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Q: How do I know if I need support hosiery?
A: Almost everyone can benefit from the use of properly made graduated compression wear, usually called support hosiery or socks. The level of compression, expressed in terms of mmHg (millimeters of mercury per square inch), depends on the individual wearer’s level of need. For many people, the 10-15 and 15-20 levels provide extra support and help those minor venous conditions and ease tired, aching feet and legs.
... Q: How is support hosiery different from regular pantyhose?
A: Regular pantyhose are not made to fit the shape of the body and are often tighter as they cover the larger portions of your leg. This can create a dangerous "tourniquet" and restrict healthy blood flow. Properly made graduated support hosiery and socks are made with lower compression (tightness) as they move up your legs. This supports proper blood flow and assists your veins as they work against the forces of gravity.
Q: How does support hosiery work?
A: Support hosiery and socks compress the walls of your veins, which helps the valves (gates) in your veins to function more efficiently. This same compression tightens the walls of the veins and increases the velocity of flow back to your heart.
Q: How do I know what level of compression I need?
A: Your doctor will guide you through this decision based upon your condition. It is safe and beneficial for almost everyone to wear "gentle" compression of 10-15mmHg. If you suffer from minor venous conditions such as varicose or spider veins, 15-20mmHg may be better. Unless you currently wear above 20mmHg compression wear for already prescribed needs, please consult with your physician.
Q: How long should I wear my support hosiery?
A: You can wear your compression socks and hosiery all day. They are particularly beneficial during work hours or whenever you are sitting or standing for long periods of time, such as on a long airplane flight. However, it is recommended that you do not sleep in your graduated compression stockings.