Common Measuring Mistakes To Avoid

 

  1. Do not measure late in the day

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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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!

New Preggers Maternity Pantyhose

Expecting moms – just say “No” to tired legs, swollen feet and cankles! Preggers compression tights are here to save the day – and your next few months as you wait for your bundle of joy to arrive.

Preggers Maternity Compression Pantyhose

Preggers by Therafirm is available in two levels of compression – 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg. They are also available in three different colors – Natural, Black and Sand (seen above). The Preggers line is a favorite among expecting moms – check their very active Facebook page, if you don’t believe me – and we’re thrilled to be offering them at BrightLife Direct.

Why are Preggers so amazing? These pantyhose are great looking, soft, comfortable and provide real health benefits. You may have noticed that your legs and feet are starting to swell by the end of the day – or that you are getting varicose veins. This is happening because your body is struggling to pump blood from your heart to your toes and back up again! Preggers compression tights have true medical gradient compression that starts at the ankles and decreases towards the top of the legs. This compression helps encourage healthy blood circulation, which will in turn reduce swelling, energize your legs, and prevent varicose veins from forming. Win/Win/Win situation.

Additional features of the Preggers stockings include a super stretchy belly panel that will grow as your belly grows. It can be pulled up over your belly or folded down below depending on your style preferences. Preggers tights are also seamless, so you won’t be left with any marks on your skin at the end of the day and they won’t be seen through your clothing.

Read more about the Preggers pantyhose features on our website and get shopping!

By Brita @ BrightLife Direct
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Is Air Travel Safe When Pregnant?

A new study done by the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) says air travel during a normal pregnancy without complications, even into the third trimester, isn’t risky for the mother or her baby.  The RCOG study says the main cause for concern is the possibility of early labor or an obstetric emergency developing during a flight.  “For uncomplicated pregnancies there is no reason to give advice against commercial air travel, and specifically there is no issue with travel in early pregnancy as the main consideration is risk of labor,”  said Professor Ian Greer, from the University of Liverpool and author of the paper. “However if the woman has a history of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy it would be sensible to suggest ultrasound prior to travel to confirm the location and viability of the pregnancy.”

The RCOG study recommends that if traveling internationally, travel insurance that covers pregnancy be purchased in advance.   As with all travelers, sitting in a seat for long periods of time does increase in risk of  thrombosis by up to 3 times.  Pregnant women flying four hours or more should wear graduated compression stockings.  Said Professor Greer, “While the risk of developing DVT in flight varies depending on the individual’s risk factors, it is a concern of most pregnant women and there is reasonable evidence to support the use of graduated elastic compression stockings to reduce this risk further.”

Women planning to fly in their third trimester should contact their airline prior to buying a ticket.  Some carries deny boarding to women in their last few weeks of a pregnancy.

The paper rules out any danger to the mother or child from airport body scanners, as the radiation levels used are so low. The Department of Transport and Health Protection Agency added that the total radiation dose from airport scanners is less than that received from two minutes flying at cruising altitude, or from one hour on the ground.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Varicose Veins and Pregnancy

The burdens of pregnancy are many for the expectant mother.  In addition to all the normal demands of daily living, which often includes a full-time job on top of taking care of a home and family, there is a special need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, to get proper exercise and for plenty of rest. But even for the expecting mom who is doing an excellent job of keeping all the balls of daily life in the air while also giving herself the tender loving care she deserves, there are still times when her legs are going to feeling tired and achy.

The circulatory system in our bodies has two kinds of blood vessels: arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Arteries have thick walls which actually help the heart to pump the blood by gently contracting with each heartbeat.

Veins are the thin-walled blood vessels which return blood back to the heart. The veins have valves that open when the blood flows past them, then close after each heartbeat to stop the blood from flowing backwards in the vein. These valves are especially important in the legs. When weak or damaged valves allow blood to flow backward, it collects at the bottom of the leg. This excess blood increases pressure in the vein and causes that tired aching feeling in your legs. That increased pressure, over time, can eventually stretch and enlarge your veins. These stretched and twisted veins are what we call varicose veins. The smaller veins close to the skin’s surface may be bluish, appearing knotted or like a spider-web.

While anyone at any age can develop varicose veins, the changes that a woman’s body undergoes during pregnancy increase the chances that varicose veins may occur. Some health experts have estimated that about 40% of women will be affected by varicose veins during pregnancy. One reason is that pregnancy causes hormonal changes in a woman’s body, one of which results in the vein walls relaxing slightly and stretching out. While this can help in increasing blood flow, important for the developing baby, it can also increase the likelihood that varicose veins may form. That likelihood is also increased by the additional weight a woman adds during pregnancy, weight that puts greater pressure on the veins of the expecting mom’s legs.

Other factors that can increase the risk of developing varicose veins include activities that require you to spend long periods of time standing or sitting. Such inactivity makes it easier for blood and other fluids to pool in your legs, again increasing the pressure on the veins and causing additional stretching of veins and possible damage to the valves within the veins.

Some women, of course, may already have varicose veins prior to pregnancy. There are numerous things that can lead to the development of varicose veins unrelated to pregnancy. Excessive weight, heavy use of alcohol and lack of exercise can all help contribute to the problem, as can smoking. Becoming pregnant will usually aggravate and worsen the condition when varicose veins already exist.

In some cases, however, there is simply an inherited tendency to have weaker vein walls and valve problems. Often, if a woman’s mother developed varicose veins during pregnancy, there is a good chance that her daughter will as well.

The good news for many women is that the varicose veins that develop during pregnancy return to normal after the baby is born. As the conditions that led to the varicose veins disappear after giving birth, so too, in most cases, will the varicose veins themselves. There is a greater chance, however, of the problem disappearing if there are steps taken during pregnancy, as outlined below, to minimize both the occurrence and severity of varicose veins.

For a woman who has an inherited tendency for thin-walled veins or weak valves within the veins of the legs, there is of course a much higher chance that the varicose veins that have developed will not go away once the pregnancy is over. In any case, it is always worth the effort of taking steps to try and minimize the seriousness and permanence of varicose veins that occur during pregnancy.

One of the easiest actions to take to help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy is to wear high-quality compression stockings. Maternity pantyhose like Jobst UltraSheer or Mediven Comfort provide gradient compression, providing the highest level of pressure at the ankle and gradually decreasing the pressure up the leg. This design gently compresses the leg muscles, squeezing the veins, and helping to push the blood back toward the heart.

Regular, sensible exercise is another means of minimizing varicose vein risk. Simply walking regularly helps to strengthen the leg muscles, providing more support for the veins in the legs and helping, through the compression of the muscles as your walk, to move the blood out of the leg and back toward the lungs and heart. Your doctor can offer advice on exercise that is appropriate and healthful during pregnancy.

It is also good advice to avoid long periods of standing or sitting. The lack of activity allows blood to pool in the veins of the leg, increasing the pressure on both the veins and the valves within the veins and thus increasing the risk of varicose veins forming. If you will be facing a prolonged period of standing or sitting, break it up with regular periods of exercise, either taking a short walk or, at the very minimum, doing some foot exercises, such as flexing your toes, rotating your feet at the ankles and doing toe lifts with your heels on the floor. All of these will help keep the blood circulating better in your feet and legs.

While varicose veins generally have few if any immediate health implications, they are something most women wish to avoid during pregnancy. Compression stockings, regular exercise, and keeping active can help minimize the risk. Talk to your physician about the problem and see what he or she has to recommend.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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