In order to fully understand how compression stockings help alleviate venous disorders, from small varicose veins to varicose ulcers and thrombosis, it is important to first understand exactly how the circulatory system functions in the lower extremities and what causes these disorders.
The Venous System
The venous system in the leg is composed of two elements, the superficial veins and the deep veins. While the superficial veins lie directly beneath the skin and are mainly for temperature control, the deep veins lie deep within the legs, acting as a reservoir for the body's blood supply. Blood returning to the heart from these veins is impeded by the downward pressure of gravity. To counteract this force, there are a series of one-way valves in every vein that prevent backflow. As muscles around these veins contract during ordinary movement, they squeeze the blood upward through the valves and force the column of blood back to the heart. Picture shows healthy valves.
Problems and Symptoms Veins in the legs dilate when more pressure is added. This pressure can come from standing, obesity, or even pregnancy, since these all increase stress on the system. Eventually, over a long period of time, extra pressure on the veins may cause them to become permanently dilated. In this state, the valves cannot function properly, and blood can flow back down into the legs. When valves fail in the superficial veins, unsightly varicose veins may occur which, while not dangerous themselves, may be a symptom of deep vein disorders, which can cause pain, swelling, varicose ulcers, or even a pulmonary embolism, all as a result of poor circulation. Picture shows unhealthy valves.
The Compression Cure Compression hosiery applies pressure to the veins with 100% compression in the ankle region and compresses less higher on the leg. This graduated compression forces the veins to constrict to normal diameter, making the valves function correctly. Compression hosiery can be used as a preventative measure by people at high risk. People who have family members with venous disorders, stand up at work, or are pregnant are all at higher risk. Compression hosiery can also be used to cure preexisting problems since the effects of the product are instantaneous because the circulation in the legs is increased immediately. Compression hosiery quickly relieves pain and swelling associated with venous disorders, while at the same time preventing more serious problems such as blood clots in the deep veins.