The current lifestyle of most of us is not ideal for our veins. Spending more and more time sitting or standing instead of walking and moving around, takes its toll on the condition of our veins. According to estimates, by the age of 40 the majority of Americans have suffered from at least a mild chronic venous insufficiency – a condition when the vein valves in the calf are damaged and they can’t pump blood to the heart properly. Compression stockings are a powerful weapon when fighting varicose veins as they compress your legs and thus support healthy blood circulation. But how to choose the right compression level?
There are four main compression levels you can choose from, depending on what the underlying problem is and how seriously damaged your veins are: mild compression, moderate compression, firm compression, and extra firm compression. Since it’s such an extensive topic, today we’ll look into the first two compression levels – mild and moderate.
The first compression level is typically meant as prevention, so virtually anybody can wear these compression stockings to improve blood circulation. They will help you reduce the ankle and leg swelling, minimize the pain and provide some relief during a long day at work sitting or standing. They are also very important during pregnancy as they prevent varicose and spider vein formation. If you’re traveling long-distance, mild compression will keep your legs energized and blood properly circulating.
The second compression level still functions as prevention of various vein-related disorders and it’s much more effective than mild compression. Moderate compression is also the right option if you’re already experiencing some minor varicose or spider veins – it will relieve the symptoms and slow down the formation process. On a long-haul flight, this level of compression should be effective in preventing blood clot formation and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If you had problems with varicose veins before you became pregnant, you should definitely consider moderate compression during the pregnancy to avoid leg swelling and pain.
Remember that the compression level needs to be discussed with a medical professional who knows the condition of your veins and who can give you the most qualified advice!