What are the different Levels of Compression when Choosing Compression Stockings?

Wow!! it's so confusing, when you go on-line and see all the selections of compression stockings and the different compression levels offered. Your asking yourself, how do I know I'm getting the (right) level of compression for my legs?

There’s a lot of us who have heard and also been suggested by our doctor, that compression stockings helps relieve the pain and discomfort of our legs.

The pain and discomfort could be a multitude of problems: age, venous disease, medical conditions, overweight, occupational stress, such as prolonged sitting or standing long periods of time on the job.

Any of these can cause poor blood circulation, causing our valves to malfunction allowing blood to pool in the lower legs. Doctors recommend compression stockings for compression therapy / treatment to improve our venous circulation in our lower extremies of our legs. Our veins in our legs literally move blood back to the heart through a series of valves that open and close, with muscle contraction preventing backward flow of blood.

Wearing Graduated Compression Stockings applies pressure or a (level of compression) to the circumference of the lower leg surface veins, forcing blood into the deep vein system within the legs. This process accelerates the velocity of blood flow to the heart and end the pooling of the blood, thus assuring healthier feet and legs.

The amount of pressure in Compression Stockings is indicated by the measurement term “mmHg” or millimeters of mercury which is how the compression is measured…just like air pressure is measured. Some “medical conditions” need firmer support / pressure than others to provide the relief of the pain, swelling and aching of the legs.

    gradient leg measurement image
Below is the most common Compression Levels:

Mild Compression
 (8-15 mmHg)

·         Tired, Aching Legs
·         Minor Ankle, Leg & Foot Swelling

Mild Compression Stockings are generally considered safe for most people.
A mild compression stocking can help battle gravity and make your legs refreshed at the end of a long day.
Most doctors recommend this amount of pressure for (diabetics). This light pressure can promote better circulation and helps prevent ulcers.

Light Compression Level 15-20mmHg
·         Tired, Aching Legs
·         Minor Ankle. Leg & Foot Swelling / Edema
·         Minor Varicosities / Spider Veins
·         Minor Varicosities during Pregnancy
·         Traveling on Long Distance Trips (Automobile or Flights)

Light compression stockings are used for travelers or have to sit long periods of time.
Using a light compression stocking or sock during a 6 to 8 hour plane or car ride…helps prevent minor swelling and fatigue.
This amount of compression helps pregnant women combat fluid retention and swollen ankles that are a common complaint during late pregnancy.

 Firm Compression (20-30 mmHg) / Doctors refer to as...Class 1 Compression
·         Moderate to Severe Varicosities / Varicose Veins
·         Moderate to Severe Varicosities during Pregnancy
·         Moderate Ankle. Leg & Foot Swelling & DVT
·         After Sclerotherapy Procedure
·         Helps to prevent recurrence of Venous Stasis Ulcers
·         Air Travel ( more than 10-12 hours)

Firm Compression Stockings are the most commonly recommended by doctors and used for more severe varicose veins and moderate Edema.
This amount of compression can help prevent blood clots in the veins (Deep Vein Thrombosis).
It is also helpful in treating many types of swelling, such as lymphedema.
Flying for 10-12 hours, this extended time may require more support to counteract the swelling that comes from the hours of forced immobility.
Firm compression is the commonly used for Post Sclerotherapy in order to treat spider veins and varicose veins…the stockings help prevent development of other spider veins. Variety of post surgeries, benefit from using compression stockings, even "knee replacement surgery" based on you doctor’s recommendations.

Extra Firm Compression (30-40 mmHg) /  Doctors refer to as...Class 2 Compression
· Severe Varicosities / Varicose Veins
· Severe Varicosities during Pregnancy
· Severe Edema of the Ankle, Leg & Foot
· After Venous Closure, Laser Ablation, Vein Stripping & Ambulatory Phebectomy Procedures
· Helps prevent recurrence of Venous Stasis Ulcers

Extra Firm Compression Stockings are used to treat more (serious conditions) and should ONLY be used under the advice of your doctor.

These are just a few examples of conditions that use compression stockings as part of their treatment. 
Whether you're on a plane, at work or have other conditions that require support stockings - they are an inexpensive fix to many different health concerns.
Compression Stockings is a medical product and you should check with your doctor before wearing them to find out the right level of compression which best suits your medical condition.
You also will need to be fitted properly. We have a live (Certified Fitting Specialists) ready to help with measuring your legs and any questions you may have.
We are only, a phone call away. Toll Free: 1-844-629-9642