How to choose the right compression hosiery

In order for the product to have the maximum effect and not squeeze the vessels too much, it is important to know how to determine the size of stockings. In most cases, the attending physician measures the patient’s foot in four places and indicates the data obtained in the prescription with which the patient should come to buy. In this case, the corresponding measurements can be carried out independently. The experts of the Pantry Health will tell you how to take measurements correctly and will select the perfect pair of tights for you.

It is important to know for what purpose products are selected. In addition to conventional compression tights, there are anti-embolic ones. They are worn on the patient during surgery.

It is also necessary to determine the compression class (the higher the class, the stronger the stocking material compresses the vessels):

the first is used for the prevention of varicose veins during pregnancy, with a sedentary lifestyle;

the second is used to treat varicose veins and thrombophlebitis;

the third is prescribed for patients with severe venous insufficiency;

the fourth is prescribed to patients with lymphatic edema.

In order not to make a mistake with the choice, we recommend that you obtain a detailed consultation with a phlebologist.

The selection of compression hosiery to eliminate painful symptoms is made on the recommendation of a doctor. The specialist clarifies what type of knitwear the patient needs.

In some cases, patients are advised to use bandages rather than clothing. They are indicated after certain types of operations, damage to muscles, joints, ligaments and tendons.

The following varieties of compression underwear are distinguished:

  • Tights. Special products for pregnant women are complemented by a wide elastic belt to maintain the pelvic organs. Men put on medical tights with varicocele, hydrocele and torsion of the testicle.
  • Stockings . They help to prevent pathologies of the venous system. Used at the stage of rehabilitation after surgery on the lower extremities. Stockings are recommended for women with adverse heredity when wearing shoes with heels above 4 cm.
  • Golfs and leggings. They are used after operations and injuries, during long trips, with serious physical exertion.
  • Sleeves and gloves. Their wearing is indicated for upper limb lipodema with swelling of the hand, postoperative and post-traumatic edema of the hands, after burns and operations. Knitwear prevents the formation of hypertrophic keloid scars. Products can have an elongated structure, shoulder pads, webbing, straps.

A wide range of compression hosiery is on sale. There are models with patterns, lace cuffs. Manufacturers produce linen of various colors, there are winter and summer options.

Wrong choice of compression hosiery can complicate the course of the disease. The search for a compression class 1-3 product must be done strictly according to a doctor’s prescription. The doctor determines the appropriate degree of pressure.

Inspect the laundry before purchasing. On the packaging it must be confirmed that the product meets the quality standard RAL-GZ 387. There should be no bulging seams or defects on the tights.

Changing stockings with a pressing effect is necessary every six months. After 6 months from the start of wearing, their medical properties are weakened.

The selection of the size of the compression hosiery is carried out by individual standards (hip circumference, lower leg in the widest and narrowest part). It is better to take measurements in the morning until there are noticeable edema. It is advisable to apply plastic tape without getting out of bed. It is important to ensure that the tape does not twist and snug against the surface of the skin.

Manufacturers of linen offer compression knitwear selection tables that allow you to set the appropriate size for the items. With non-standard forms of limbs, custom-made tights are possible.

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The main thing is that the suit is sitting

Do not neglect the recommendations of the seller, who before the purchase offers to try on. The fact is that it is the correctly chosen size of linen that determines the effectiveness of using a sports uniform. There are compression clothing for training women, men and children, and among themselves, in addition to size, it also differs in class.

Indications and contraindications

As for everyday wear, it is better for a beginner to forget about the existence of miraculous compression clothing. Again, the lack of movement will immediately block the cardiovascular system. Overweight people should not trust their life with advertising and the recommendations of trainers – often the compressive form does them harm rather than good. Therefore, before buying, it is better to consult a doctor.

Compression clothing for training will not work for beginners who have a problem with clogged veins, blood clots and heart arrhythmias. Yes, the compression of the skin and muscles helps to restore internal pressure in the circulatory system, however, these diseases just require an increase in the diameter of the vessels.

Compression or treatment sleeve – a type of medical underwear made of synthetic fabric that exerts controlled pressure while wearing. It differs in length, that is, a compression gradient is created. Often, the inside of the product has a relief, therefore, in addition to the decongestant function, it gives the effect of massage and lymphatic drainage.

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Indications for use of the compression sleeve are:

  • severe swelling of the upper limbs;
  • lymphostatus;
  • varicose veins in the upper limbs;
  • recovery after excision of the lymph nodes or vessels of the upper body;
  • recovery after mastectomy;
  • lymphovenous insufficiency.

