by athletes because they have shown to increase the productivity of the muscles in the leg. They are able to steady the leg muscles and are believed to improve the removal of lactic acid and circulation of the leg. Due to this newfound use, stockings are now available in a number of different styles and colors that make them appear to be the same as socks or hose. Research on the use of stockings by athletes has provided mixed results, however the athletes that use them report positive results.