Venous system diseases – such as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), varicose veins, phlebitis, thrombosis and thrombophlebitis – have become an urgent problem of our time. High prevalence (according to some reports, up to 70% of the population of developed countries are affected), a constant increase in the number of patients and a high percentage of disabilities make prevention and early treatment especially important. Due to the fact that at the initial stages the signs of the disease are almost invisible (there may be minor cosmetic defects), most people simply do not attach any importance to this and do not go to the doctor.
Then the disease progresses and leads to complications: pain, swelling begin to disturb, and in advanced cases, trophic ulcers appear. Both in treatment and in order to prevent diseases of the venous system, compression therapy is often used. Developed at the beginning of the twentieth century, now it is an integral part of the effective treatment of CVI, varicose veins and other diseases of the veins. In today’s article we will talk about what compression jersey is, to whom it is shown and what to be guided in its choice.
What are Compression Wraps?
Compression knitwear is a knitwear with special healing properties due to precisely calculated and measured pressure on the veins of the lower extremities (100% – the lower leg, 70% – calf muscle, 40% – thigh). As a result, these products create a “frame”, in fact, they take over the work of muscles, which normalizes blood flow and prevents blood stasis in the veins.
How does compression hosiery work? Its therapeutic effect consists of the following main mechanisms:
- Pressure on the intermuscular and perforating veins and, as a result, a decrease in the pathological volume of venous blood of the lower extremities;
- Narrowing of the veins, which improves the functioning of the valvular apparatus and increases the venous return (the amount of blood that enters the heart through the upper and lower vena cava per minute);
- Increased tissue pressure, due to which the reverse absorption of extracellular fluid is enhanced;
- Activation of the fibrinolytic (antipodes coagulation) blood system due to the production of plasminogen proenzyme.
Due to these mechanisms, the patient decreases the likelihood of blood clots and the risk of sprains, and swelling.
There are many benefits of compression wraps and as patients. The following are given below:
- The pressure is distributed more evenly, it does not depend on the skills of the physician or patient.
- The right choice of the compression class of the product allows you to choose the optimal pressure level (with bandaging, the compression level depends on how it was carried out).
- When using, the participation of a doctor is not required, donning is faster.
- Comfortable, do not slip, unlike bandages. Provide a more secure fit.
- Compression tights and stockings look more aesthetically pleasing than bandages.
- More durable with daily washing.
- The necessary water and temperature balance of the skin of the legs is maintained.
Cons of compression hosiery compared to elastic bandages – this is the price, it is significantly higher (on average, 20 times); It will also be problematic to select a factory product for a custom foot shape.
Who needs to wear compression Wrap Products?
Compression knitwear is indicated not only for people suffering from diseases of the venous system, but also as a prophylaxis for those who have one or more risk factors:
- Hereditary predisposition to vein disease;
- High viscosity or blood coagulability;
- Sedentary / standing work (sellers, hairdressers, cooks, office workers, surgeons, conveyor workers);
- Periodic swelling of the legs, evening fatigue and heaviness in the legs;
- Sedentary lifestyle;
- Hereditary predisposition to diseases of the venous system;
- Multiple pregnancies;
- Overweight, fast weight gain or weight loss;
- Diseases leading to an increase in intra-abdominal pressure (chronic constipation, chronic lung disease, etc.);
- Alcohol use / smoking;
- Taking hormonal drugs;
- Walking in high heels;
- Long journeys.
Currently, there is a wide selection of medical jerseys. To make the right choice, it is advisable to consult a phlebologist who will assess the condition of your veins and give recommendations on the treatment or prevention of possible diseases. Most likely, one of his appointments will be the use of compression hosiery of one or another compression class.
There are contraindications for wearing compression products: infectious and allergic skin diseases, pressure sores, trophic wounds, atherosclerosis, grade 2 or 3 ischemia, Takayasu syndrome, Raynaud’s syndrome.
Types Of Compression Wraps
All compression jerseys are divided into three types: prophylactic (compression class 0), therapeutic (compression class I to IV) and hospital embolism. Medical compression hosiery can only be used as directed by a specialist.