Despite the effectiveness and convenience, compression jerseys can not be worn by everyone, among the contraindications to their use are:

  • arthritis of the joints of the arm;
  • diabetes;
  • dermatitis of various etiologies;
  • pressure sores, ulcers and other skin pathologies;
  • diseases of the heart and blood vessels associated with changes in blood pressure;
  • hypersensitivity and severe allergic reactions to synthetic materials;
  • atherosclerosis.

Market of actual accessories

Compression sportswear is quite common on store shelves: t-shirts, pants, shorts, socks, elbow pads and knee pads – which is not available on the market to satisfy customers. It confuses only the price, which, at first glance, is overstated several times in comparison with similar products that do not have compression qualities.

It is logical to assume that a compression t-shirt and pants can be considered the best purchase, because they completely envelop the athlete’s body. Yes, this is a fact, but many other questions arise, because all athletes have different loads, which means that the approach to buying should be individual. Pants with socks are for runners, T-shirts are for weightlifters, and shorts are useful for fitness.

Compression ratio selection

Specialized underwear varies in degree of therapeutic pressure. Depending on the compression class, it is divided into:

  • Prophylactic. Wearing it does not require recommendations from a doctor. Provides a mild medical effect, it is used in the absence of serious pathologies of the veins. Use during travel, long flights, trips in the car, for sports. Products with a slight degree of compression support health when overweight, uncomplicated diabetes mellitus, periodic swelling of the legs, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy and childbirth, hereditary risks.
  • 1st class of compression. They are worn as prescribed by the doctor at the first manifestations of varicose veins, severe tiredness and swelling of the legs in the evening. Compression products are recommended for representatives of professions that require a long stay in one position.
  • 2nd class of compression. They are used as prescribed by the phlebologist after surgical operations on the vessels of the lower extremities, as well as women who have suffered from complications after a severe pregnancy.
  • 3rd class of compression. Prescribed to patients with severe forms of varicose veins, venous shunts, valve aplasia, impaired lymphatic outflow and post-thrombotic diseases.

Medical underwear, there are 4 types of compression:

  • light, up to 23-24 mm RT. st .;
  • average, up to 35 mm RT. st .;
  • high, up to 45 mm RT. st .;
  • very high, over 50 mm Hg. Art.

When choosing a sleeve according to the pressure force, the doctor takes into account the patient’s disease, related symptoms, limb size and other factors. They use light compression underwear after a mastectomy, to prevent edema with a predisposition to them, as well as after a series of operations during the rehabilitation period, so that the patient can safely perform household chores and work.

In case of postoperative or traumatic lymphoderma, varicose veins of the upper limb, thrombophlebitis, keloid scars, medium compression clothes are used. Knitwear with lymphostasis, lymphovenous insufficiency should exert high pressure, since edema is formed intensively.

Medical underwear with a very high degree of compression is used in case of severe pathologies of the lymphatic system, it is prescribed only when other types of sleeves do not help. It has time limits for use, it is made to order.

Substitution of concepts

In just a few years, Adidas compression clothing for training managed to attract the attention of potential buyers. And this is understandable – a serious brand has created a popular sports uniform, which, in comparison with the usual clothes of the manufacturer, has an affordable cost and a beautiful appearance. What more do demanding customers need?

It confuses only the detailed description of compression products, which is available on the manufacturer’s official website – in addition to compressive properties, clothing can remove moisture, keeping the temperature of the human body within normal limits. These are the properties of thermal underwear. And if you familiarize yourself with all the products of the manufacturer, the buyer will see that the same product can be offered under the guise of both compression clothing and thermal underwear. Here it is up to the buyer to decide whether to trust his health to such a universal product.

Lineup: how to choose what to look for

In order for the medical underwear to bring health benefits, and not to aggravate the well-being of the patient, it must be correctly chosen together with the attending physician. After selecting the degree of compression, it is necessary to determine the design of the sleeve:

  • classic sleeve;
  • with a glove;
  • with a shoulder pad;
  • with silicone retainer;
  • combined sleeve with a shoulder pad and a glove.

For example, a compression sleeve after a mastectomy should have a design with fixation on the shoulder, with lymphostasis, a combined form is often used that exerts pressure on the wrist, arm and shoulders.

Necessary measurements

How to choose the compression sleeve for lymphostasis and other pathologies in size? To do this, take measurements:

  • arm length from hand to shoulder;
  • brush circumference;
  • forearm circumference;
  • shoulder circumference.

A properly sized sleeve should exert pressure, but it does not give the patient tangible discomfort, the limb during wear should not go numb, change skin color.

Top (sconces)

A sports top is an alternative to a regular bra for training. The top is designed to reliably support the breast and helps to avoid unpleasant consequences in the form of stretch marks, sagging and excessive mobility of the mammary glands.

