Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic muscle pain, fatigue, sleeping problems, and tenderness. Other symptoms may include cramping, tingling or numbness in the feet or hands, headaches, anxiety, poor concentration, or depression. Although doctors have not been able to determine what causes fibromyalgia, your family history, trauma, or an infection may increase your risk. You are also more likely to develop fibromyalgia if you are a woman, or if you have rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Wearing compression socks can help manage fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain and inflammation. Compression stockings help to improve circulation and provide relief for swelling and fatigue. You can even find stylish compression socks for men and women, that don’t even look like traditional compression stockings. If you are unsure about what compression level you need, ask your doctor, then give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 to find a great fit for you.
With fibromyalgia, there always seems to be a new symptom that arises that you finally realize has some connection to the disease. Swollen ankles and leg pain are one of those symptoms. Support hosiery seemed to be a logical try for a solution. They worked wonders at making my legs less painful, and lessening the swelling. This is just one of the suggestions being offered to sufferers of this strange disease.
National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12! If you or a loved one has fibromyalgia, please take some time to share an informative article or educate someone else about fibromyalgia. If you want to help make a difference, here are some ideas of how you can get involved for National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day.
How do you manage fibromyalgia? Comment to share your tips below!
If you’ve watched all the videos on properly putting on your compression socks and you’re still having trouble, this blog is for you. Let’s face it – pulling on compression stockings is a challenge. Before you spend another 30 minutes fighting to get your socks on, try out some of these tips, tricks and tools to help you get your socks on fast and easy.
This video demonstrates three different ways to put your compression stockings on – the heel pocket method, wearing donning gloves, and using a stocking donner:
The heel pocket method is a great way to get on stockings made from a thick fabric or socks that provide a high level of compression (over 20 mmHg). Don sheer or less firm compression socks with donning gloves to protect delicate fabric from snags and runs. Donning gloves are great for anyone with limited hand mobility, arthritis, or have weak hands or fingers to get a better grip on the fabric. These gloves are the easiest, cheapest and most effective tool available to help you put your compression socks on.
The Jobst donning glove is unique because it is actually a cotton mitt with the palm and fingers dipped in a latex solution to grip onto support hose. It is a loose fitting glove which can be easier to put on for people with limited hand mobility. On the downside, there are no ridges or nubs on the latex which limits it’s ability to move stockings up the leg. We have heard from customers that this glove wears out too quickly.
If you are sensitive or allergic to rubber (latex), try the latex free Juzo donning gloves. These gloves work excellent for protecting the fabric, but do not have any nubs to help grip the garment. If you want something that will get a strong hold on the sock, try these:
The Medi glove has textured fingers and palms for additional gripping power to help you get the compression stocking over your foot and heel. Then you can use your palms to slide the hose up your legs rather than pulling. The Sigvaris glove is our highest-rated glove and features very pronounced ridges that makes it easy to don stockings and armsleeves. Here’s what our customer’s have to say about Sigvaris gloves:
“These are the best donning gloves that I and/or my patients have found for compression stockings of all materials and compression amount. I have been working with patients who have Lymphedema and are required to wear high amounts of compression. It’s a struggle to get them on even when you have the strength and mobility, so these gloves are a great aide for everyone. The price is very reasonable compared to other compression stockings manufacturers.”
If you have trouble bending over or crossing your legs, stocking donners do the work for you. Donners come in regular and wide-calf sizes, as well as some for putting on armsleeves and pantyhose. Long story short – there’s a donning device to make anyone’s life easier! Stocking donners require patience and practice, and are most useful for individuals who have trouble bending at the waist. Since there a lot of donners to choose from, we’ll cover our customer’s favorites.
The Jobst and Medi stocking donners make it easy for people who have a hard time bending at the waist. Simply stretch the stocking over the frame and step into the sock until your foot is on the floor. Slowly lift the handles to work the stocking up your leg. Both Jobst and Medi offer donners designed specifically for larger calves. Here’s how it works:
The Doff N’ Donner is an amazing tool! This can be used to get your stockings on and to take them off. This cool device works with open or closed toe knee highs and thigh highs. Watch this video for a better understanding:
Once you master using the Juzo Slippie Gator, you’ll be incredibly happy with it. This tool is especially useful for customers who have a lot of trouble bending over to touch their feet. Using a leg sleeve with handles and a rubber foot pad, you’ll be able to quickly and comfortably pull your stocking on in minutes. Like the Doff ‘n Donner, the Gator can be used to put stockings on and take them off.
