Help – I can’t get these compression socks on!

Struggling to don compression socksIf 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.

Donning Gloves:

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.”

Stocking Donners:

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.”

This video shows you how the Easy-Slide works:

Going somewhere? The Magnide Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings is washable and easy to transport. This is one of the easiest closed toe stocking donners available. Here’s how it works:

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.

Other Accessories:

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.

MANAGING LYMPHEDEMA

For Lymphedema Awareness Month, we are donating to the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN) to support the education and research of lymphedema and lymphatic disease. We are working with blogger Britta Vander Linden to make a difference. During the month of March, you can help us donate 1% of the total purchase price to LE&RN by using the coupon code “DONATE” at checkout.

Britta Vander Linden writes an inspiring blog about her experience with lymphedema. She was diagnosed with primary lymphedema when she was 23 years old. Since then, she has juggled a demanding job and keeping up with her blog, Lymphedema Diary.com, in her spare time. She was inspired to start a blog to connect with others struggling with the same illness. Her blog serves as a network for her and her readers to support and comfort one another. “I felt it was time to share my experiences with others in an effort to try to make their life easier. I hoped to make Lymphedema Diary the resource I wish I had when I was first diagnosed.” Each month, thousands of readers spanning across over 100 countries read her blog. Check out her inspiring story and get tips on how to manage lymphedema.

Before she started Lymphedema Diary, Britta turned to local support groups for help, but they didn’t regularly meet and were located at inconvenient places. A lot of them were made up on breast cancer survivors, so she had a hard time connecting with them because she didn’t feel like they were going through the same thing. Once she got involved on social media, she was able to connect with people all around the world to share tips on anything from finding good therapists to lymphedema management.

Her most recent addition to Lymphedema Diary is a new blog series called “A Leg Up: Compression Stocking Tips–What the Doctors Don’t Tell You.” Those with lymphedema use compression garments every day to manage their condition. Britta says, “No matter the difference in type or severity of lymphedema from one person to another, all of us are struggling to deal with compression garments.  I think that’s why the series has been so popular.”

Britta has been a customer with us for about a year because we have all “Four P’s,” or what she refers to as the four key things every stocking dealer should have: people, price, perks and policies. Juzo Soft Pantyhose in 30-40mmHg is her go-to compression garment because of how soft the fabric is, and because they don’t look like compression tights. According to her, the fabric is very susceptible to snags, however. Britta also suggests the Juzo Dynamic Pantyhose for exercising because they are much more durable. The downside is that they aren’t as fashion-friendly as the Juzo Soft pantyhose, and the thickness of the fabric makes it harder to get the stockings off.

Some other things that Britta has found that help her to manage her lymphedema are regular exercise, getting a healthy amount of sleep, eating a low-sodium diet and staying hydrated. “If I don’t keep up on any one of these habits, I feel it in my legs. For exercise, I prefer swimming, yoga and anything that gets me lifting the legs up and down. In the winter, I enjoy snowshoeing.” She developed a few techniques that help keep her legs stay happy and healthy during a long day at work.

Snowshoe

Check out Britta snowshoeing! This is one of her favorite ways to keep lymph fluid flowing in the winter.

When she was first diagnosed, she underwent six weeks of complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Although she is happy that she did this therapy on both of her legs, the process was exhausting. Between waking up early in the morning and the long commute before work, it wasn’t a good long-term solution. Overall, it was beneficial because she learned a lot about lymphedema care. One thing she doesn’t believe helped her was the acupuncture treatments she tried at about the same time.

There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who are suffering from lymphedema, but there is no cure. LE&RN has done an amazing job over the years in the advocacy, research and education of this condition. You can become a member for only $5 a month and help support the cause year-round. March is a very important month for spreading the word about lymphedema. Many doctors and patients do not know what symptoms to look for in the early stages of lymphedema. LE&RN is working to change this through education. Many people are not aware that the most common cause of lymphedema is cancer treatment. The removal of lymph nodes significantly increases your risk, but there are a couple of things that you can do after cancer treatment that can reduce your risk of lymphedema.

