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Compression Hose & Stockings

The superficial venous system is most often affected by varicose veins. Graduated compression stockings (GCSs) are a recognized effective nonsurgical option to prevent and treat lower limb varicose veins.

Graduated compression hosiery helps prevent leg fatigue, ankle and foot swelling, mild spider veins and varicose veins by improving circulation in the legs. Elegant in its sheerness, these support hose give comfortable, preventative support while still remaining fashionable.


Compression therapy is an essential part of the prevention and treatment of venous diseases that affect the lower limbs. Graduated compression stockings (GCSs) provide a convenient method of maintaining pressure while allowing ambulation. Many studies have demonstrated that proper compression magnitudes and gradients can provide support to the superficial venous system and accelerate lower limb blood circulation.

Not just for Grandma.

Compression garments are no longer the stereotypical "grandma stockings" as so many still refer to them. With new technology, fibers, and understanding of various conditions, compression hose look more like regular hose or socks.

More than a sock.
Compression garments are more than just "socks." Depending on the condition being treated, its severity, and the treatment options, compression can be used on just about every part of the body.

Graduated compression.
Gradient compression delivers a squeezing to the leg that is tightest at the ankle. The degree of squeezing or compression gradually decreases up the leg. This compression, generally expressed in mmHg (millimeters of mercury) provides two main benefits:
  1. Increase the pressure in the tissues beneath the skin thus reducing excess leakage of fluid from the capillaries and increasing absorption of tissue fluid by the capillaries and lymphatic vessels. Compression therefore reduces and helps prevent swelling.
  2. Control the size (diameter) of superficial veins beneath the stocking. The stocking does not allow these superficial veins to over expand with blood. This action helps prevent "pooling".
Compression therapy has been repeatedly proven effective in the treatment and prevention of venous disorders. Medical research has shown that stockings are effective in reducing leg symptoms only when the compression is graduated, meaning the pressure is greatest at the ankle and sequentially less up the leg. The compression of the hosiery physically reduces the circumference of the limb and the superficial veins. By decreasing the size of the veins, blood flows faster, which helps prevent the blood from pooling and the chances of developing a thrombus.

How compression works.
Graduated compression stockings exert significant influences on the cutaneous pressure distribution and magnitudes along the path of main superficial veins. Different testing locations and body postures induced variations on the pressure performances. Proper lower limb exercises are still recommended when wearing compression stockings. Compression therapy can also improve valve functioning. As the vein diameter is reduced, the valve cusps are moved back to a correct overlapping position, allowing for proper functioning. Additionally, compression stockings can reinforce the varicosity, making it less symptomatic and less visible.

Compression Hose Classifications: (mmHg = millimeters of mercury )
  • light compression—16 to 20 mm Hg
  • class I stockings—20 to 30 mm Hg
  • class II stockings—30 to 40 mm Hg
  • class III stockings—40 to 50 mm Hg

Lite Compression, 9-12 & 15-20 mm Hg:
  • Tired, aching legs and feet
  • Mild foot and leg swelling
  • Mild varicosities
  • Standing, sitting or traveling for extended periods of time
  • Preventative support

Moderate Compression, 20-30 mm Hg Class I:
  • Chronic leg fatigue and heaviness
  • Ankle, foot and leg swelling
  • Mild varicosities
  • Post surgical
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis
  • Preventative treatment during pregnancy
  • Post-sclerotherapy
  • Preventative for those with disposition for vein disease
Heavy Compression, 30-40 mm Hg Class II:
  • Moderate varicosities
  • Moderate edema
  • Lymphatic edema
  • Post-surgical
  • Prevention and treatment of venous ulcers
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Prophylaxis of thrombosis
Anti-Emobolism, 18 mm Hg:
  • Thrombo Embolic Deterrent
  • Non-ambulatory, bed-ridden patients
  • Pre- and post-surgical procedures
  • Mild varicosities
The lower compression ranges (less than 20 mm Hg) are preventative and can be worn by anyone wanting healthy, great-feeling and looking legs. Today incredibly sheer, lightweight and fashionable products are available in the lower compressions.

Any individual with symptoms of venous disorders should consult a physician to ascertain the correct therapy for the specific leg condition. The physician should determine the style and compression level.