Gradient compression delivers a squeezing sensation to the legs of the wearer. The sensation is tightest at the ankle portion. This is designed with a certain degree of squeezing or compression that will gradually decrease up the leg.
Basically, compression is believed to have increased the pressure in the body tissues right under the skin. The increase in pressure reduces the excessive leakage of fluids that are present in the capillaries. In addition to this, this will increase the absorption of fluids in the tissues by the lymphatic vessels and the capillaries. With this mechanism, the end result of wearing gradient compression would be the significant reduction and prevention of swelling on the lower extremities.
Wearing stockings can also help control the size or the diameter of the superficial veins under the stockings. Basically, the stocking will not allow the superficial veins to expand with blood. With this limitation, pooling is prevented and the venous blood will flow more quickly and efficiently up the legs towards the heart.
Who Should Use Gradient Compression Stockings?
Gradient compression stockings are often recommended to be used during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the stocking can help energize the tired and achy legs of pregnant women. In addition, this can also reduce and prevent swelling on the lower extremities.
This type of stocking has been designed to promote a controlled amount of pressure which is greatest felt at the ankle. The pressure gradually decreases towards the top portion of the stocking. With this design, the stocking can help improve blood circulation in the lower extremities without possibilities of swelling.
Pregnant women are not the only people who can benefit from using gradient compression stockings. Even those people who have tired, fatigued and aching legs can benefit from using this stocking. People who stand during long periods of time can develop tired aching and fatigued legs. Thus, they can benefit from using this stocking. People who have swollen legs, feet and ankles can also try using gradient compression stockings as this can reduce swelling of their lower extremities. Overweight individuals can also benefit from using this type of stocking.
While this may be beneficial for those people with the abovementioned conditions, those who do not have the conditions can also use this. After all, this can improve the sensation on their legs and they can reduce the risk of experiencing swollen and fatigued lower extremities.
How to Choose a Compression Level?
There are different levels when it comes to compressions. The higher the number means that it comes with higher support. For those who are new to wearing gradient compression stockings, it is ideal to start low and gradually increase the compression level. However, if you are unsure, it is still best to consider consulting your health care provider regarding the best compression level for you.
The first compression level would be light support. This level is designed to improve circulation, energize those tired legs and feet and prevent swelling. This is also a good option if there is mild swelling in the ankle and in the legs during pregnancy. The second compression level would be moderate support. For the second level, this is designed to improve blood circulation. In addition, this can correct mild to moderate swelling in the legs and ankles especially during pregnancy. The last level is firm support. This is designed to improve blood circulation and support moderate swelling in the legs and ankle especially during pregnancy.