 

Click here to read more about what we’re doing for Lymphedema Awareness Month

Thanks for reading!

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Benefits of Compression Hosiery During Pregnancy

With a baby on the way, there is always an endless list of things to prepare for and read up on. Keeping your body healthy while you’re pregnant is one of the most important things to stay on top of. Most women experience swelling, aches and pains in their legs, ankles and feet when they are expecting. While you can elevate your legs and apply ice to sooth these problems, there is another way to relieve the pain and even prevent these symptoms from occurring.

If you suffer from tired, aching legs, especially when you sit or stand for a long time, wearing compression socks help reduce discomfort. When you are pregnant, you are more at risk of developing varicose veins. In fact, 40% of women develop varicose veins during pregnancy. This condition occurs when your blood is not circulating properly. Compression hosiery helps to prevent varicose veins from forming by pumping blood back to your heart from your legs. Gradient compression improves circulation in your legs, which helps to prevent blood clots and reduce fatigue. Products with gradient compression apply the most pressure at the ankle, and decreases as you go up the leg. Maternity Pantyhose are a great way to keep your legs happy, healthy and energized. Compression helps to keep you on your feet all day without the swelling and pain. Most importantly, compression garments are completely safe to wear while you are pregnant.

Expecting mothers can really benefit from these products because they help reduce the amount of strain on the body. The Preggers Maternity line, features tights that are made with a soft and stretchy belly panel that grows with you. They are made with moisture-wicking fabric that keeps your legs cool and comfortable, and are designed for everyday use. Another great option is to try a pair of Medi Comfort Maternity Pantyhose, which are made using 3D knitting technology and microfiber yarns for a luxurious, soft fit. In addition, they are antimicrobial, meaning they fight off bacteria and prevent odor. You can even machine wash and dry them. If you are looking for maternity pantyhose that won’t break the bank, try a pair of Allegro Sheer Maternity Pantyhose. Time is precious, so save it and prevent daily discomfort and swelling just by adding compression! If pantyhose aren’t your style, you can also wear knee highs or thigh highs to keep your feet and legs from aching or swelling. Click here if you are looking for something with a bit more fun and stylish.

You can benefit from wearing compression socks on a daily basis, especially if you find yourself traveling a lot or if you are overweight. Most people think that compression socks are for your grandma, but they’re not. In fact, compression garments are appearing on runways in Europe and in professional sports. Many basketball and football players regularly wear compression leg and arm sleeves to step their game up, reduce recovery time and prevent injuries like shin splints.

Compression garments are available in a variety of colors and sizes including pantyhose, thigh highs and knee highs in four different compression levels. Usually, 15-20mmHg or 20-30mmHg of compression is best if you are pregnant. For mild to moderate swelling, try products that provide 15-20mmHg of compression. If you are full-figured, have moderate to severe varicose veins or want to prevent swelling and discomfort, wear products featuring 20-30mmHg of compression. If you have a hard time getting your stockings on or if you have a hard time bending at the waist, try using the Medi Assure Donning Butler. Check out the video on the product page to see just how easy it is. Another option is to use the CompressionAssist Donning Aide, a hypoallergenic skin lubricant that makes it easier to get your stockings on without ruining the fabric.

The bottom line is that there are tons of resources and products out there to help guide you through your pregnancy and keep you healthy. Compression socks help on a daily basis to keep you comfortable all day or night. The best part is that they are something you can wear any time to benefit the body. You will be amazed how great you look and feel after a long day on your feet without the pain and swelling. Try a pair today and see for yourself!

Donning Aids and Videos

We originally posted this blog back in July 2009.  Putting on compression stockings continues to be an issue for many of our customers, so we thought it was time for an update.

Donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) compression hosiery can be difficult.  Especially for people who have difficulty bending at the waist or with limited hand dexterity.  This is especially true if you must wear a compression level over 20mmHg.

