Important Terms to Know for Compression Stockings

If you are new to compression socks or stockings, you'll most likely run across some unfamiliar terminology while shopping for them. In order to assist you in your quest for the right compression stockings or socks, the following is a look at some of the terms you may need to know.

Compression stockings, compression socks, support stockings, support hosiery – What's the Difference?

There are many different terms for compression stockings, but for the most part, they all mean the same thing: Compression Stockings.

More important terms to know related to compression stockings:

Donning gloves: These are specially designed gloves to help you put on your compression stockings. They help you grip and pull on your compression stockings without damaging them. To "don" means to put on. So Donning gloves, are gloves that help you put on your compression stockings.

Edema: Edema is an abnormal accumulation of bodily fluid beneath the skin that produces swelling. Medi compression garments can be used to help treat edema, as they discourage the accumulation of fluid.

Graduated compression: Also referred to as gradient compression, this term describes the changing level of compression provided to the leg by one set of compression socks or stockings. By design, compression garments provide higher levels of compression at the ankle of the garment and less compression as you move up the leg to encourage blood flow from the bottom of the body back up toward the heart.

mmHg: This stands for millimeters of mercury (Hg) and designates the amount of pressure exerted on the body by a pair of compression stockings.

Thrombosis: Thrombosis is a medical condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein, adheres to the vein walls and blocks the flow of blood. The term thrombus is synonymous with blood clot. Thrombosis can be especially dangerous because the clot can dislodge and cause serious problems in the heart or lungs.

Varicose veins: This term refers to distended, swollen and/or inflamed veins caused by venous weakness, disorders or even disease. Compression socks can help prevent and minimize varicose veins in the legs.

Lymphedema: Swelling caused by the accumulation of lymph fluid in the tissues (usually arms, legs and feet).