Compression Stockings & Pantyhose.

2_-_Compression_Sock_illustrationCompression and support socks or stockings can be a girl or man’s best friend when you are trying to slow or prevent the appearance of spider and varicose veins.

Keeping you legs healthy is important.

There are the obvious things, such as not sitting too long, keeping your weight down and elevating your legs whenever you can. The most important thing is leg exercises, to improve the circulation, such as swimming, walking, biking and yoga. Second to that is the wearing of compression socks and stockings. They improve venous circulation to prevent and treat venous problems.

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged, prominent veins usually found on the ankles and lower legs. They tend to get worse when you are on your feet for a long time, because of blood pooling in the veins, causing them to enlarge. Varicose veins do not always need to be treated.

For maximum protection against new appearances, worsening or reappearance of spider and varicose veins, the wearing of compression or support stockings is simply not a choice but a must. One of the very best things you can do when you rise each morning is put on your graduated compression or support socks or stockings and wear them as much as you can.

Deep vein thrombosis and air travel

Blood clots are formed when your blood stops moving. If a clot forms in the deep veins of the legs, it is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). These clots can dislodge and travel through your blood circulation to cause a blockage in the tiny vessels of your heart or lungs.

Air, or even road, travel of more than 2 hours increases the risk DVT. Normal movement of the calf muscles when walking helps to pump blood from the legs to the heart, but this doesn’t happen when you sit still for long periods, making clots more likely to form.

Air travel can triple your risk of DVT. It is important to realize it is not only long-distance air travel or flying economy class that puts people at risk of DVT. Sitting in one position for too long is a major factor and this can also occur during long journeys by

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VR-Florence

Compression Socks and Tights Are No Longer for Grandma

Support stockings

Graduated compression support stockings, helps to improve blood to flow from the lower legs towards the heart. Support stockings are tightest at the ankle and become gradually less tight as they go up the leg, thereby helping to move blood gently up your legs and prevents it from pooling. Compression stockings are classified into three different grades: Class 1: 15-20 mmHg (light), Class 2: 20-30 mmHg (moderate), Class 3: 30-40 mmHg (extra firm) and Class 4 (above 59 mmHg)

Class 1 compression is recommended for people with tired aching legs, mild varicose or spider veins, mild ankle swelling, and to prevent ankles and feet swelling during long flights. For these mild symptoms, you need to wear regular support panty hose or knee-highs that end just above the calf and below the knee. That will help prevent swelling and aching significantly. Avoid socks with elastic bands, they can cut off the blood flow and may make varicose veins worse.

Class 2 compression is used for people with moderate to severe varicose veins with pronounced ankle swelling. These are becoming very popular among athletes. Especially runners and cyclists.

Class 3 and 4 compression is used for people with severe varicose veins or ankle swelling, active leg ulcers. They are usually obtained on prescription by a doctor.

TED (thromboembolism-deterrent hose) stockings are prescribed by doctors and used in the hospital setting. They should not be used to treat or prevent varicose veins or as travel socks.

Effects of Compression

It increases venous blood flow while decreasing the venous blood volume. It also reduces blood reflux in diseased superficial and/or deep veins.There is also a reduction of the abnormally elevated venous pressure.

By improving the circulation it reduces an elevated oedema of the tissue and thereby increases the drainage of noxious substances. The improved circulation in turn reduces inflammation, speeds up repair processes and improves movement of tendons and joints.

Stockings should be apply before swelling builds in the legs. Cyclists wear them mainly before and after the cycling events. It seems that there is then much less muscle ache after the cycling, or running, event.

 

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Real Men wearing Pantyhose?

Both men and women have very similar types of legs and males as well as females suffer from the same types of venous problems in their legs.  Most women are comfortable wearing compression stockings or pantyhose. Men often also need the support of these leg garments. There are just no good or logical reasons why men should not wear support stockings or pantyhose too, to keep their legs healthy.

Most men, however have difficulty with the idea of wearing stockings,until, they have experience the relief it brings to the discomfort and painful symptoms.

