This blog was originally posted in July of 2014, but it’s a question we are asked often at this time of year, so we felt a refresh and re-post was in order.
It’s summertime, which means pools are open, and people are fleeing to the beach every weekend to escape the heat. For those of us that have to wear compression stockings from morning to night, this can be a difficult time of year.
I was excited to see one of my favorite lymphedema bloggers, Monique at LymphedemaRunner.com, addressing the issue in a blog post. Monique admits to being self conscious about wearing her stockings to the beach and pool at first, but found strength and inspiration in watching CrossFit Athlete Deborah Cordner Carsen proudly rocking her Elvarex stockings during a Triathlon.
Definitely check out the blog above to read more about Monique’s experience wearing compression to the beach and pool. Here are the basic FAQs on compression and water activities:
1. You CAN wear your compression stockings in the ocean, lake, pool or other water source. But, all of these environments will be hard on your stockings – causing them to deteriorate more quickly than regular daily use. We recommend setting aside a set of stockings or armsleeves specifically for water activities. These could be an older pair that you’re not worried about destroying, or a less expensive garment that won’t be a huge monetary loss (like Allegro).
2. If you will be submerged completely in water for most of your water excursion, you don’t need your stockings or sleeves. The pressure on your body underwater actually replicates what your compression garment does outside of water. If you go without your compression garment, do make sure your affected limb will be under water and put the garment back on quickly after leaving the water. If your affected limb is not submerged in the water, you should be wearing your compression garments.
3. As always – stay hydrated. Being in the sun at the beach or pool may leave you dehydrated. Pack plenty of water!
Some additional information on water activities and lymphedema can be found on LymphNotes.
Lastly – a few product recommendations. If you have just one affected leg, you might try the Juzo Varin 3511 Thigh w/Hip Attachment and Open Toe – available in 20-30 or 30-40 or 40-50 mmHg. Sigvaris offers a similar option in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg in the 862 line.
CrossFit superstar Deborah Cordner Carsen recommends the Jobst Elvarex, which is a custom order product.
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.
Our customers are very vocal about what they like and don’t like in their compression socks. We have thousands of reviews on our site for hundreds of products, so we understand that it can take some time to sift through all of them to find the perfect sock. Today, we put together a list of our best rated knee high compression socks for men and women. Check out the products below and let us know if you have a favorite sock that wasn’t included!
All socks are rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest rating. We’ve selected the most popular socks in different compression levels for three categories: unisex, men’s and women’s compression socks.
“I recently bought 3 different brands of knee high compression socks. I liked 2 brands just fine, but I LOVE MY ALLEGRO PREMIUM MILK SOCKS! They are super soft and stay in place all day without hurting my legs. I highly recommend them to anyone after surgery.”
“I absolutely love these knee highs. The compression is just perfect, particularly around the ankles and the wide band at the top allows for maximum comfort. They do not bind and I have tried many knee highs but they are all too tight in the binding. These are perfect. I would recommend them and will be ordering more. They are also a nice weight and can be worn for most occasions. They also have retained their shape and compression through many washings.” Las Vegas, NV
“I love these support socks! I’ve purchased them in both the white and black. I spend the majority of the day on my feet and they keep your legs from becoming tired and just feel great. Pricing is great and shipping is unbelievably fast” Kannapolis, NC
“I Love my new Sockwell Twister socks, purchased in 3 colors. They are comfortable, definitely not as hot as my previous support hose, are long enough to go all the way to my knees and don’t fall down. All this and style!” Mora, MN
“Quality socks that feel great. Fabric is super soft. Easy to get on and off. Right and left design and labelling is nice and seems to improve fit at front of foot. Tall size option can be helpful. These socks are bound to be among market leaders.” Midland, TX
“Amazing! This is the first time my husband has used compression socks. He wears them to work, standing all day long. After the first try, there is immediate pain relief in the legs and feet. He is 6’3 with shoe size 13, XL fits perfectly. He is very happy with the purchase.” Henderson, NV
The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the grass even seems greener. Yes, Spring is finally here! Welcome the warm weather with new armsleeves from Juzo and LympheDivas to revamp your wardrobe this season.
