Sleep Through the Night with Compression Socks

Do you have a hard time sleeping through the night because you have to keep getting up to use the bathroom? If you experience swelling in your legs, ankles and feet, this may be the reason why. Swelling can occur for many different reasons including how you go about your day. Sitting or standing for long periods of time can lead to swelling. Other factors such as diseases, age and obesity can also lead to frequent urination.

Causes of Excess Urination at Night

The condition that causes you to wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom is called Nocturia. This can be caused by many different things, such as when you drink a lot of fluids (especially caffeine and alcohol) and also by type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This condition occurs when fluids in the lower extremities build up in the tissues due to circulatory problems. When you lay down to go to sleep, the fluid flows a lot easier to the kidneys to be processed. This is why you are more prone to this problem at night. In addition, Medicines such as calcium blockers, water pills and high blood pressure medicine can also cause frequent urination. There are many conditions that result in frequent urination as well as edema in the legs and feet. Here are some of the most common causes:

How to Treat and Prevent Edema

Some things you can do to reduce swelling include minimizing the amount of sodium you consume, wearing compression socks to improve circulation and taking a diuretic medication like Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), which helps to remove excess fluid from the body. Wearing compression socks also helps to reduce swelling. Try the Allegro Cotton Support Sock, which provides 20-30mmHg of graduated compression at the ankle to provide relief for minor to moderate swelling. It is extremely soft and comfortable, and is easy to get on and off. This is the perfect casual sock to wear when you’re out and about or at the gym. It comes in a variety of colors and sizes so you can find exactly what you need. Compression socks also keep your legs energized and help to get rid of that tired, achy feeling in your legs at the end of the day. Wear them on long flights or car rides, and especially if you sit or stand for long periods of time. They even help to reduce the discomfort from minor to moderate varicose or spider veins. Compression socks are a safe, healthy and affordable way to reduce and prevent swelling without all of the hassle.

If you are suffering from one of the medical conditions above, it may be more difficult to treat edema, but following these tips will help to significantly reduce swelling. Check out the symptom checker in the additional resources below to see if you may be at risk. Talk with your doctor if you think you may have any of these conditions to see what steps need to be taken to make you more comfortable.

Additional Resources

10 Reasons for Nocturia

Managing Nocturia

Signs of Bladder Problems

Frequent Urination Information

More Frequent Urination Causes

Medications for Edema

Symptom Checker

Edema – What You Should Know

Are You At Risk For Varicose Veins?

Did you know that running and lifting weights can cause varicose veins? Things that you think are helping your body may not be benefiting it in the same way you would like.  It’s not just hereditary, things you do on a day to day basis can increase your chances of developing varicose and spider veins. Even standing for long periods of time can put you at risk.

Generally, varicose veins is most common in older people and pregnant women, and usually occur in the legs and thighs. Your family history, age, lifestyle and hormones can all play a factor in developing varicose veins. Obesity can also increase your risk. Additionally, women are more likely to develop this condition than men. Although in most cases this is not a life-threatening condition, it can still cause pain and discomfort, or turn into something more serious.

About Varicose Veins

First things first-what exactly are varicose veins? This condition develops when your blood is not circulating properly. In your veins, there are one-way valves that pump blood to your heart. When these valves become too damaged or weak to stop blood from flowing in the wrong direction, the blood remains in the vein, causing the veins to swell and twist near the surface of the skin. Both spider veins and varicose veins look somewhat similar in appearance, but the main difference is that spider veins do not usually cause pain or discomfort. Varicose veins can also be caused by inflammation in your veins and from blood clots.

Symptoms include burning, itching, aching, cramping, tiredness and swelling. They can cause blood clots and skin ulcers as well. If it gets worse, the skin may become inflamed and change color. Veins can appear blue and look like they’re going to pop out of your skin. Varicose veins can evolve into a more serious condition called chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This can cause symptoms to intensify. According to the ACP Vein Center, 30-50% of adults are at risk of developing CVI. If a blood clot forms and blockage occurs, this can lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT). With all of that being said, you’re ready to hear about some preventative solutions right??