Compression tops come in two forms:

  • Normal – looks like a sconce with a wide reliable elastic band under the chest and wide straps that can be adjusted. The cups are absent, the chest is pulled using a dense two-layer material. Suitable for intensive sports for owners of breasts of size A and B. For athletes with a large size, such a top is only suitable for low-intensity training.
  • With encapsulation, this is a closed-type top made of compression fabric with individual cups and the ability to adjust the straps. It is recommended for owners of large breasts, but is suitable for girls and with small parameters. Convenient design provides maximum support for breasts during long-term running, jumping and other sports with an intense load.
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Side step

Fans of the Nike team who wish to purchase compressive underwear for sports should also not relax. A well-known brand, trying to defeat competitors, created the same versatile products that can improve blood circulation, remove moisture and retain heat. Naturally, all the necessary qualities are intertwined with style, comfortable socks and external beauty.

Nike compression training clothing is touted by many well-known athletes who recommend the use of compression underwear in training and competition. But for some reason they themselves purchase completely different Nike products. The conclusion is obvious – do not blindly believe in advertising, you need to learn to distinguish truth from myths that are imposed by manufacturers.


Consider the most popular brands:

  • Sigvaris and Mediven are the most popular medical knitwear companies recognized by doctors around the world. With their use, foreign and domestic studies were carried out, confirming the effectiveness and quality. The first company is Swiss, and the second is German, both of them belong to the premium segment, linen prices range from 50-120 euros. The cost is due to the high quality of materials, construction, as well as imports, company status, research costs and other factors.
  • Tonus Elast and Varitex belong to the middle price segment, the compression sleeves of this Latvian and Turkish company will cost the patient 2-4 thousand rubles. The price reduction is due to the lack of research on the effectiveness of linen, lower quality of the material, as well as lower import costs.
  • Mueller and Rehband are representatives of budget companies in knitted medical underwear, a therapeutic sleeve will cost the patient 600–2500 rubles. You need to understand that the linen intended for treatment is made from expensive synthetic fabrics, so it can’t be cheap. Doctors often prescribe the sleeves of these companies in order to prevent edema.

Not everything is as bad as it seems

Adidas, Nike, 2XU, Venum, Under Armor, Bad Boy and other, no less well-known world brands have in their arsenal specific accessories for sports, which includes compression clothing for training. Reviews of athletes regarding the products of these manufacturers simply do not contain a negative.

The same Adidas and Nike are represented on the market by very effective shorts and bandages with a high degree of compression. And about any conservation of heat or removal of fluid in the description of the products is no longer a speech. A completely different market dictates its own conditions – to maintain the health of an athlete is the main task. Reviews of manufacturers of compression clothing in this class do not contain advertising. In most cases, this is more of a recommendation by professionals to beginners about the correct preparation for training and competition.

Terms of use and care

When using compression hoses, several rules must be observed. Firstly, it is necessary to wear it after sleep, without getting out of bed. The linen is gathered in an accordion through which a hand is pushed and the fabric is distributed over its surface. Secondly, before going to bed, the sleeve must be removed, not stretched and folded carefully.

You can only wash clothes with your hands, as the machine will ruin the knitwear. The temperature of the washing water should be 25-30 ºC. As a soaping agent, it is better to choose baby shampoo and similar non-aggressive agents. The spin should be careful, after that the sleeve must be laid out evenly on a towel until it dries, ironing is not allowed.

With daily wear and proper care, the compression hosiery retains its healing functions for 9-12 months, after which the material begins to wear out and it is necessary to repeat the purchase.

The compression sleeve helps to avoid the appearance of edema in various pathologies of the lymphatic system or during the rehabilitation period after a series of surgical interventions, and is also used to treat fluid stagnation in tissues. The choice of medical underwear should be carried out together with the doctor, since there are different compression strengths, designs and size models.

Transition between faces

It is quite obvious that a novice athlete will have the opinion that only professional athletes need compression clothing for training. This is partly true, because between the loads of beginners and real athletes there is a real abyss. But only a large number of novice athletes turn to doctors for medical help, and only a few from among professionals. And the point here is not modesty.

The blame for the unprepared body for beginners. Any excess load leads to dislocation of the joint, stretching or damage to the capillaries of the cardiovascular system. Naturally, compression clothes for sports will help to avoid such troubles. There is an alternative – just reduce the load.

Outdoor activities have a place to be

It is time to destroy stereotypes regarding the belonging of specific clothes to the world of big sport. For people with health problems, compression clothing for training is a must in everyday life. Cycling, hiking and hiking also require close attention to both the circulatory system and muscles with ligaments.

Recently, very attractive compression products have appeared on the market of sports accessories – a beautiful appearance attracts the attention of a potential buyer. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people who are far from sports are interested in new products. There is only one advice to buyers – to focus on a larger size, avoiding severe compression of the skin, muscles and joints. We must never forget that there should never be a choice between beauty and health.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.