The cardiovascular system is composed of the heart and blood vessels.
There are three main types of blood vessels:
● The arteries
● lymphatic vessels
Today we will focus on veins and lymphatics. These blood vessels are composed of smooth walls and valves. They are surrounded by muscles, which
squeeze the blood vessel walls and help move the blood back to the heart and lungs to allow for cellular exchanges.
When the walls of the vessels weaken as well as the muscles are not strong, the liquids tend to pool in the lower extremity. The overload and weakening of the walls will bring problems.
What are the pathologies associated with the venous and lymphatic networks?
The two most common pathologies are varicose veins and lymphoedema.
Varicose veins are dilated veins, they undergo an increase in diameter, causing the blood to pool.
lymphoedema is the abnormal accumulation of lymph in the limb.
These pathologies lead us today to talk to you about compression socks.
What are compression socks?
It is a sock that will produce a graduated compression, thanks to the materials composing it. It is an invention of Mr Jobst, who himself suffered from venous insufficiency. He based his
reflection on the mechanism that brought him relief when he was in the pool. Since pressure is stronger at the bottom of the pool, it helped the lower limb blood vessels circulation to flow back towards the heart.
Who may benefit from compression socks/ stockings?
They are recommended for people with venous or lymphatic insufficiencies. These socks can not only help in the treatment of lower leg swelling but can also help prevent you from ever developing these issues. It may be good for workers who are in the same position for extended periods of time (sitting/standing), diabetics, pregnant women, people who fly alot or who work on airplanes.
In certain situations it is not recommended to put some, there are contra-indications:
– Ischemia / advanced arterial disease
– Congestive heart failure
– Septic phlebitis
There is another case, which must be considered more as a precaution microangiopathy related to diabetes because it requires medical supervision.
How to obtain a compression socks?
You can consult your doctor, so that he can examine you and prescribe the stockings if he judges necessary.
If you would like to wear these socks as a prevention and hence require less than 20mmHg of pressure, you can ask your physiotherapist to prescribe one.
I invite you to come meet us at AMS, our physiotherapists can guide you.