Support stockings – compression garments? What is the difference?

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Support stockings – compression garments? What is the difference?

Support stockings are not compression garments

If you listen to folk talking, you will often hear medical compression stockings incorrectly called "support stockings". But we must distinguish clearly between these two products.

Healthy pressure on the leg: medical compression garments

Medical compression garments are medical devices that the doctor can prescribe if there is a need, if the patient has the right indication or if he thinks it is appropriate to do so. Patients are then measured individually by surgical suppliers to select the correct size or, where necessary, order the garments to be made to measure especially for the client. By contrast, support stockings are only suitable for people without any venous problems.

The veins in the legs ensure the return flow of blood back to the heart. The venous valves in the veins function like non-return valves, which only allow the blood to flow in one direction, namely in the direction of the heart, and thus prevent blood pooling in the legs. A lack of exercise and too much standing or sitting places considerable pressure on the venous system for many hours of the day.

If the calf's muscle pump no longer adequately supports the return transport of the blood, the veins widen and the venous valves no longer close properly, tired and heavy legs are the result. Swelling and socks or shoes cutting into the skin are a sign of this. Spider veins, varicose veins or leg ulcers may develop later.

This is where medical compression stockings exert their full effect. The compression is defined exactly by so-called compression classes. The specific pressure gradient that decreases from the ankle up towards the heart reduces the diameter of the veins in the legs. The venous valves close again and the blood flows back to the heart better. If you already have a venous disorder, you absolutely must wear medical compression garments prescribed by your doctor. The surgical appliance retailer measures the circumferences of the user's legs at various levels to make sure that the compression garment matches her anatomy exactly. This exact fit is achieved either with a standard product or, if necessary, with an individually finished made to measure product.

Why a support stocking is not a medical compression stocking

As a rule, support stockings do not have a controlled diminishing pressure gradient. This can lead to the situation in which blood still pools in the legs and venous diseases still develop or the symptoms are not relieved.

Support stockings: no controlled pressure gradient along the leg

The stocking size is normally determined by the shoe size. Since support stockings are not prescribable, they are only suitable for people who have not had any previous venous problems. They have absolutely no place in clinical medicine!

Medical compression garments from medi

One very special feature of medical compression stockings from medi is that they don't look like medical aids. They are as sheer as nylons and bang up to date thanks to a large selection of standard and trend colours for every fashion season. Furthermore, there is an attractive selection of chic topbands for thigh-length stockings.

There are medical compression garments for men too (e.g. mediven for men), which are visually indistinguishable from conventional men's knee socks. For the user, this means medical efficacy combined with fashionable standards and the highest comfort in wear. Compression garments from medi fit perfectly and no not slip or pinch. Thanks to the Clima Comfort techn ology, sweaty legs are a thing of the past, because the stocking quickly transports the moisture away to the outside of the garment. Thus there is no reason for not wearing a medi compression garment during the summer as well.

Background information

90 percent of the adult population have changes in their leg veins. For some, the changes have progressed so far that they urgently need treatment. However, only 23% of these are receiving medical treatment. This is not only at the cost of the individual's health, but it also places a burden on the public health system as a whole: 4.2 billion euros could be saved every year, if all those affected were properly treated (see Bonn Vein Study 2003 and Eurocom Study 2004).