 

17og8l4q9r09xjpgAthletes wearing compression socks.

Recently in road races, the wearing of extremely long compression socks are becoming more popular everywhere. It seems that in recent years the idea of wearing compression socks when running or after running has become very popular.

 

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Blood Flow
In theory the compression of the lower leg increases the blood flow. Due to gravity, blood tends to pool in the lower legs. This can occur both during exercise or at rest. By increasing venous blood flow, more by-products such as lactic acid can be flushed out faster. That should improve performance. As far as the recovery after a race, the idea is similar.

Muscle Vibration
When we run, and strike the ground, the impact causes the muscles and tendons of the lower leg to vibrate. It’s thought that this vibration could play a roll in the delayed muscle soreness after the event. So, in theory, the wearing of compression socks should improve the efficiency of the muscles.

Long and triple jumpers have been wearing compression socks for some time now. It seems that they are not doing this for blood flow reasons, but the compression socks may improve their leg power. It is theorized that this might decrease the muscle vibration and increase the proprioception.

It seems that for athletes (runners and cyclists), it makes no difference to their performance, but, it does seem to help for muscle soreness after the race.

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It was found that a graduated compression was better, meaning more compression at the bottom near the ankle and less as it goes up towards the knee. The amount of compression is also important. It was found that 20mmHg at the ankle improved blood flow, while 30mmHg restricted blood flow at rest.

 

The science behind this.

“Wearing compression improved symptom management but wearing compression to slow the progression, or prevent the reoccurrence of varicose veins could not be supported by the current published evidence”. (Phlebology 2009;24 Suppl1:13)

A randomised, crossover, open-label study of the effectiveness of Skins – Travel and recovery garments in reducing in-flight ankle oedema. Hagan, M., Lambert, S. (2008). A randomised, crossover, open-label study of the effectiveness of SkinsTM – Travel and recovery garments in reducing in-flight ankle oedema. Medical Journal of Australia, 188(2), 81-84.

This prospective study measured 50 passengers on flights of greater than 5 hours. The measurements were conducted on both the outgoing and return flights for each passenger – one wearing Skins and one not wearing Skins. The results showed statistically significant differences in ankle circumference and symptoms of Economy Class Syndrome. The results showed that participants wearing gradient compression garments (Skins) during air travel experienced a 55% decrease in ankle swelling, 58% improvement in leg pain, 52% improvement in leg discomfort, 13% demonstrated improvement in alertness, 9% improvement in concentration, 14% improvements in energy levels, Improvements in fluid retention and improved post flight sleep, Significant reductions in flight oedema were evident and observed whilst wearing Skins CG.

Therefore, the wearing of leg support stockings when flying, seems to be a no brainer and a must for every passenger.

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Which brand?

There are many brands of compression stockings/socks.

For Class 1 you can just buy tight fitting “leg support” over the counter knee-highs or pantyhose.

Class 2 is the most common type worn by athletes and can be bought from many sports shops.

Class 3  can also be bought from sports and medical suppliers.

Class 4 Graduated Compression Stockings (above 59 mmHg) provide very strong compression and are usually intended for very severe conditions of the venous system as determined and recommended by the findings of a physician or a vein specialist.

For for class 3 & 4 you need to be more accurate on the sizing and it is important to measure tour ankles and legs accurately before buying them, to be certain that you wear the ideal size.

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You shouldn’t be exercising to lose weight

 

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Exercising in the gym, has less to do with weight loss than what we are told and probably think.

But, don’t get me wrong. Physical activity is good and essential for our well being. We absolutely have to exercise regularly! Over time, what we need has been perverted and drifted to where the business interests and return profits lie. Or, in many instance just because of plain ignorance of the general public.

