Compression stockings, socks and hosiery are medical grade legwear used to constrict the legs, ankles and feet. Pressure applied to skin with special elastic bands promotes circulation to help blood flow more efficiently from the feet back to the heart. This process helps to relieve tired, aching legs and treat more serious venous conditions such as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT (which can lead to pulmonary embolism), phlebitis (inflammation) and lymphedema (swelling). Compression garments are also appropriate for treatment of spider veins, varicose veins and circulatory issues in pregnancy.
There are two major types of compression therapy garments: gradient (graduated) and anti-embolism. Compression-style legwear is measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Compression levels vary from mild to extra firm to treat various venous medical conditions and diseases.
Graduated compression stockings and socks are intended for use by individuals who can walk, i.e., are mobile. They are ideal for people who sit or stand for long periods throughout the day to help restore and rejuvenate aching, tired legs. Learn more about graduated compression pressure levels >>
Today's gradient compression wear is made for men and women in various styles, colors, lengths and sizes. Jobst ribbed men's dress socks are designed to look and feel like a regular dress sock and offer mild to moderate compression with seamless comfort. Athletic-style support socks also designed to relieve diabetes symptoms can be worn comfortably during exercise. Women's ultra sheer pantyhose made of nylon and spandex are flattering under casual or dressy clothing for all-day comfort and leg health.
Useful compression accessories, such as a deluxe sock and stocking aid or a stocking donner, can help those with limited mobility put on compression legwear more easily at home.