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3 Medical Conditions Compression Stockings Can Effectively Treat

Stockings
If you have ever had surgery or a long hospital stay, chances are you wore compression stockings to help prevent blood clots and reduce pain and swelling. What you may not realize is that compression stockings aren't just worn after having surgery or while lying in a hospital bed.

If you ever get diagnosed with any of the following conditions, you'll be glad to know that compression stockings offer an effective form of treatment.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
A blood clot is often referred to as a thrombus. If you develop a condition called deep vein thrombosis, it means one of your veins has developed a blood clot. The thrombus normally occurs in the leg but it can also take place in other veins throughout the body.

Deep vein thrombosis can occur in conjunction with the following conditions:
  • Blood clot disorder
  • Heart failure
  • Crohn's disease and other bowel diseases
  • Cancer
Compression stockings worn for DVT help to relieve pain that this condition causes and also to prevent one of the worst complications of DVT, which is a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism happens when a blood clot travels to the lungs and blocks the flow of blood.

Compression stockings come in different strengths and are measured by millimeters of mercury (mmHg), ranging from 8 to 40 mmHg. If you need compression stockings to help treat DVT, stockings with moderate compression of 15 to 20 mmHg are normally recommended.

Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and notice ugly-looking veins protruding from the skin of your legs, you are a part of the 28 percent of pregnant women who develop varicose veins. These veins are normally caused by hormonal changes along with increased volumes of blood that are necessary for the placenta and the developing baby.

As the baby grows, the veins become more dilated, causing varicose veins. While varicose veins aren't usually dangerous, they can result in blood clots in the vein. Varicose veins normally disappear after delivery, but if you want to manage them during your pregnancy, compression stockings are one way to treat them.

Stockings with mild to moderate compression are often recommended for pregnant women. Compression stockings can also help with swelling of the legs, feet, and ankles, which is also common during pregnancy.

Lymphedema
Also known as lymphatic obstruction, this condition occurs when excess fluid accumulates in body tissue and causes swelling, or edema. If you have had a mastectomy, you may have developed lymphedema as this is one of the most common causes of this condition.

Besides having a mastectomy, radiation therapy can also cause lymphedema. The swelling caused by this condition usually occurs in the arms or legs. There are four stages of lymphedema including:
  • Stage 0: no swelling in your arms or legs but mild tingling might be present
  • Stage 1: mild swelling occurs in your arm or leg throughout the day
  • Stage 2: moderate irreversible swelling occurs in your limb
  • Stage 3: severe swelling causes your limb to become quite enlarged
Compression stockings worn on the legs or sleeves worn on the arms can help decrease the amount of swelling. The strength of the stockings depends upon the stage of the lymphedema, but normally firm or extra firm compression is required.

Whether you have been diagnosed with DVT, swollen ankles or varicose veins due to pregnancy, or lymphedema due to a mastectomy or radiation therapy for breast cancer, compression stockings offer an effective form of treatment.

If you need compression stockings and want help finding the right size and strength, don't hesitate to contact our compassionate and caring staff at The Next Step.