Fact Sheet For Understanding Compression Stockings What are compression stockings? Snug-fitting, stretchy socks that gently squeeze your leg with graduated compression or pressure. They will be tighter around your ankle and get looser as they sit up higher on your leg. Knee high Who should wear compression stockings? Recommended for anyone who has venous disease (abnormal circulatory condition), Lymphoedema, spends time sitting, standing or in a sedentary position including people who have difficulty moving their legs. Compression stockings should be worn with caution for people with: • skin infections • weeping wounds • allergies to garment fabric Thigh high • impaired sensitivity of the limb • immobility (confined to bed) Waist high Why wear compression stockings? Compression stockings improve blood flow by helping to prevent pain, swelling or build-up of fluid in your legs. They can also lower the chances of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and other circulation problems. What is mmHG? mmHG stands for millimetres of mercury and is the level of pressure or compression of the stocking, usually expressed as a number range. There are 4 main compression levels: • 8-15 mmHG [Mild Compression] • 15-20 mmHG [Moderate Compression] • 20-30 mmHG [Firm Compression] • 30-40 mmHG [Extra Firm Compression] The higher the numbers, the higher the compression. The amount of pressure at the top of the stocking is the lower number in the mmHG range, while the higher number is the amount of pressure at the foot of the stocking. Stockings with higher levels of compression (20-30mmHG to 30-40mmHG) will need a prescription from a doctor. Where can you buy stockings from? Independence Australia stocks hundreds of options for compression stockings online at store.independenceaustralia.com. Tips & Advice • Stockings should feel snug, but not painfully tight. They need to be firm fitting to do their job and so they may feel tight at first. • It is normal for stockings to be pulled up or repositioned a few times a day. • Open-toe stockings are often easier to get on and off but are otherwise the same. • Stockings need to be replaced every 3 to 6 months, or when they start to sag or become loose. • Compression stockings should be worn even during hot summer months, when legs need the support more than ever. • Handwash gently in warm water with a mild soap or detergent, or in a clothes bag on a gentle machine cycle. Do not use bleach, fabric softeners or hot water. • Before reordering replacements, remeasure legs and if measurements are greater or less than 3cm from original measurement, you may need a new size. To access a wide range of compression stockings, you can visit store.independenceaustralia.com for quick and reliable home delivery © Independence Australia Group 2020. No part of this information may be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner without permission.