Working from Home? Consider Wearing Compression Socks.
Working from home for the first time due to the ongoing pandemic? Maybe it’s time to buy a pair of compression stockings.
If you are one of the thousands of Americans now working from home due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, you’re probably not getting as many opportunities to move around during the day as you previously did. In addition, you may find yourself spending hours on end sitting in a chair that wasn’t designed for long periods of sitting the way most office chairs are.
Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, your vein health may be at risk. Long periods of inactivity can cause blood to pool in the leg veins, and as pressure builds up in the vein, serious conditions ranging from varicose veins to blood clots may arise.
Fortunately, you can prevent these ill effects by wearing compression stockings. Made of strong, durable elastic, these socks gently but firmly squeeze the leg veins, providing the added push the veins need to drive blood back to the heart. As you shift your workspace from office to home, there is no better time to consider investing in a quality pair of compressions stockings.
Compression Stocking Basics
If you have varicose veins, you may already be familiar with the pain-reducing benefits of compression stockings. But people with varicose veins aren’t the only ones who can benefit from compression socks. Frequent airplane travelers, people who sit at a desk for long periods of time for their job, and people who have recently seen their activity levels drop should also slip on a pair of compression stockings to maintain maximum blood flow in the legs.
Compression stockings come in a variety of styles and strengths. Which one you choose depends on your individual condition, i.e., how severe the symptoms of your varicose veins are, your activity level, and your history with blood clots. You should consult with your vein specialist about the type of compression garment most suitable for your needs, but here are two of the most important elements to consider when purchasing compression stockings.
Strength. Compression stocking strength is measured in mmHg (millimeters of mercury). Lower-strength compression socks of between 15-20 mmHg are available at drugstores or medical supply outlets. These commercially-available compression socks lessen the pain of varicose veins and support blood flow during a long plane ride or other long sedentary periods.
If you need firmer compression, you’ll need a doctor’s prescription for compression stockings ranging from 20 to 30 mmHg. A medical specialist will measure your leg to ensure a proper fit. When you get measured, have it done in the morning when your leg is less swollen. Higher strength compression stockings are typically recommended for the prevention of blood clots in the leg and after sclerotherapy, a procedure that collapses the clogged vein with a safe solution injected into the vein.
Style. The compression stocking style you need depends on where you’re experiencing the most swelling. If the swelling is concentrated in your calf, ankle and feet, your compression stockings need only reach to your knees or the ankles. Swelling that extends up to the thigh requires a pair that ends at the thigh or waist. The strongest compression stockings are made of opaque fabric. You can also purchase sheer or more transparent compression stockings, but they may not be as strong as the opaque version. Sheer types tend to snag more easily.
The fit should be tight, but never uncomfortable. Your vein specialist can help you select the right pair and demonstrate how to put on the stockings correctly so they don’t bunch up around the ankles and knees, restricting circulation. There are also devices, such as a stocking donner and gloves, that make slipping on the stockings easier. And even if your exercise routine has been curtailed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can still give your calf muscles a workout with a short outdoor stroll (provided you keep a safe distance from passersby).
We’re Here to Help
Doctors at the Centers for Vein Restoration are available for telemedicine consultations. While in-office treatments are currently reserved for emergency situations, we can advise you on ways to address the symptoms of varicose veins, such as wearing compression stockings. What’s more, a telemedicine appointment can qualify you for a free pair of prescription stockings, which can be shipped to your door in 3 to 5 business days. We also offer compression stockings and accessories on our website for purchase. We are committed to providing the best possible care to our patients during the coronavirus pandemic.