Compression Socks: What does 20-30 mmHg actually mean?

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When it comes to compression socks, the millimeters of mercury represents the degree of support in medical use as it represents the measure of restraint that is exerted from the compression. Compression stockings that contain 20-30 mmHg are classified as class 2 medical compression and are available in different models, including lower knee, lower thigh, pantyhose or maternity stockings. These measured compression stockings are recommended for women or men with venous insufficiency, edema, varicose veins, venous thrombosis, or phlebitis. However, we always recommend seeking out the advice of a doctor before using this or any other medical product.

What are graded compression stockings?

Graduated compression stockings are knitted with a technology that ensures that maximum compression is applied to the ankles. This compression or pressure gradually decreases as you go up through the leg. It is very important to mention that not all 20-30 mmHg compression stockings on the market are measured, or have a graduated restraint.

When to use compression stockings of 20-30 mmHg?

Typically, medical compression support stockings that are classified as 20-30 mmHg, are worn to alleviate the symptoms of mild to moderate venous insufficiency, which manifests as: leg pain, varicose vein, superficial phlebitis to the leg, etc.

What are the benefits of compression stockings?

Support stockings allow the body to :

  • Relieve and prevent venous symptoms such as pain, swelling and heaviness in the legs;
  • Prevent or reduce leg edema;
  • Prevent or treat skin complications related to venous insufficiency;
  • To help heal an ulcer;
  • Prevent or treat phlebitis or venous thrombosis (blood clots in a vein);

What are the uses of compression stockings?

The use of support stockings are recommended in the following cases:

  • The presence of varicose veins (3 mm);
  • After sclerotherapy – an endovenous ablative method to remove varicose veins and varicose vessels (blood vessels feeding the varicose vein) on the lower limbs – or varicose veins surgery;
  • A chronic edema;
  • Pigmentation – brownish darkening of the skin – or venous eczema;
  • Lipodermatosclerosis: localized chronic inflammation and fibrosis of the skin and subcutaneous tissues of the lower leg;
  • A venous hypodermitis;
  • White atrophy: superficial ulcers localized in the legs;
  • A healed ulcer;
  • An open ulcer.
  • Other uses may be recommended by the phlebologist.

Compression socks or Contention socks ?

No difference in effectiveness has been demonstrated between the different types of stockings. But be careful not to confuse contention stockings with compression stockings.

Compression bandages are inelastic – or very inelastic – and exert very little pressure on the skin and underlying tissues when at rest. On the other hand, during muscle contraction, they passively oppose the increase in volume of the lower limb during each contraction related to walking.

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