Compression stockings are not your old school ugly looking, super tight, thick stocking your grandmother's mother wore. These days, they're made of modern fabrics and threads knit using the newest technology.
Compression stockings applying graduated pressure to your legs, preventing the build up of swelling and pooling of blood and fluids in your legs. What's graduated compression you say? (It's compression with a PhD *bad joke*) Graduated compression is when compression is applied when it's stronger at your ankles and get lighter as you move up towards the top of the stocking. Not all "compression stockings" are graduated. Being graduated is very important if compression stockings are to be effective.
So why do we need compression stockings?
Blood returning from your legs must overcome gravity to return to the heart and lungs, where it is re-oxygenated and travels to the brain, vital organs and the rest of the body. Your circulation gets worse when you sit at your desk or stand around all day. Circulation also is affected when you travel, like on a plane or if you're sitting in a car or train for a long period of time. Injuries, surgery, pregnancy and other conditions also affect your ability to maintain healthy circulation in your legs.
Aging is also a common reason for having poor circulation. Like all things, your veins also wear out over time because gravity pulls blood and fluids down to your ankles and feet.
It is a common problem in our modern world when long flights, desk jobs and long standing jobs are a part of everyday life. Problems that could arise from poor circulation may include, aching, swelling, stiffness and weakness in the legs and feet. These signals can become more serious in some individuals and develop into varicose veins or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
Compression stockings boost your circulation and helps support your veins. Increased blood flow in your veins means more oxygen and nutrients flowing to your legs.