Not all compression socks
are created equal.
Before you purchase any compression sock or stockings, make sure you know the difference. It may be the best thing for your health -- and your wallet -- in the long run.
What is medical-grade compression?
Medical-grade compression provides targeted gradient pressure that helps blood and other fluids properly circulate from your limbs, throughout your body, and back to your heart. This also helps prevent / reduce swelling and relieve pain.
When shopping for compression socks and stockings, you'll see that pressure is offered in different levels, noted as mmHg (millimeters of mercury). Medical-grade compression starts at 20 mmHg; anything lower than that is considered a well-being or lifestyle level of compression.
- Moderate degree of compression
- Most commonly used
- Recommended for pregnant women experiencing swelling in their legs and ankles, and for people who sit or stand for extended periods of time
- Proven effective for minimizing the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Provides relief from mild pain caused by spider veins or varicose veins
- Firm level of compression
- Prescribed for treating moderate swelling / edema or recovery from surgery
- Proven effective at minimizing the risk of or preventing DVT
- Provides relief from moderate to severe pain caused by spider veins or varicose veins
- Extra firm degree of compression
- Prescribed for treatment of edema, lymphedema, acute venous insufficiency, or severe spider / varicose veins.
- Often used under strict medical supervision
- Prescribed by doctors to patients who suffer from severe venous insufficiencies, are bedridden, or have lost mobility in their legs.
What does medical-grade compression treat?
Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) occurs when vein walls weaken and the valves inside stop working as they should. This leads to blood pooling in your legs. Medical compression applies outside pressure to your legs, supporting weakened vein walls, much like scaffolding. Valves are then re-aligned properly so they can efficiently circulate blood out of your legs and back to your heart.
Is medical-grade compression worth it?
Medical-grade compression socks and stockings are designed with your specific needs in mind. They do not simply apply pressure, they apply deliberate and controlled pressure where you actually need it. If you need medical-grade compression and you’re using a lower-compression stocking from unreliable sources, you could be short-changing your health.
Doing the research, consulting your doctor, and investing in quality compression apparel is the best way to get the highest return on your investment. You’ll rest easy knowing you’ve made the best decision for your health.