I have always maintained that we are being misinformed and misled through “excellent” advertising and marketing by the large food companies. What we need for weight loss …. is, “look at what and when you eat”. It has nothing to do with exercise and the relative few calories that you burn doing exercise is not going to make you lose weight.  We should be counting carbohydrates, not calories. Calories are made and burnt as part of our normal physiological existence. We can’t live without it. Carbohydrates however, is a different kettle of fish. We don’t have to actively consume carbohydrates. There are good and bad carbs. The bad ones we can easily avoid.  As a rule of thumb …. bad carbs are anything that comes out of a packet or box or has been processed in some or other way. We absolutely do need protein in our diets, no one argues about that. So, if you follow a “diet” consisting of mainly protein with added salads, fruit and veggies, then you will automatically consume more than enough good carbs.

I also thoroughly dislike the term “diet”.  “Diet” to me implies something abnormal that you try to adhere to in an unnatural way, that eventually will fail. Just name it the food that you habitually eat.

The crux of the matter is:

Eat what you like, BUT, try and keep it within healthy guides.

Whether you eat meat, or are a vegetarian or vegan, is totally irrelevant. But, do avoid the bad fats ( LDL ) and bad carbs. It’s essentially not carbs vs protein. it’s good vs bad carbs.

Stick to the right size portions. A portion should never be bigger than your hand,-palm or -fist. That is the size of your stomach, anything more is too much, and, NEVER take second helpings!

Avoid sugar. There is nothing healthy about any kind of sugar. That includes ALL fizzy drinks, sodas and especially bottled fruit juice. Also avoid freshly made fruit juice where the fibers have been separated and discarded in the blender. You need the fibers. A glass of “pure” fruit juice has more sugar in it than a glass of beer or wine.

Don’t snack in between. Your insulin needs to go down between meals.

I was so pleased when I read the article by by Julia Belluz and Javier Zarracina. They have the confirmed evidence.

The link follows below:

Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies – Vox

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AREDS study, unbiased?

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The AREDS study was run over a period of 10 years, involving 3,640 patents. After that followed the AREDS2 study for another 5 year period.

The results of these studies were regarded as the holy grail as far as nutritional supplements for our eyes were concerned.

However, there are more and more claims being made about the validity of many of the results, since many of the funders, patent holders and researchers might not have been as un-biased as we perceived them to be. The problem is that so much of science and research, is backed by undeclared conflicts of interest. Which, up to a point is acceptable, because someone has to fund the research. The warning flags go up when it becomes known that patents and certain conclusions were put in place long before the study was concluded and in some instances even before the study had started. Many academics raised their concerns about the validity of claims made by some manufacturers of supplements based on the outcome of the AREDS study.

The companies manufacturing the supplements are all aggressively marketing their supplement products to the not-so well informed, trusting, gullible public, because most vitamins and nutrients are not only ubiquitous in nature, they are also easily obtained from well balanced diets.  The AREDS study also showed that patients with certain genetic dispositions were harmed by some of the ingredients in the commercial formulas, such as Zinc. There is also evidence that the supplemental drinking of Vitamin E and even Vitamin C, over and above a balanced diet can be harmfull to many individuals. It seems that the AREDS research might have been poorly conducted and reported in an even worse, low scientific standard.

The herbal supplement market world-wide is huge and to a large extent un-regulated. To market herbal products, the manufacturer doesn’t have to provide proof, as with registered medicines, that the product works. Most of them get away with statements like “as used by indigenous populations” or “historically is has been said” that their product works. Then, the next big question arises. How do we know what the ingredients of the capsule or tablet is and does it contain the correct herbal species at the correct concentration? As in food products, many might not even contain any of the correct ingredients. The AREDS study was not about herbal products, but, in many instances vitamins, minerals and herbs are all grouped in the same semi- to un- regulated multi billion dollar market, in which there are many unscrupulous manufacturers.

As for eye patients, those burdened with the diagnosis of AMD, tend to clutch to every straw of hope. Many end up spending vast amounts of money on supplements, in the false hope and in some cases even the worsening of their vision as a result of over enthusiastic marketing campaigns. In many instances they could have had similar or even better results by eating well balanced meals. Or, in the least, not caused or aggravated any conditions by adhering to a healthy, well balanced diet.

 

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