If you’re looking for a striking pattern this Spring, you’re going to love these new LympheDivas compression armsleeves, gauntlets and gloves. If you have a bold style and favor armsleeves that stand out, the Festival armsleeve in a hippie-meets-paisley pattern is a great choice for you. For a more relaxed look, the Ava armsleeve is designed with colorful birds and is a perfect option for your Spring wardrobe. If you’re browsing for something more hardcore, the Misfit armsleeve features skulls that are complimented with vibrant butterflies. You’ll feel like you’re at the beach with the ocean-colored Sea Breeze armsleeve, decorated with starfish and seashells. All LympheDivas gloves and gauntlets are designed to match your armsleeve and are available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg compression levels.
Finally, the wait is over. The Juzo Dream Collection for Spring 2016 is here! Introducing new, spring-inspired colors in knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, armsleeves and gauntlets in three compression levels. Choose from Cosmo Blue, Fiesta Red, Mardi Gras Purple, Copper Beach, Appletini, Kitty Cat Grey, and Yoga Yellow in Naturally Sheer, Juzo Soft and the Dynamic lines. Juzo Dream colors are available in tie dye and black tie dye in Juzo Soft and Dynamic only.
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Give us a call at 1-877-545-8585 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it for you!
We are so excited to share the highlights from the very first annual World Lymphedema Day. March 6 is dedicated to honor lymphedema patients and this year, this great day was made official by the US Government. World Lymphedema Day is meant to promote awareness to this condition and show appreciation to everyone who is affected by lymphedema. More than 150 million people suffer from lymphedema worldwide and it is time that we find a cure.
One of the leaders in lymphedema advocacy, the Lymphatic Education & Research Network (LE&RN), led the effort to officially dedicate March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. This organization strives to raise awareness and educate people about this condition and has worked side by side with Kathy Bates to get the voices of lymphedema patients heard.
Senators Chuck Schumer and Chuck Grassley introduced a Resolution to the US Senate to recognize March 6th as World Lymphedema Day. Many lymphedema patients shared their stories and talked about how they were celebrating the day, urging others to spread the message.
Many people are aware of the fight against cancer, but few know that many breast cancer survivors develop lymphedema as a result of treatment. Others are born with it. Lymphedema can develop in the arms or legs and symptoms range from mild to severe. With so many people suffering from this condition, it is surprising that so few doctors are aware of it. This results in many patients going un-diagnosed for much of their life, and their symptoms worsening without proper treatment.
March is Lymphedema Awareness Month. We urge you to take some time to learn more about lymphedema, talk about it with your friends and family, and see how you can help make a difference this month. To show our support, we are giving away one Juzo Soft compression garment of your choice! The winner can choose one of the following in any size, color and compression level: knee highs, thigh highs, pantyhose, leggings, gauntlet, glove or armsleeve.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month, BrightLife Direct will be spreading awareness about a condition that many breast cancer survivors face after a mastectomy – lymphedema. This condition refers to mild, moderate or severe swelling (edema), and is often caused by the removal of lymph nodes during cancer treatment. Blockage in the lymphatic system results in the buildup of lymph fluid, which is why swelling occurs.
Lymphedema can develop in the legs, arms and other parts of the body. Some people are born with this condition and others develop it. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from lymphedema. Breast cancer survivors who develop lymphedema have to wear compression garments over their arms and hand everyday to increase circulation to help manage their condition.
In addition to sharing information on lymphedema this month, we will be doing a weekly giveaway in honor of the many brave Breast Cancer survivors. See below for more information and your chance to win!
Today we want to share information and updates on the Lymphedema Treatment Act.
