In last week’s post I shared with you how working through your breaks affects your health. At the end of that blog, I promised to share a personal experience. Here it is…
I’ve had a slew of doctor appointments to find out why I’ve experienced swelling in one of my legs for no apparent reason. I had not experienced an injury, I was averaging walking three miles per day, I eat fairly healthy – as in no restaurant meals unless I’m working on the road – and I eat my veggies daily.
I discovered that the veins in my legs were no longer circulating blood back to my heart at the rate they’re supposed to. What?!?! How could this happen if I’m getting in my mileage and eating healthy and drinking my 64 ounces+ of water each day?!?!?
Apparently, my condition can be caused by:
*years of sitting at a desk every day
*years of standing for hours at a time every day
*frequent longer flights without moving around the cabin
*getting older (sheesh!)
*not moving around enough throughout the day
*medical or biological conditions
The doctors couldn’t pinpoint the exact reason this happened, but they’re guessing that with the onset of COVID and my work (like most people) shifting from 20% virtual to 100% virtual (still 65% virtual today), I spent more time at a desk in the last three years than ever before. They also hypothesize that my knees in my sitting position were at a more acute angle than an ergonomically correct 90 degrees, which could have diminished circulation. Also, even though I averaged a healthy overall total of daily walking mileage, it most likely occurred in large chunks instead of spread throughout the day.
There are some medical procedures I can undergo, but the first rung on the medical solution ladder is wearing compression socks all day, every day. I had been wearing them on flights for several years, but now my “prescription” is to wear full stockings daily.
If you’re in the market for compression socks because your doctors have suggested you start wearing them, or you’d like to wear them for prevention, here’s a helpful chart from Truform to help you figure out which compression strength you need:
So far, I’ve tested out four different brands of thigh highs and full hose.
Full hose – Absolute Support was the only brand that never sagged, at the correct compression (some on Amazon were not at the levels they were marked as) and came in sheer (which looks like regular panty hose instead of medical stockings).
I got them for less here: https://www.discountsurgical.com/abso-a207/ (yeah, shady domain name, but they delivered quickly)
Thigh highs – The Dynaven brand felt the best (https://amzn.to/3ZeURWp), but don’t appear to come in sheer. My doctor’s office sells these for half the price of Amazon, so I’ll get a couple of these to wear under pants when I won’t get much movement. Runner up at a lower price point is Truform (https://amzn.to/3LSRLob). These were my front runner until Dynaven knocked them to second place. The Truform will be my go-to on “more movement” days.
Compression Strength – There is a definite difference in the level of tightness and, therefore, massage for circulation, so pay attention to the strength. If your doctor hasn’t given you guidelines, use Truform’s chart above as a starting reference.
Size – As with many things in life, size does matter. I wear three different sizes, depending on the brand’s size chart. You’ll need your measurements for your ankle, calf and thigh. I keep these handy on a document so I can pull them up when needed to place an order.
Length – Medical compression hosiery comes in socks (to the knees), thigh highs and full pantyhose. Your doctor will advise you on whether you need socks or thigh highs. Thigh highs are much cooler in South Texas heat, but they also show rolls where you never knew you had any if your skirt or pants are a little snug or if you’re giving a presentation and the light shines on you just right. I wear full pantyhose when I present my workshops.
Dot Bands – Most socks will stay up on their own if they have decent elastic. Thigh highs are a totally different animal. I’ve found that those with a Dot Band stay up better and don’t irritate the skin.
Colors – There’s quite a variety of colors and patterns in compression socks. There’s very little choice when it comes to medical compression thigh highs and pantyhose. It’s pretty much light beige, dark beige or black. I wear sheer (more expensive and harder to find) with capris and loose dresses and opaque (totally look like medical hose) with pants.
Good luck with your compression socks and hose!
For more productivity strategies and tips whether you sit or stand all day at work, take a look at The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer.