Disease-modifying treatment for venous diseases
If you listen to folk talking, you will hear medical compression stockings often and incorrectly called "support stockings". But we must distinguish clearly between these two products.
- Medical compression garment are medical devices that the doctor can prescribe if needed, if the patient has the right indications or if he thinks they are appropriate. Patients are then measured individually by surgical suppliers or the garments are 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, the legs grow tired and heavy. Swelling and socks or shoes cutting into the skin are a sign of this. Spider veins, varicose veins or leg ulcers may develop later.
Only the medically correct pressure gradient guarantees medical efficacy.
The pressure exerted by compression stockings decreases continually in a distal (ankle/foot) to proximal (thigh) direction, because this degressive pressure gradient complies with the medical requirements on compression therapy.
Since humans stand erect, the venous pressure is highest in the ankle/foot region (distally). The lower third of the lower leg is therefore particularly at risk of pathological disorders. Thus, the pressure exerted by the compression stocking must be particularly high there. By contrast, the pressure gradient must be relieved in the pit of the knee to prevent constriction of the superficial vein. The pressure gradient decreases steadily from 100% at the ankle to 40% at the thigh.
The pressure exerted at the ankle defines the classification of medical compression garments in the four available compression classes.
Why support stockings are not medical compression garments
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.
The stocking size is normally determined by the shoe size.
Since support stockings are not prescribable, they are only suitable for people without any previous venous problems. They have absolutely no place in clinical medicine!
Compression therapy for patients with oedema
If the function of the venous system is impaired, the pressure in the veins rises and watery blood components leak into the tissues, the ankles and legs can swell up. In this situation, the oedema patient's impaired lymphatic system has to work even harder to transport the fluid in the tissues back to the heart.
This is when flat knit mediven compression garments ensure the best possible support to maintain the results of lymphatic drainage, which is why it is so important to wear the stockings regularly.
In summer, the tendency for swelling and water accumulation is even higher. At high temperatures, a sophisticated mechanism starts up to cool the body down. The superficial veins widen, so the blood can release more heat through the increased surface area and thus be cooled down.
Compression garments after plastic/cosmetic procedures
Once the fat has been suctioned out, the abdominal wall tightened and the breast changed to suit the patient's wishes, the objective is to support the new shape(s) during the healing process. There are special compression garments for this, such as lipomed from medi. These ensure that the remaining fat cells are optimally distributed throughout the tissues and any gaps that arose are closed. They also prevent the skin from shrinking or forming waves and prevent the onset of oedema and haematomas. In this way, an even silhouette is formed within four to six weeks.
- Medical compression pantyhose are most suitable after liposuction or a tummy tuck.
- After a breast operation, patients are recommended to consistently wear a fully supporting bra.
- There are specially fitted compression vests for men after reconstruction of the natural shape of their chest.
All these garments are easy to put on and are comfortable to wear, even on hot days, because they are latex-free, active breathing and moisture permeable.
Compression garments prevent the progression of CVI
Tight junctions a barrier for fluid and dissolved substances, which can no longer pass unhindered into the interstitial space.
Compared with healthy individuals, patients with oedema and venous ulcers have lower levels of the TJ molecules [tight junction molecules] CLDN-1, CLDN-5 and protein.
Biopsies that were taken from healthy individuals and from patients with oedema and venous ulcers before and four weeks after compression therapy, show significantly higher levels of the TJ molecules mRNA, CLDN-1, CLDN-5 and protein after four weeks.
This is a clear indication that compression therapy is capable of overcoming these barriers, thus preventing the progression of chronic venous insufficiency that is caused by TJs1.
A decisive factor in the success of compression therapy is patient compliance, which increases as the number of patient-friendly attributes of the compression stockings used also increases. With their high elasticity and transparency, easy handling and fashionable colours, mediven compression garments set the standard for patient-friendliness and treatment-promoting compliance.
Source: 1 Herouy Y, Rabe E et al, Int. J. Mol. Med, July 2006
Compression garments improve muscle metabolism
Not only those with venous disease, but also those with no venous problems profit from the effect of compression garments.
The results of a study that enrolled 19 marathon runners with healthy veins, who each ran a half marathon with and without compression stockings (20 mm Hg), show – in comparison to the run without – that with compression stockings, there is:
- more rapid recovery in terms of the venous refilling time
- partial restoration of the venous pump force
- running times up to 15% better than without the compression garment
The investigators’ summary: wearing compression garments improves muscle metabolism and promotes a more rapid recovery after athletic exertion.1 As part of a high-compliance compression therapy, which, in particular, can be achieved with the use of patient-friendly garments, such as medi compression stockings, patients with venous disease profit from the known effects: the spontaneous improvement of symptoms and the prevention of a progressive course of the venous disease.
Sources: 1 Dr. med. S. Sadoun et al, Dermat. Nachrichten 9/02.
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) that 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 Clima Comfort technology, 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.