Prevention

To help prevent developing varicose veins, you want to improve circulation in the body. To do so, you want to focus on your calves. They pump blood from your legs back up to your heart, so you want to strengthen these muscles as much as possible. One easy way to improve circulation is by wearing compression socks. The graduated compression helps to reduce swelling and muscle fatigue to keep your legs energized and ache-free all day. You can find thigh highs, pantyhose and knee highs that all fight varicose veins in a variety of colors, fabrics, styles and compression levels. Not sure what level of compression you should use? Check out our Buyers Guide for more information.

Generally, 15-20mmHg is a good compression level for both the occasional and everyday wearer. Compression garments do more than improve circulation. They are great to wear traveling, to work, or when you are sitting or standing for long periods of time. Compression socks can also help athletes enhance performance, speed up recovery time and help to prevent injuries such as shin splints. It’s amazing how good your legs feel when you wear compression pantyhose or socks all day.

Listed below are some compression stockings that help with varicose veins. There are knee high, thigh high and pantyhose styles available by many different brands. Prices can vary anywhere from $12 to $60 or more depending on what compression level you need, the type of fabric and style you prefer. Sockwell has great products if you’re looking for something with style. Try our house brand, Allegro, if you are looking for a more affordable solution. Juzo compression stockings are perfect if you want something that is really comfortable. Wear Sigvaris or Jobst if you appreciate luxurious fabrics and a stylish look. Mediven offers a variety of products in many different styles, fabrics and compression levels for a great price.

For minor varicose veins, try a compression garment that provides 15-20mmHg of gradient compression. This level is perfect for traveling and relieves minor swelling, spider veins and helps to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

The Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg

Juzo Attractive Sheer Thigh Highs 15-20mmHg

Sigvaris Soft Opaque Pantyhose 15-20mmHg

Use a compression garment that provides firm 20-30mmHg of gradient compression for moderate varicose veins. Wear this compression level to treat mild to moderate swelling, DVT and post-schlerotherapy.

Juzo Basic Ribbed Sock 20-30mmHg

Jobst Opaque Thigh Highs 20-30mmHg

Allegro Sheer Support Pantyhose 20-30mmHg

Wear compression stockings that provide 30-40mmHg of gradient compression under a doctor’s super vision. This compression level is best to wear during healing after surgical or sclerotherapy procedures to reduce swelling and chronic venous insufficiency.

Jobst Relief Knee Highs 30-40mmHg

Medi Assure Thigh high 30-40mmHg

Allegro Surgical Pantyhose 30-40mmHg

When you sit or stand for long periods of time, wearing compression socks improve blood flow. When you are sitting down, it’s harder for your veins to get the blood back up to your heart. Compression socks squeeze the leg to reduce how much pressure and blood is in your veins and helps to regulate and maintain a healthy blood flow. By improving circulation, recovery time for tired, achy legs decreases. It is also important to keep your legs flat on the floor instead of crossing them when you sit. Making sure you get up and walk around every half hour to an hour when you are sitting for a long time can also help.

Walking is a great exercise to keep your legs happy and healthy. You want to find activities that stretch the muscle and also strengthen it without going overboard. This is why running and lifting weights can cause so much damage to your body. Lifting weights and doing activities like Pilates and Yoga can strain your abdomen which results in less blood being able to reach the heart. Light, moderate exercise can help prevent varicose veins from getting worse. It is important to keep your body health and in the best shape possible. Losing weight and wearing loose clothing can also help prevent varicose veins from worsening.

Treatment

There are a couple of procedures to treat varicose veins. One option is to undergo sclerotherapy, which is where a solution is injected into your veins, which prevents blood from filling them. The veins are eventually absorbed by the body and fade as time passes. However, this isn’t for everyone. Pregnant women cannot use this treatment. People who have a history of blood clots may not be eligible either. Other treatments include vein stripping, where an incision is made to remove the vein, and may result in scarring, or a similar operation called ambulatory phlebectomy that results in minimal scarring. It is really important to wear compression socks after this procedure to reduce the pain. Another option is laser treatment. In this procedure, a tiny fiber is put in the vein that sends out laser energy to kill the part of the vein that is diseased. Read more about treatments at the Society for Vascular Surgery website.

