We are often asked if sheer stockings provides the same compression as thicker, surgical weight stockings. And when one thinks about it, how does a fine sheer fabric give the same amount of support as a much thicker, opaque fabric? This question can be answered by explaining the difference between compression and containment.
Compression is the force pushing in on an object. For compression stockings, that object is your leg. If you wrap a fine thread and a thick rope around your leg, and pull on the ends with the same amount of force, you will be applying the same amount of compression to the area under the thread and the rope. But what happens if your leg swells, and starts pushing back against the thread and the rope? This is when containment comes into play. The thick rope will do a much better job of containing the swelling, than the thin thread.
Now let’s examine the two main reasons people wear compression stockings. The first is venous insufficiency. This is when the valves in your veins that keep the blood from flowing south, don’t work properly. Blood pools in the veins and you develop varicose veins. Compressing the leg helps the valves work more efficiently. There isn’t a lot of force pushing back or swelling, so the amount of containment the fabric provides isn’t that important.
The second most common reason for wearing compression stockings is to treat edema or swelling. Excess bodily fluids that would normally be removed by the venous or lymphatic system accumulate in the tissue, causing it to swell. Edema can be caused by many conditions and medications. Here both compression and containment are very important in controlling and reducing the swelling, so a heavier or thicker fabric is probably the best choice.
The amount of compression and/or containment you need will depend on the condition being treated and the severity. Talk to your doctor.
Many people assume there is compression in the foot of compression stockings. Generally, this is not true. The foot portion of compression stockings may feel snug, especially if you have large feet, but it does not have medical compression. Compression begins at the ankle in almost all ready-to-wear compression stockings, with one exception.
The Juzo Dynamic (Varin) Neuropathic provides 30-40mmHg with increased compression beginning at the metatarsals. The metatarsals are the five long bones that connect your toes to the middle bones of your foot. Varin Neuropathic stockings are available in knee high and thigh high styles, in regular and short lengths, with an open or closed toe. They come in beige, black, or chestnut. Designed with a very soft inside, Varin Neuropathic are ideal for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.
BrightLife Direct has responded to the many Professional Therapists and Nurses who have been requesting wrapping devices for their patients in the early bandaging phase of treatment. The goal is to reduce severe swelling caused by venous disease or lymphedema. Once swelling has been reduced, continuing treatment can then be easily self-managed with the help of over-the-counter elastic or compression garments.
The Solaris and Farrow Medical wrapping devices are made of series of short stretch bandages that wrap around the arm, leg, hand or foot and are held in place with simple Velco (R) fasteners. This provides easy adjustments for a “custom-fit” and can be put on and taken off very easily. These products are especially beneficial for patients who can not easily bend or who don’t have sufficient strength to pull on elastic compression stockings.
We also offer Solaris Swell Spots which can be worn with bandaging on just about any part of the body. The innovative “chip foam-technology” gently stimulates the underlying tissue, breaking down fibrotic tissues and encouraging the release of interstitial fluids and waste products, that can then be removed by the lymphatic system.
The Solaris Joint Jackets protect injured ankle or knee joints, increase circulation to help you heal faster, and reduce swelling. The Pro model includes the therapeutic base unit and exterior support unit with Velcro closures. The bandage liners require short stretch bandaging over top of the garment to provide compression.
In the coming weeks we will be adding a selection of bandages and other products that Professional Therapists have requested. Our goal is to provide a one-stop-shop for Medical Professionals and their patients – with the full compliment of BrightLife Direct’s customer service, fast shipping – and discounted prices!