According to lymphedema specialist, Sue Enerson, many of her patients who are covered by Medicare are only allowed one visit after being diagnosed with lymphedema and more often than not, compression garments are not covered. The financial burden on lymphedema patients is huge. Patients often require frequent visits to doctors and lymphedema therapists to receive treatment and also to learn how to manage lymphedema at home. Patients must also purchase a supply of compression garments to wear continuously, for the rest of their lives, which comes at no small cost.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act is a federal bill that will improve insurance coverage for treatment, mandating that insurance companies provide the medical supplies to patients that are required to manage lymphedema symptoms (including compression garments, bandages, etc.). This in turn will reduce the total healthcare costs associated with lymphedema by reducing the number of complications and disabilities that result from poor treatment of lymphedema symptoms. Currently, most insurance policies including Medicare do not cover lymphedema treatment.
Seniors who suffer from lymphedema should not be punished for taking the necessary steps to treat their condition,” said Reichert. “By rectifying Medicare’s failure to cover compression garments we give seniors their best chance and real hope to fight back against this chronic disease. I am pleased to be joined by my colleagues from both sides of the aisle in this fight against lymphedema. – Congressman Reichert
On March 26, 2015, the Lymphedema Treatment Act was introduced to the current Congress, including a “Findings” section to explain the need for medical coverage. Treatment for lymphedema includes manual lymphatic drainage, wearing compression garments and Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which the bill will make the standard of care for lymphedema.
The Lymphedema Treatment Act currently has over 100 cosponsors. BrightLife Direct as well as many other compression garment companies are showing their support for the Lymphedema Treatment Act. Compression garment makers Sigvaris, Jobst, Medi, Juzo, Solaris and LympheDIVAS also support the bill.
While there is no cure for lymphedema yet, compression garments help to provide relief. Every Friday during the month of October, we will be hosting a giveaway to win the featured armsleeve of the week. To kick of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this week we are offering a Juzo Soft Compression Armsleeve. Juzo Soft is available in six different colors as well as a variety of new colors for fall and winter. Juzo Soft Armsleeves are available in three compression levels and in a variety of sizing options. Winners can choose the color, compression level and size. Don’t forget to keep checking our blog for your chance to win!
You can enter below by logging in with an email address or through Facebook and following BrightLife Direct on Twitter, answering a question, commenting on the blog post or by tweeting a message in the giveaway box below. To tweet the message, click the “Tweet” button, then go to your profile. Next, click on the timestamp on the tweet and paste the url in the box below. Click here for more help.
Everyday our legs and feet swell. This is normal. For this reason, it is important to measure for compression stockings early in the morning to get the most accurate fit. If you measure later in the day or at night, you may purchase a size that is too big and will not get the maximum benefits of compression. The same applies for armsleeves as lymphedema swelling can increase during the day – measure in the morning!
Do not estimate – be precise!
Compression socks and sleeves are not a one-size-fits-all product. In fact, a size medium in one brand could be a large in another. Sizes can even vary within brands as well. This is why it is important to check the measurements. You may think you need to “fit” into this sock, but in reality there’s another one that matches your measurements better. If you find yourself between sizes, try another brand or style. You can also try our Size Machine to determine the what size garment you need. If you have any questions about measuring or sizing, you can call our customer service team Monday through Friday from 9-6PM for help. Try to measure in centimeters as much as possible for more precise measurements. This may help you if you are struggling to see where your measurements fall on the size chart.
Do not try to take your measurements yourself
Lets face it. We’ve all tried to carry in too many groceries at one time and ended up dropping everything. Sometimes, an extra set of hands makes all the difference. When measuring for compression socks or armsleeves, it’s important to have measurements that are as accurate as possible. This is extremely hard to do by yourself. Getting the placement right and bending at odd angles to try and measure your leg or arm doesn’t exactly scream “fun.” If you can, try and get someone to help take your measurements. That way you can be sure that you’re getting the right size without dealing with the hassle of returning socks that don’t fit. Our knowledgeable staff is available for fitting appointments if you would like help determining your size. All you have to do is ask!