There are a lot of “donning aids” available but some are better than others.   Based on feedback from our customers we recommend the following, in no particular order:

  1. Easy-Slide for Open Toe Stockings
  2. Magnide Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings
  3. Alps Fitting Lotion (open or closed toe)
  4. Compression Assist (open or closed toe)
  5. Mediven 2in1 (open or closed toe)
  6. Juzo Slippie Gator with Pad (open or closed toe)

Except for the fitting lotions (3 & 4 above), these all use a very slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you place on your leg and then pull the stocking over.  Using rubber donning gloves, you work the stocking up the leg and then pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe.  If you wear closed toe stockings, it is important to use a donning aid designed to work with closed toe stockings.

We now have instructional donning videos on our website for the Easy-Slides, Mediven 2in1, stocking donners and a donning video using the “heel pocket” method.  You can watch the videos before you make a purchase to determine if the donning aid is right for you.  And you might want to watch again after you receive your purchase to ensure you’re using the device properly.

Do you have any donning or doffing tips?  Let us know!

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Helpful hints for putting on (donning) your compression stockings

Preparing the leg with a dusting of baby power, corn starch, or Alps Fitting Lotion can help the stocking glide up your leg more easily.

Rubber or latex donning gloves – even Playtex dish washing gloves – can help!  The rubber grips onto the stocking to provide you with extra leverage and also prevents creating a sharp pressure point with your fingers which can result in a run or poking through the fabric.

We do sell donning gloves, which range in price from $3.95-$5.95 depending on the brand and style.  The advantage of these is that they have nubs or ridges on the fingers and palm which are more efficient.

For people with severe arthritis or conditions that prevent good mobility we offer donning aids such as the Donning Butler and Easy Slide.  They are not necessary for most people, but a Godsend for others.

Before putting on the stocking, turn it inside out to the heel.  Slide your foot in and position your heel in the heel pocket of the stocking.  When positioned properly on your foot, use the palms of your hands to smooth the fabric up your leg.  Never pull the stocking up the calf or thigh by just the top of the garment.  When you have it almost to the calf, fold the upper part over so that you have two layers of fabric and start pulling up on that.

Once the stocking is in the right position, 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.

If need any further assistance, call one of your certified fitters at 1-877-545-8585, Mon-Fri, 9AM-6PM ET.

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.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
Google+

Trouble putting on your socks? Watch a video.

Donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) compression hosiery can be difficult.  Especially for people suffering from arthritis or who have difficulty with bending or dexterity.  This is especially true if you must wear higher compression items, say over 20mmHg (millimeters of mercury).

There are a lot of donning aids available but some are better than others.   Based on feedback from our customers we recommend the following, in no particular order:

  1. Easy-Slide for Open Toe Stockings
  2. Easy-Slide for Closed Toe Stockings
  3. Alps Fitting Lotion (open or closed toe)
  4. Mediven 2in1(open or closed toe)
  5. Juzo Slippie Gator with Pad (open or closed toe)

Except for the fitting lotion, these all use a very slippery and durable “parachute” nylon fabric that you place on your leg and then pull the stocking over.  Using rubber donning gloves, you work the stocking up the leg and then pull the donning aid out from the top of the stocking or through the open toe.  If you wear closed toe stockings, it is important to use a donning aid that works with closed toe stockings.

We now have instructional videos on our website for the Easy-Slide for open toe, Easy-Slide for closed toe, and the Mediven 2in1.  You can watch the videos before you make a purchase to determine if the donning aid is right for you.  And you might want to watch again after you receive your purchase to ensure you’re using the device properly.

Getting compression hosiery off can also be a challenge.  We now offer the Sock-Eez Removal Device.  Slide the plastic paddle between your leg and stocking.  Place the hook over the top hem of the stocking.  While sitting you straighten your leg and push down on the Sock-Eez to push the stocking off.  This device takes advantage of muscles in your upper body and does not rely on just tugging with your hands, which can cause strain and damage the fabric.

Do you have any donning or doffing tips?  Let us know!

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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