Compression Stockings – How Do They Work?


Compression stockings could have called the savior for your legs. But just how do these stockings work? Why do they make your legs feel so good? How are they different than regular hosiery or support stockings? This type of stockings are becoming more popular today for the pure therapy of tired achy and sore legs. They are used to alleviate these symptoms of everyday activities. Let's take a look at how compression stockings work and why they help so much.

Let's begin by understanding human anatomy and gravity. To be more precise let's understand, the anatomy of the veins in our legs and how they function. Leg veins consist of two separate systems; the deep venous system and the privileged venous system. They are responsible for returning blood along with waste products to the heart. The blood is carried or pumped through veins by contraction of skeletal muscles and gravity. When we walk or exercise our legs the contraction of the leg muscles actually move the blood through the veins. When we are at rest the blood in our veins flows only by gravity. Since our legs are lower than our heart the blood essentially stops flowing or flows back at at rest. To prevent this backwards flow, veins have one way valves that prevent this. When these valves fail they allow the blood to flow back and pool in the lower legs. This causes the veins to dilate and develop varicose veins.

When blood in the leg veins flow backward or stops flowing due to inactivity the waste products and excess fluids from the tissues remain in the leg instead of being transported away. This is the reason for tired, achy and swollen legs after long periods ofactivity such as sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time.

Compression stockings are designed to act like artificial muscles regardless of activity or inactivity. Compression stockings create compression of the muscle in the leg to force the blood to flow against gravity. This is achieved by the graduated pressure level built into all compression stocking. Compression stockings are manufactured in different compression levels which indicate the graduation of compression they produce. For example a compression level of 15-20 mmHg indicates that the compression level at the ankle is 20 mmHg and typically Declines to a compression level of 15 at the top. This graduation of compression acts as a massaging effect on the leg muscles and Promotes the blood flow.

Compression stockings are different than support stockings due to the graduated compression levels. Support stocking simply support the leg muscles while compression stockings actually massage the leg muscles.

Whit a better understanding of how these stockings work you can educated decision next time you need a product that will actually help alleviate tired, achy or swollen legs at the end of the day. The purchase of compression stocking instead of support hosiery is a much better choice.