How Compression Hosiery can help you? Part 1
Compression hosiery are elasticated stockings that give support to your legs. In graduated compression hosiery, the pressure given by the stockings is greater at the ankle and reduces towards your knee. The stockings can be knee-length or thigh-length depending on your condition.
Why do I need compression hosiery?
The veins in your legs carry blood back to the heart. The calf muscles are responsible for pumping the blood through the veins back to the heart. The veins have one-way valves to ensure the blood flows in the correct direction. Damage to the veins and the valves can lead to the blood being unable to get out of the legs and collecting there, instead of being pumped back towards the heart. As a result, the pressure in the veins increases which can lead to the symptoms such as:
- Swelling of the ankles
- Pain in the calf and legs
- Aching in the leg
- An itching or burning sensation in the leg
- Darkening of the skin
- Leg ulcer
What are the benefits of compression hosiery?
By wearing compression stockings, symptoms due to the following conditions can improve:
- Varicose veins
- An open or healed leg ulcer
- Swollen legs due to likes of pregnancy, immobility after you have had venous surgery
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in legs)
Compression stockings apply pressure to your legs, which increases the blood flow in the veins upwards towards the heart.
Risks of compression hosiery
- If your leg increases in size and the stockings become too tight, they may cause skin damage. If you lose weight and your legs become thin, the compression stockings may become too loose and may not work. If you get an infection in your leg (cellulitis), your leg may swell up and become hot and painful. If you experience any pins or needles in the feet, numbness, discolouration, reaction to the stockings, shortness of breath or increased pain in the legs, remove the stockings and inform your health professional.
Free measurement and fitting
With appointments available free of charge, Whelehans Compression Hosiery Consultation service provides a dedicated fitting service at Whelehans Pearse St. Staff will advise how to manage and maintain your hosiery, such as washing, removal, replacement etc. Once the consultation is complete, we will order your hosiery which you can collect the following day. Call Whelehans Pharmacy on 044 9334591 to book. If you have a medical card, the HSE covers the cost of two pairs of compression stockings per year.
To be continued…next week
For comprehensive and free health advice and information call in to Whelehans Pharmacies, log on to www.whelehans.ie or dial 04493 34591 (Pearse St) or 04493 10266 (Clonmore).