To relieve tired legs or prevent phlebitis after surgery or during a long journey, compression stockings – also referred to as contention – are effective ways. Today there are more "cosmetic" and comfortable. How do they work? Who are they recommended? And in what situations? Explanations.
How does it work? “The stockings exert pressure peri-venous tissue. This indirect pressure on the vein relieves that which is exercised within the blood vessel. Thus allowing blood to flow better, “said Dr. Jean-Marc Chardonneau, phlebologist in Nantes.
This is actually the most effective medical treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. Socks, stockings or tights prescribed by your doctor promote blood circulation, prevent blood stagnation and deterioration of the vein wall. They also prevent – and very importantly – the occurrence of phlebitis. This clot due to the slowing of blood flow may in fact migrate to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism. According to the Health Authority (HAS), “several million people in France are affected by chronic venous disorders.” And among them 80% are women.
The clothes are also recommended restraint in cases of venous thromboembolism and lymphedema. This increase in volume of a body part, is caused by an accumulation of lymph in the subcutaneous tissue. In addition, “the use of these devices is recommended in any patient with increased thromboembolic risk,” said the HAS. Risk situations are varied: infection with prolonged fever, a cancer risk of thrombosis, certain heart diseases, inflammatory diseases and a history of venous thrombosis.
During pregnancy and after delivery, the risk of thrombosis is also increased. A compression stockings may be indicated during the six weeks after birth.
Occupations at risk … Some occupations expose more than others, to circulatory problems. Vendors who work standing up, hairdressers or stalled servers all day long, are particularly concerned. This will cause the feeling of heavy legs and can lead to the formation of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency.
Other situations are exposed to “stress” venous important. Well-known examples, the long-haul flights – more than 5 hours or travel particularly long drive.
There are various classes or categories of compression ranging from 1 to 4. “The higher the number, the weaker is the pressure,” said Dr. Jean-Marc Chardonneau. Moderate compression is sufficient for small spider veins. Class 2 is also the most frequently prescribed. “Even if Class 3, more comfortable and aesthetic, will soon become the most used,” said he. As for the higher category is reserved for lymphedema.