A healthcare worker told us, “I bought the Juzo Slippy Gator to try with some of my clients. Most people I work on can’t bend over, much less pull compression socks up. The Gator is a great tool and has moved two of my clients to independently donning their socks.”
Watch this video to learn how to use the Juzo Slippie Gator:
The Easy-Slide for Open-Toe Stockings is only available for open toe socks and stockings, but it is simple to use and makes putting open-toe socks on a breeze. It’s getting rave reviews from customers and therapists alike.
“This device makes placing compression stockings on my patients a breeze. No more pinching, no more struggling to place the stockings on the patient. Saves me quite a bit of time in my busy day.”
The Juzo Slippie and the Easy-Slides for open and closed toe use slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you put on your leg and pull the stocking over. Using your new favorite donning gloves, work the stocking up the leg and pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe. If you wear closed toe stockings, make sure you are using a donning aid designed specifically for closed toe style stockings.
Tips and Tricks:
Once the stocking is in the right position, use the palms of your hands to smooth out any wrinkles. Your stocking is applied correctly if the toe is in the toe box, the heel in the heel box and their are no wrinkles around the ankles or leg. Ideally, your knee-high should end about one inch below the crease in your knee. Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.
If you have swelling or edema, it is best to don your stockings early in the morning when you get out of bed. Our legs start to swell while we are standing and the compression stockings applied early will keep the swelling down throughout the day.
Before you put your compression socks on, apply baby powder, corn starch or Alps Fitting Lotion to help the stocking glide up your leg more easily. As an added bonus, this lotion protects sensitive skin and makes dry, chapped skin feel silky and smooth.
I’ve been wearing compression hose for 5-6 years now and they used to be a major nightmare to put them on! As soon as I tried the ALPS Fitting Lotion everything changed. Now putting on the hose is as easy as putting on a pair of socks–they just slide right on smooth as silk. ALPS has no odor and seems to protect my skin from some of the dryness and irritation that continuous wear of compression stockings have caused me in the past and a little goes a long long way. It’s an awesome product… a definite buy buy buy! Also BrightLife Direct is a great company with which to work. I can’t recommend them highly enough! You can’t go wrong.
Compression Assist Donning Aide is great if you have no problem bending over to reach your feet but still have a lot of trouble pulling the sock up. Spray your legs with the lubricant before putting on your socks or stockings, and see how easily you are able to pull the sock up! Compression Assist is hypoallergenic and it won’t harm the compression sock fabric. Plus, it reduces wrinkles and creases, all while keeping you comfortable. Here’s what our customers are saying:
“I was somewhat leery of ordering “Compression Assist”. I was starting to get accustomed to taking 15 plus minutes to don each sock. I was pleasantly surprised. It now takes just a few minutes and much of that time is smoothing the sock.”
Do you have another tool that helps? Let us know in the “Comments” section. And, check out all of our donning aides at BrightLife Direct.
If you experience pain or swelling in your ankles, we have some great tips and products to help you feel better, fast. Ankle pain is most often caused from a sprain, osteoarthritis, tendinitis, gout, stress fracture or an injury. Symptoms of ankle pain can include numbness or tingling, swelling, redness, weakness and stiffness.
Try to stay off your feet for a while. The less stress you put on your ankle, the better. With most pain and injury, giving your body a break and a little TLC is all it needs to heal. For more serious injuries or ongoing pain, you may want to look into daily or weekly regimens to help manage and treat your pain.
Ice and Elevation:
At the end of the day or when you have the time, prop your ankle up above heart level with pillows or on the back of the couch. Putting ice on your ankle for about 20-30 minutes a few times a day will help reduce the swelling and pain. For an injury, the swelling should go down in a couple of days and depending on the severity, the pain should subside within a week or two at the most.
If you are experiencing pain, it is important not to push yourself. The more stress you put on your ankle, the longer it will take to heal and you will increase your chances of it becoming a more serious complication. It is important to support your ankle with an ankle brace or wrap to help it heal, prevent injury and get relief.
MalleoTrain Ankle Brace by Bauerfeind
To reduce ankle pain and swelling, try out the MalleoTrain ankle brace. It has won several awards for design and functionality.
This knit brace has two cushions on the inner and outer ankle bones that massages the ankle joint as you walk and helps to support and stabilize your ankle.
If you are injured, have osteoarthritis or recently had surgery, this brace will help you get relief. The MalleoTrain ankle brace is available in three different colors and is great for everyday wear.