Do not guess where the measurements should be taken
Medical compression sock sizing is based on the leg circumference. Knee high socks require ankle and calf measurements. Always measure the smallest part of your ankle. You do not want to measure over your anklebone. You do want to measure around the largest part of your calf. It is also important to measure from the floor to the bend behind your knee. For thigh highs and pantyhose (waist high), you will also need to measure around your upper thigh, about 3” below the crease of the buttocks. Some pantyhose may also require the length, your height and weight, or hip measurements. If you are measuring for an armsleeve, you need to get three measurements: around your wrist, right below your elbow and around your upper arm (just below your arm pit). Some brands like Mediven or Juzo will have you measure the length of your arm as well. When you are measuring, make sure that your arm is bent slightly. You will want to measure the outside length from your wrist to the upper arm measurement. For gloves and gauntlets, simply measure around your wrist, avoiding the wrist bone, and the palm of your hand above your thumb.
Do Not Choose To Wear The Wrong Size
Wearing the wrong size can result in more compression being applied than is desired. You shouldn’t wear something that you need to fold down at the top to fit your leg, or something that feels like it’s cutting off your circulation. This can be harmful and complicate existing conditions. Check for special sizing if you have a hard time finding something that’s comfortable. There are petite sizes, plus sizes, socks for wide calves and stockings made for longer legs. There are even compression stockings to wear during pregnancy, socks for diabetes and garments designed for men and women with sensitive skin. If you are really struggling to find a comfortable compression garment, don’t forget that customs are an option! Remember, sizing between brands is not universal. If you find that your measurements aren’t matching any of the size charts, try a different brand. Some collections run longer, some run shorter and others are smaller or larger. You can always give us a call at 877-545-8585 if you can’t find what you’re looking for or have sizing questions.
Preview The New Juzo Dream Colors for Fall/Winter 2015!!
It’s that time again! With Fall right around the corner, we are welcoming warm socks, jeans and comfy jackets back into our wardrobes. Every six months, Juzo introduces a new set of Dream Colors available in their Juzo Soft and Naturally Sheer collections. As always, we have a sneak peek of the colors for this Fall and Winter!
Juzo Dream colors are available in solid colors, tie-dye, black tie-dye and sheer styles in knee highs, thigh highs, leggings, pantyhose, armsleeves and gauntlets in a variety of options to find the perfect garment for you. The Juzo Dream Collection is available in 15-20mmHg, 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. All tie-dye garments are made to order, so no garment is alike.
A few of the popular Dream Colors from the Spring/Summer collection – Boho Berry, Mystic Waters and Pink – are featured again for this Fall and Winter. These colors are available in a large variety of styles and sizes. You can check them out below. If you want to order any of the 2015 Spring/Summer Dream Colors, make sure to do it before they sell out for good!
Check back soon for the revealing of the Fall/Winter 2015 Juzo Dream Collection!
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.
Juzo is challenging you to share your Keep Moving Story for a chance to win $5,000. Juzo is looking for the most inspirational stories and the people brave enough to share them. Starting May 1st until June 12th, take a picture or make a short video about how compression garments have helped you “Keep Moving Forward” and continue to live a happy, healthy life. The idea of the Keep Moving Campaign is to show the world the benefits and importance of wearing compression garments, so make sure your photo or video includes this to be eligible.
Juzo’s Keep Moving Campaign is all about encouraging your friends and family to get the word out about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and inspiring others to share their stories too. Simply go on Facebook, “like” the Juzo Facebook page, and get as many friends and family members that you can to “like” your post and share it with their friends. The 10 entries with the most “likes” after six weeks will be the finalists. The judges will choose the top three winners with the most inspiring stories. The official winners will be announced on the Juzo Facebook page on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Enter as early as possible to get a head start on the competition. Plus, every week there will be prizes awarded at random to participants, so hurry up and share your story!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The contests runs from May 1, 2015 – June 12, 2015
There will be weekly prizes awarded at random to participants!
1st Place: $5,000 for a healthier, more active life
2nd Place: Yoga Retreat ($1,500 value)
3rd Place: Keep Moving Price Pack ($500 value)
Winners announced on the Juzo Facebook page on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.
Increase your chances of winning by submitting your story early!