Resources on Varicose Veins

Why Be Concerned About Varicose Veins? – Johns Hopkins

Frequently Asked Questions – Venefit

What Are Varicose Veins? – National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Truths and Myths about Varicose Veins – Venefit

Difference between spider and varicose veins – American Academy of Dermatology

What you should know about varicose veins – American Society for Dermatologic Surgery

Treatment Resources

Varicose vein treatment – Radiologyinfo.org

Hear what people have to say about sclerotherapy – Realself.com

Varicose veins and exercise – La Jolla Light

Treatment Resources – Baptist Health Systems

Forums and Blogs

Varicose veins forum – American Venous Forum

Should I stop lifting due to varicose veins? – Bodybuilding Forum

Varicose veins and dieting obstacles forum

Varicose Vein Forum – Patient.co.uk

Varicose Vein Blogs – Smart Living Network

Community Forum – MedHelp.org

Support Groups

Varicose veins support group – DailyStrength.org

Varicose veins information and support group – Varistop.com

Q&A, blog and support group – Drugs.com

Varicose veins discussions and support group – People Helping People

The Redesigned Mediven for Men

Mediven For Men SelectMediven has reengineered their men’s support socks with very positive results.

I originally reviewed Medi for Men back in August 2010.  I loved the anatomically shaped foot, and incredibly soft fabric.  My one complaint was they slid down right out of the box.  Not a characteristic one looks for in any stocking.

The new redesigned Medi for Men are made from the same luxuriously soft fabric.  Both have an anatomically shaped left and right foot.  The difference is in the top band, which now features a wide soft cuff.  I wore a pair of the 20-30mmHg recently for 12 hours while traveling, and didn’t need to adjust them once the entire trip.  They were exceptionally comfortable and my shoes slipped right on at the end of the flight.

Medi for Men is now available in two patterns.  The Classic Ribbed has subtle contemporary wide ribs, and is available in black, brown, khaki and navy.  The Select has a small waffle-weave pattern that gives the sock a very elegant appearance.  Select is available in gray, black, and tan.   Both come in regular and wide-calf sizes.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Jobst for Men Ambition – First Look

Jobst for Men AmbitionYesterday I wore the new Jobst Ambition dress sock, in a 20-30mmHg compression.  This sock has been completely redesigned, and if successful, will probably replace the current Jobst for Men line which hasn’t had an update in over 15 years.  Ambition is available in three compression levels: 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg, and five colors: black, dark gray, brown, navy and khaki.  A color for every pant.

Ambition is made with cotton and carbon infused polyester.  The cotton gives the fabric a very soft comfortable feel.  The carbon naturally eliminates foot odor.  The sock also has a very high spandex content, which is good.  Spandex provides stretch, so the sock will easily move with your leg throughout the day.

Foot: The foot on Ambition is more fitted than For Men and Casual.  It was very comfortable.  There’s reduced pressure in the toe area, and a toe seam which I could feel, but it’s flat and wasn’t annoying as some can be.  The heel is a new design with seams on each side.  It’s designed to fit larger heels.  The heel fit was perfect.

Leg:  I wasn’t crazy about the leg portion.  There was too much fabric for the length of my leg and I had a hard time smoothing out the wrinkles.  The upside to this extra length is the sock didn’t tug down at all the entire day.  I’m 5’9”, and it seemed like Ambition is made for a longer leg.  The leg also felt tight.  Some people like that feel… they know the sock is working.  I prefer less obvious compression.  Every sock fits people differently, so don’t let this discourage you.  A work colleague wore the 15-20mmHg Ambition, and he said they were the most comfortable socks he had ever worn.

The top band is 2.25” wide, and didn’t move or slip.  They were new out of the box, but that hasn’t stopped other socks I’ve tested from being around my ankles by lunch.

Sizing:  Jobst, which uses the same size chart for all of their stockings 15-20mmHg and up, is using a completely new sizing system for this sock.  Small, medium, and large has been replaced by 1 through 6, and every size is available in a regular or tall length.  This will be great for really tall guys, who don’t have many options in ready-to-wear men’s support socks.

Conclusion:  Overall this was not my favorite sock.  The foot was really comfortable, and the fabric very soft, but the leg portion didn’t fit me as well as I would like.  I’m a little too short, and will stick with the Men’s Casual.

By: Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Compression Shopping Guide

At BrightLife Direct we give you many different ways to find the compression garment that’s right for you.  You can shop by brandstyle or length, men or womenlow price, and perhaps most importantly… compression level.

