Support hose are recommended for those who are having circulatory problems that are causing pain or other health issues. Circulation problems like deep vein thrombosis can be serious, so your doctor may recommend that you wear support hose if you have this health condition. Pregnant women may also benefit from wearing support hose during the latter part of pregnancy.
Graduated Compression Hosiery
If you suffer from leg pain related to circulatory or vein problems, leg swelling or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), your doctor may suggest that you wear support hosiery or graduated compression hosiery. Graduated compression hose will prevent blood from pooling in your lower legs--they compress your legs most tightly at your ankles and gradually reduce the percentage of compression as they go higher up on your legs.
Graduated compression hose are manufactured based on how much compression is needed for the medical problem for which they are being recommended. A prescription is needed only for the strongest compression hose.
If you suffer from chronic vein problems (varicose veins, venous leg swelling or skin changes), you may wear your support hose during the day while out of bed (usually 16 hours) and take them off before going to bed. If your varicose veins are getting worse and you are experiencing pain, compression support hose will be the first treatment step before opting for any other methods. These hose will gently squeeze your legs, helping your leg muscles and veins move the blood supply through your legs. If you opt for support hose, you will need to make other lifestyle changes, such as getting off your feet and losing weight, if this is an issue for you.
Surgical support hose, such as anti-embolism support hose, are worn while you are in bed as they are designed for patients who can’t get out of bed to move around. These hose are meant to prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins so you have a better chance of avoiding blood clots. These hose are meant to be worn for only a short time and provide “gradient” compression to your legs. They come in a support thigh high and legwarmer style with a “wave” knit that micromassages your legs.
How to Wear Support Hosiery
When you put your support hose on, you have to make sure they are straight on each leg so you receive the greatest degree of pressure at your ankles. Make sure you have no folds or wrinkles in your hose and straighten them out during the day.
Putting Support Hosiery On
If you have weak hands, cannot bend down to your toes or have age- and weight-related issues, you may need special assistance to put your support hose on. One company, Support Hose Store, has special stocking donners and gloves that you can order to help you get your hose on and off.
Maternity Support Hosiery
If you are pregnant, you really have a need for support hose. Because of the weight of your uterus and unborn baby, the blood circulating through the lower half of your body has a harder time returning to your heart. Maternity support compression hose serve to apply gradual compression to your legs, lessening in pressure the higher they go. Compression support hose are not designed to cut circulation off, as a tensor bandage will.