Make sure you are wearing comfortable and supportive shoes, especially when you are exercising or plan on doing a lot of walking. If you notice tenderness in your ankle or you have been more active than usual, take a couple of minutes to stretch. If you have suffered from an ankle injury in the past, it is extremely important to make sure your ankle is supported. If you are exercising, try wearing a foot sleeve or an ankle brace to protect and prevent injury.
If you’re looking for a foot sleeve to wear everyday or while exercising that isn’t bulky, check out the OrthoSleeve FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve. It can be worn under your normal socks or shoes and is safe to wear overnight. It is made from a lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric and helps to relieve symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, swollen feet, heel spurs and chronic arch or heel pain.
If you have tried numerous remedies to reduce the pain and swelling and have had no luck, make sure you see a doctor immediately, especially if you can’t put much weight on your ankle.
Apex shoes are made with the highest standards of performance and comfort. These shoes are designed for men and women to be flexible, protective and supportive. If you are looking for customized comfort, you’re going to love these shoes. All Apex shoes include two removable inserts to increase depth by 5/16″ for fitting flexibility. Choose from athletic running shoes, walking shoes or the lightweight women’s pedals to keep your feet comfortable all day. These orthopedic shoes are available in three widths in a large variety of sizes.
Apex Athletic footwear is designed to provide pain relief and prevent injuries. These shoes are great if you have diabetes, arthritis or sensitive feet to help you lead a healthy, active lifestyle. These breathable shoes are made with padded interiors and a biomechanical footbed for stability and shock absorption.
The X-Last styles feature slip resistant rubber soles for increased traction, Carboplast footbridge for motion control and stability, and X-Last for superior motion control. The V-Last Styles are made with a multi-density midsole with a supporting EGX footbridge and V-Last for superior stability.
The Apex Men’s Sierra Trail Runner Shoe is made with a padded collar and tongue for additional comfort and to prevent heel slippage. The Trail Runner shoe features a toe and heel guard and is protected with Scotchguard for water resistance, making them perfect for hiking! This V-Last shoe provides exceptional stability and support for men.
WOMEN’S PEDAL SHOES
The Apex women’s pedal shoes are designed with your comfort and protection in mind. These therapeutic shoes are extremely lightweight and provide excellent support. Apex women’s pedal shoes are designed with soft fabric moisture wicking linings and feature a roomy toe box, which is great for sensitive toes. These shoes are made with a new non-slip rubber outsole for traction and stability and heel counters for additional stability and control.
If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis Pain, Patellar or Achilles Tendonitis, you’re going to love OrthoSleeve. These products aid in recovery, relieve pain, reduce swelling, provide support and improve circulation using Compression Zone Technology and medical-grade orthopedic support. Made from a lightweight fabric that is easy to take on and off, OrthoSleeve will have you feeling comfortable in no time. The OrthoSleeve line consists of products that help you recover after surgery or a sports injury.
To better understand Compression Zone Technology, check out the diagram above of the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve. Both the Foot and Calf Sleeve incorporate six zones that vary in the level of compression to most effectively provide muscle support and improve circulation. The first zone uses light compression to prevent pinching or binding for maximum comfort. The second zone provides support and helps to increase circulation to speed up recovery by removing lactic acid. The third zone gently stretches the plantar fascia with firm pressure. The fourth zone features a shaped-to-fit design, provides moderate compression and prevents pinching as you move your foot. The fifth zone also provides firm compression to support the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia while further enhancing circulation. The final zone features light compression to keep you comfortable with a wide-knit band that’s non-binding and won’t pinch you.
The FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve is one of the most popular sports braces available. It provides graduated compression and support for the arch, foot and ankle using Compression Zone Technology. This foot sleeve helps to relieve pain and swelling as well as improve circulation to help you recover faster. This product is ideal if you have Plantar Fasciitis, chronic arch or heel pain, Achilles Tendonitis, swelling or heel spurs. The medical-grade compression also helps to prevent plantar fasciitis flare-ups. You can wear the FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve overnight or during the day under your normal socks and shoes. It is made with a lightweight, breathable moisture-wicking fabric that will keep you comfortable and dry. Designed for men and women in Natural, Black and White in sizes Small to XX-Large.
The OrthoSleeve CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve also provides medical-grade compression using the unique Compression Zone Technology to provide relief for those with venous insufficiency, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, sore calf muscles, cramping or Restless Leg Syndrome. This Calf Sleeve improves circulation, aids recovery and provides relief for tired, achy legs. The CS6 Compression Calf Sleeve is safe to wear at night and is designed for men and women. It is available in sizes Small to Large in Natural, Black and White.
