In this article, we will explain how support hosiery can help with varicose veins, edema (swelling of the ankles/legs) and heavy, achy legs. It is important to choose the right compression hosiery for you, so we’ve discussed a few points to look at when making your decision.
Support Hosiery for Varicose Veins
Varicose veins is a common condition that can affect both men and women, though women are four times more likely than men to develop varicose veins (Azura Vascular Care).
Varicose veins occur when the vein walls are pushed apart so that the valves no longer seal properly. This makes it difficult for the muscles to push the blood upward. Instead of flowing along the vein from one valve to the next, the blood begins to pool in the vein, increasing venous pressure and causing the vein to bulge and twist.
For more information about this condition, read our article here . In all cases of varicose veins, the first step of treatment is wearing support hosiery.
Support hosiery, also known as compression stockings/socks, are a special kind of elastical hosiery that provide concentrated pressure beginning at the ankles. The pressure helps your leg muscles push blood upwards towards the heart. Additionally the pressure that these socks put on your legs compresses the surface veins, helping the vein valves function better. The blood can then flow back to your heart without obstructions.
This diagram explains it well:
Graduated support hosiery fits tighter at the ankle than at the knee or thigh. The compression decreases as the hose runs up the leg, to further encourage circulation and healthy blood flow.
Doctors usually recommend graduated support hose as they are most effective in supporting and improving the blood circulation.
What to be careful about when buying compression hosiery:
It’s important to make sure you buy the right support hosiery. At our Birthlite stores, we’ve been fitting our customers for nearly 10 years. Here are some tips we’ve collected from our experience:
Fit – It is extremely important to be well fitted for support hosiery. Ill-fitting hose, in addition to being uncomfortable, can actually be counterproductive to the treatment. Socks that cut into you at the knee or thigh, or hose that slips down, can limit your blood circulation. This will block the blood from flowing through the vein, possibly causing the varicose veins to deteriorate further.
At the BirthLite stores, our fitters have been trained to measure each leg and fit the hose accordingly. Additionally, since each customer has their individual build, we always ask our customers to try on the hosiery so we can see exactly how it sits on the leg. Our large range of sizes, styles and fabric weights enables us to get as accurate and personalized a fit as possible.
An additional benefit to holding a large range in stock is that our customers can get what they need in just one visit, rather than waiting for it to be ordered in. We value your time and desire to feel immediate relief, and always do the most we can to provide for it.
Graduated Compression – Always be sure to check if the compression on your support hose is graduated. As described above, most health professionals agree that graduated compression is more beneficial. All the support hosiery we carry in the Birthlite stores are graduated.
Quality – Since compression socks have an important job to do in sending up the blood correctly, it is extremely important that you choose only a good quality brand. Cheap brands may not fit well and may contain cheaper fibers, raising the risk of skin allergies to the stocking. Additionally, cheaper quality fibers may tear quicker.
At BirthLite, we only import compression socks from reputable quality manufacturers to ensure effective treatment and total customer satisfaction.
FDA certified – one way of ensuring you are buying top quality support hose is to make sure it is FDA certified. The certification ensures that the socks are manufactured in a facility conforming to International standards in compression and sizing. All compression hosiery imported by BirthLite carry an FDA certification.
Price – Support hosiery comes in a wide range of prices. In Israel where all hosiery is imported, you’re often paying for the import costs as well as the regular distributor mark up.
At BirthLite, we understand that support hosiery is not a luxury item and we aim to make it affordable for everyone. We are direct importers and countrywide distributors, and avoiding the 3rd party importer has enabled us to charge significantly less. Additionally, we sell a very large quantity of hosiery to customers throughout Israel, further allowing us to keep our prices down.
We also choose not to sell in high street stores but rather smaller or home stores and have recently introduced an online order system. The savings of these overheads are all passed on directly to our customers.
How much is our support hosiery in Israel?
You can expect to pay around 200 NIS for a pair of our full pantyhose (our knee highs begin at just 115 NIS), substantially less than the going price at regular orthopedic stores. In many cases, this is even less than what you would pay when ordering subsidized hosiery via your Kupat Cholim.
For more information about our pricing, please check our support hosiery order form.
Styles – Not everyone who finds they have developed varicose veins is happy to go around in thick ugly hosiery, especially in the Israeli summers where the additional heat adds to the aesthetic discomfort.
At BirthLite, we respect each woman and her wish to retain her femininity. We import a range of high quality strong compression hose in different colors, shades and fabric weights to try meet each of our customer’s specific need. We want you to look good without compromising on feeling good!
How soon can the effects of compression hosiery be felt?
In most cases, you will feel the relief immediately upon putting on the support hosiery. However, in cases where the varicose veins are more swollen, you will have to wait until the next morning. After lying down for the night where the blood is naturally flowing along the leg (without fighting gravity) the swollen veins will have usually gone down fully or at least partially. You can then put on the support hosiery and feel the relief they offer.
Case study: Compression hosiery at work
Chaya is a 45-year-old midwife at one of Jerusalem’s popular delivery wards. She spends many long hours on her feet. Running from one labor to another, she didn’t have a moment to think about her legs. As soon as her shift was over, she would sit down in the nurses’ station only to realize that her legs were swollen and extremely heavy.
As she was working with pregnant women all the time, Chaya was well aware of the compression hosiery many of her patients wore. She did not think something so heavy weight would be suitable for her type of job which demanded so much movement and flexibility. All this changed after a patient of hers recommended she try the BirthLite support hosiery.
Chaya was delighted to be fitted with med weight support socks that provided her legs with the support they craved without limiting her movement. She was amazed to see the increase of energy she felt at work, and even had some energy left for her family when she got home. She has since sent many of her colleagues from the hospital to get themselves fitted with suitable support socks.