Treatment alterations for venous diseases
It is a common misnomer to call medical compression stockings “support stockings,” but they are not synonymous.
Medical compression garments are medical devices that a doctor or clinician prescribes if a patient exhibits the necessary indications for treatment. Patients are then measured for either an off-the-shelf compression stocking or a made-to-measure compression stocking.
Veins ensure the return flow of blood back to the heart. Venous valves within the veins function, like non-return valves, which allow the blood to flow in only one direction, namely in the direction of the heart, and thus prevent blood pooling in the legs. A lack of exercise and too much standing or sitting places considerable pressure on the venous system for many hours of the day.
If the calf’s muscle pump does not adequately support the return transport of the blood, the veins widen and the venous valves no longer close properly. Legs grow tired and heavy as a result, which can show in the swelling of the legs and socks or shoes cutting into the skin. Spider veins, varicose veins, or leg ulcers may develop later.
Why medical compression stockings – guaranteed medical efficacy
Since humans stand erect, the venous pressure is highest in the ankle/foot region (distally). The lower third of the calf is therefore particularly at risk of pathological disorders. Medical compression stockings have a degressive pressure gradient where the pressure decreases from a distal (ankle/foot) to proximal (thigh) direction, as this complies with the medical requirements for compression therapy. Thus, the pressure exerted by compression stockings must be particularly high in the calf region. By contrast, the pressure gradient must be relieved in the pit of the knee to prevent constriction of the superficial vein. The pressure gradient decreases steadily from 100% at the ankle to 40% at the thigh.
The pressure exerted at the ankle defines the classification of medical compression garments in the four available compression classes offered.
Why support stockings are not medical compression garments
As a rule, support stockings do not have a diminishing pressure gradient, which means that blood can still pool in the legs, and venous diseases can still develop if the symptoms are not relieved.
The stocking size is normally determined by shoe size. Since support stockings are not prescribed, they are best suited for those without any previous venous problems. They are not a clinical medical product.
Compression therapy for patients with edema
Those with venous system impairment have vein pressure that rises, causing watery blood components to leak into the tissues, the ankles and can cause legs to swell up. The edema patient’s impaired lymphatic system has to work even harder to transport the fluid in the tissues back to the heart.
To ensure the best possible support to maintain the results of lymphatic drainage, mediven® flat-knit compression garments are worn regularly to ensure efficacy.
In summer, swelling and water accumulation are a greater risk. At high temperatures, the superficial veins widen so that blood can release more heat through the increased surface area to cool the body down.
Compression garments prevent the progression of CVI
Compared with healthy individuals, patients with edema and venous ulcers have lower levels of TJ molecules [tight junction molecules] CLDN-1, CLDN-5, and protein.
Biopsies that were taken from healthy individuals and patients with edema and venous ulcers before and four weeks after compression therapy, show significantly higher levels of the TJ molecules mRNA, CLDN-1, CLDN-5, and protein after four weeks.
This is a clear indication that compression therapy overcomes these barriers, thus preventing the progression of chronic venous insufficiency that is caused by TJs*.
Patient compliance is key for successful compression therapy. mediven compression garments set the standard for patient-compliance and treatment-promoting benefits, with their high elasticity and transparency, easy handling and fashionable colors.
Compression garments improve muscle metabolism
Compression garments are beneficial for those with and without venous issues.
The results of a study with 19 marathon runners with healthy veins, who each ran a half marathon with and without compression stockings (at 20 mmHg), show – in comparison to the run without – that with compression stockings, there is:
- quicker recovery in terms of the venous refilling time
- partial restoration of the venous pump force
- running times up to 15% better than without the compression garment
The investigators’ summary: wearing compression garments improves muscle metabolism and promotes a more rapid recovery after athletic exertion**. As part of a high-compliance compression therapy, which can be achieved with the use of patient-friendly garments, such as medi® compression stockings, patients with venous disease profit from the known effects: the spontaneous improvement of symptoms and the prevention of a progressive course of the venous disease.