If you have Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis or other foot pain, The Foot Gym can help you strengthen your foot, ankle and calf as well as aid in a speedy recovery after an injury or surgery. This clever device incorporates seven exercises including toe curls, toe extensions, calf raises/calf stretch, dorsiflexion, plantar fascia stretch as well as a “ice or heat” removable massage roller to massage, strengthen and stretch your muscles. The Foot Gym comes with a non-slip antimicrobial foot pad, three resistance bands (light, moderate and firm), and has a storage area underneath the device. Chiropractors, Trainers, Orthopedic Surgeons, Physical Therapists, Podiatrists, Professional Sports Teams and Olympic Athletes have all reviewed and tested The Foot Gym. To see it in action, click here.
More OrthoSleeve products are coming soon! Check our blog for the latest updates.
Arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. There are hundreds of different types of arthritis that can affect men and women of all ages. Here are some tips for managing arthritis and some products that will help prevent and sooth the pain.
First things first, comfortable shoes are a must. Forget the cute flats with the pointy toes and ditch the heels for shoes with arch support. Invest in shoes that provide shock absorption and stability to keep your ankles from rolling. Shoes with an open toe box help to alleviate pressure. You can also use shoe inserts for comfort and protection. If you have arthritis in your ankles, start wearing shoes that protect your heel and prevent you from rolling your foot inward.
A lot of the time, injury can be a factor in developing arthritis. When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments are stretched. Depending on how bad the strain is, the ligament fibers can be damaged or even completely torn. Ankle fractures may also contribute to arthritis. To prevent ankle pain and injury, take it easy instead of pushing yourself. If you are injured, make sure to rest, apply ice, keep the limb elevated and wear compression socks to reduce swelling. If you do not experience swelling, apply heat to relieve soreness.
Wear ankle braces or compression socks to reduce ankle swelling, joint stiffness and pain. If you have swollen, weak or injured ankles, try wearing an ankle brace or wrap. Choose from top of the line ankle braces and wraps by manufacturers like Therafirm, Juzo, Mediven, Solidea and more to find the best product for your condition. If your arthritis makes it hard for you to get your compression stockings on, consider trying the Sigvaris Select Comfort line. These socks are designed for easy donning, which is ideal for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Sigvaris Select Comfort includes knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose for men and women in 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. You can also use the Jobst Stocking Donner to get your socks on without the hassle. This is ideal for those who have a hard time bending at the waist or have a hard time getting the sock on their foot. If you have arthritis in other areas of the body, here are some other awesome products for all types of arthritis. The Therall products are very popular because they use heat to provide soothing relief to painful areas.
Try to walk on flat, even ground instead of gravel or sand to avoid ankle pain or injuries. When you are sitting down, keep your feet flat or use a foot rest. Sitting with your feet pointed behind you or crossing them is bad for your ankles because it puts pressure on them, which can cause stiffness and discomfort. It is important to strengthen your ankles with exercises. Use a resistance band to strengthen your shin and foot muscles, which support your ankles for stability. You can also go for a swim to strengthen your ankle muscles without experiencing as much pain. You can also try The Foot Gym, which incorporates seven exercises in one device for foot, ankle and calf strengthening and rehabilitation. This clever device is designed to help you achieve stronger and more stable feet and ankles.
If you have trouble bending at the waist, crossing your legs, or have decreased hand strength, putting on compression stockings can be very difficult, if not impossible. BrightLife Direct carries various types of devices to assist in putting on tight compression garments. The most common type is a metal frame, usually called a donner or butler.
First, you pre-position the stocking over a wide circular metal frame. You begin the donning process by using your leg muscles and gravity to step into the stocking until your foot is flat on the floor. Next, grab hold of the donner’s handles and pull up, pulling the stocking up your leg. It sounds easy to use, and really is, but figuring out how to use the device can be difficult. Now you can watch a short 1 minute video demonstration.
There are 4 different stocking donners available. The Jobst Stocking Donner is the most basic and priced at $26.95. If you have average sized legs and a moderate amount of mobility this donner should work for you.
Individuals with big legs will need the Medi Big Butler. The big butler has an extra wide frame to accommodate wide calves and is priced at $59.95.
The Vario Donning Butler by Medi has adjustable height handles. Perfect for people with difficulty bending or limited mobility.
Finally there is the Medi Double Butler, which is made for stepping into both legs of pantyhose.
Whichever butler you choose, they all work in the same way and after watching our video you’ll be donning your stockings like a pro.