0 compression class (15-18 mm Hg). It is used without a doctor’s prescription to prevent the development of chronic venous insufficiency. Please note: if the vascular “stars” and dilated veins are already pronounced, preventive compression knitwear will not solve the problem. Preventive compression hosiery is indicated in the presence of the above risk factors.
Compression class 1 (18-21 mm Hg). These products are recommended for use at the initial stage of varicose veins – to prevent its development. Compression jersey of compression class 1 improves blood circulation, relieves swelling and “heavy legs” syndrome. Indications for use are vascular “nets”, a clear picture of the saphenous veins and their varicose expansion, hormonal changes (including those associated with the use of hormonal drugs), periodic swelling of the legs, cramps and heaviness in the legs, an inactive lifestyle.
Compression class 2 (23-32 mm Hg). Compression knitwear of compression class 2 is used to treat and prevent the further development of moderate chronic venous insufficiency. It is indicated for use in persistent edema of the legs, stages 2 and 3 of varicose veins, acute thrombophlebitis, post-thrombophlebitis disease, postoperative conditions.
Compression class 3 (34-46 mmHg). Products of this compression class are used in the treatment of the most severe forms of venous diseases. Indications for use of compression class 3 products – persistent severe edema, congenital vascular insufficiency, lymphovenous insufficiency (lymphedema, phlebolymphedema), deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities, varicose veins and post-thrombophlebitic disease, recovery after vein operations.
Compression class 4 (more than 49 mmHg) is used extremely rarely. It is indicated for the most severe forms of varicose veins, when the walls and valves of blood vessels no longer cope with the task of transporting blood from the legs to the heart.
Using anti-embolic hospital knitwear (15-18 mm Hg), blood circulation in the legs is activated, blood flow in the deep veins of the legs increases, blood stasis is eliminated, which significantly reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis. Use hospital knitwear should be prescribed by a doctor. Indications for use – childbirth (including cesarean section) and the postpartum period, epidural anesthesia, surgical interventions, intensive care in a hospital, long bed rest (from 4 days).
Compression knitwear is available in various types: these are knee-highs, stockings, and tights.
How to choose compression wraps?
The choice of compression hosiery can be difficult – because the range on the market is very large, in addition, these products are not cheap. How not to lose, what to look for when choosing? Consider the main factors:
- Certification of compression products . For safety and the necessary medical effect, your chosen stockings or tights should comply with the medical and environmental quality standard. The use of compression hosiery conforming to the RAL-GZ 387 standard is described in the Russian clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic venous diseases. Therefore, this standard is an unmistakable choice.
- Compression class . It should be determined by your doctor – according to individual indications. Medical products are sold exclusively by prescription.
- Knitwear manufacturer . Russian doctors most often recommend Medi and Sigvaris. However, there are many positive reviews about other brands on the Internet.
- The price of the product . Remember the simple truth: “Avaricious pays twice.” The seemingly profitable offer, most likely, will not be such – after all, often cheap compression products do not last long. And, worst of all, they do not have a sufficient therapeutic effect, being simply substandard. Compression knitwear is not cheap, this is due to the peculiarities of its production and certification. On average, the price for a quality product is 50-100 euros. The buyer’s task is to assess the adequacy of the seller’s margin, because it’s no secret that some stores “wind up” prices to an unacceptable level. When buying products of European brands, compare prices for them in Russia with prices in manufacturing countries. Markups above 20-30% are likely to be overpriced. Too low a price, of course, should also alert you.
- Product reviews and personal experience . Reviews on the Internet, and even better – from friends and relatives who have tried to operate a particular compression model, can seriously help you in choosing. And if you have the opportunity to compare the quality of different brands of compression hosiery, this will be the best way to find “your” products.
- Appearance of the product . The modern market provides a huge selection of products for every taste, and here you can build on your own preferences.
- Special elements, properties . Pay attention to the presence of any parts of the selected product – belts, zippers, rubber bands, strings, etc. They affect ease of use with the individual characteristics of the patient and high physical activity while wearing.
Compression therapy has a significant positive effect on the health of your legs. Therefore, at the first signs of vein diseases, do not postpone a visit to a doctor who will prescribe timely treatment and help you choose the right kind of medical knitwear. We wish you good health!