Before you begin shopping, you need to know what compression level is appropriate for your condition.  If you already wear stockings, hopefully you know your compression.  If this is is your first time, your doctor or therapist should have told you what compression level you need.  If they have not, our compression guide can help, but this is not a substitution for medical advice.  We highly recommend that you talk to your doctor or health care provider before beginning compression therapy above 20mmHg.

Once you’ve determined the proper compression, you need to decide on the style or length of the garment, that is, a knee high, thigh high or waist high (pantyhose).  Remember the stocking has to cover the area of your body where the problem exists.  If you have an aching varicose vein in your thigh, a knee high isn’t going to help.  If you’re traveling and don’t have any existing venous problems, a knee high should do the job.

Now that you know the compression and style, the rest is easy.  Picking the weave or fabric you prefer and deciding if you want an open or closed toe.

The three main fabric choices are sheer, opaque and ribbed.  Sheers look great, but are just a bit more delicate than other fabrics.  Opaques offer the widest range of prices and sizing options.  Ribbed are very durable.  All three fabrics are usually woven from nylon and spandex.  Opaque and ribbed fabrics are available in cotton, wool, and silver blends.

The toe style does not affect the therapeutic benefit of a compression stocking, and is usually a personal preference. Open toes are great in warm weather, with sandals or flip-flops and if you have problems like corns or hammer toes.

Now it’s time to shop.  Let’s say you need a 20-30mmHg compression thigh high, and want a sheer fabric with a closed toe.  Mouse over Compression Level in the left navigation bar.  Move your cursor to 20-30mmHg, then Thigh Highs, then Sheer.  You’ll see a note at the top of the page that closed toe is standard.

Now let’s look for a 15-20mmHg compression knee high in cotton with an open toe.  Mouse over Compression Level, move your cursor to 15-20mmHg, then Knee High, and then Cotton/Wool.  See the note at the top of the page that cotton blends are closed toe only.

As mentioned in the first paragraph, there are many different ways to search our website for the compression garment you need.  If you have a question or need assistance finding what you want, our trained certified fitters are happy to help at 1-877-545-8585.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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Jobst ActiveWear and Casual Updates

New sizes for wide calves
Jobst ActiveWear support socks for men and women have been a huge success from the day they were introduced.  ActiveWear features a fully cushioned foot, comfort knee band, and seamless toe box.  Now Jobst has added two new full-calf sizes in all compression levels.  Designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24″, Large Full-Calf and X-Large Full-Calf are great additions to this popular sport sock.

Jobst Casual now in navy
The Jobst Casual sock for men is now available in navy as well as khaki and black.  Casual is marketed as a transition sock between the athletic Jobst Active and the dressier Jobst For Men.  It has wide contemporary ribbing, and looks great with a suit or a pair of jeans.  Made from a blend of nylon, polyester, spandex and wool, this sock is super soft.  It also has a very generously sized foot and is a great option for men with large feet.

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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New Casual Luxury for Men from Jobst

Against the unfortunate backdrop of the worst economic conditions in several generations, Jobst (BSN Medical) has introduced their new ultra-soft, luxurious men’s compression socks, named “Casual“. The timing may not have been auspicious but the product is a remarkable breakthrough in terms of style and comfort. It deserves a look for those that can afford a product of this caliber.

“Comfort” has usual benefits we have come to expect from Jobst Medical Legwear with added anti-odor formula in the footbed, comfort knee-band and graduated compression to help keep the sock snug and prevent slipping. Jobst has added 4% wool and has woven the fibers to create a finished product that looks and feels like cashmere. Coated fibers give additional strength and durability, which is essential in a top-of-the-line product. Dri-Release® yarns help keep the foot cool and dry. The sock is woven in a unique yet elegant design with ten wide-whale ribs running vertically up the leg.

Jobst “Casual” for men is a knee-high available in support levels of 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40 mmHg compression and in the colors of khaki or back. The khaki is on a dark side which makes it ideal for summer-weight khaki pants or jeans. The black can be worn year ‘round.

In addition to sizes Small, Medium, Large and X-Large, there is a Tall version for men with feet over a size 12 or length from floor to bend in knee over 19 ¾”.The Wide-Calf version in Large and Extra-Large sizes offers room for calves with a circumference of up to 24″.

Jobst Casual stockings promote continuous relief from tired, aching legs and discomfort associated with pronounced varicose veins and edema, even following sclerotherapy or vein surgery.

 

Pete@BrightLife Direct
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