How long do your compression stockings work? Most brands state they should last 6 months. Mine always start to stretch out after 2 weeks, and by 5-6 weeks, the tops of the thigh-highs are around my calves. My doctor says this is common, but the medical supply fitter says he's never heard of this. If you all have trouble too, I think we should let the companies know. It just really steams my rice for something to cost that much and perform so poorly.
I experience the same problem you are describing with your thigh-high compression stockings. I've yet to come up with a solution. Currently, I only use them about a 0-4 days per month. I can't afford to continually replace them, (although I have heard that they are covered by insurance, and plan to look into that), so I rely on hoping they will shrink between uses.
When I do purchase compression stockings, I generally buy both a pair of knee-highs and thigh-highs. The knee-highs actually last much longer, (likely because there is less stretching going on), but they don't work near as well. Have you tried the waist-high ones? I haven't myself, but I'm curious if they are any better.
I was instructed to purchase compression hose by my EP cardio and have been putting it off due the overwhelming choices / brands online. I have decided to start with knee-length and thigh length until I get used to the compression. Does anyone have any favorite brands?
1. They are convered by insurance, but only a certain number per year. Probably because they're supposed to last six months :P
2. I started with waist-high, and they just slithered down until they bunched at the knees and ankles, which completely cut off my circulation.
I have found, though, that by going a size smaller than the fitter thinks I should, they still work once they're stretched out, which means less sagging and bunching.
For Jenn: I've used Jobst, which didn't fit well and stretched. Now I have Medi thigh-highs, which fit really well for about a month til they stretch. They seem to have better sizing, and there's a petite length. I should fit normal length, and yet they're about 3 inches too long. Go figure. So far, my best have been Ames Walker. They don't take insurance, but they're much cheaper, so I fill in with those when the "quality" name brand ones die.
I use waist high, and haven't had a problem with them bunching down toward my ankles yet. However, I bet I wear them about one day a month. I tried wearing them regularly, but found it impractical. One problem I run into is that if I accidentally fall asleep with them on, I start to lose circulation in my feet.
Mine are covered by insurance (3 pairs every 6 months). AireScottie, what mmHg compression are you getting? Perhaps if your doctor ordered a different compression you wouldn't have the same problems? Mine are 30-40 mmHg graduated waist high.
I also have 30-40 compression, but I can't walk around for more than ten minutes without them, so they're on every day. I have less than 5% of my autonomic nerves left, so it's a constant battle to treat. I'd love 40-50 or 50-60 compression! When looking at my used stockings compared to new, it's obvious the used ones are much larger, which is why I'm so suspicious of the company claims of 6 months. Thanks for your thoughts :)
They do make higher levels of compression than 30-40 ... I know some people on another board that swear by them. Have you asked your doc if trying stronger compression would be appropriate? That's about the only idea I can come up with. I do know that the manufacturers sell those special cleansers of their own that supposedly help them last longer than washing them in regular soap, but I'm apt to think that's all a ploy to make money. I suppose I'd want to know if the ingredients are really different. And you're absolutely NOT supposed to wash them in Woolite for some reason--not sure why though?
There isn't much compression at the waist level, really; although some people say it helps them with abdominal pooling, mine seem pretty loose up top relative to the rest of the hose. The downside that I've found is that if I'm wearing pants over them it's a major production to use the restroom and get them pulled back up properly so they're not binding at my knees and constricting my circulation from the knee down ... you almost need to completely undress and redress every time. Which if you're fluid-loading and using the restroom a corresponding amount is a REAL pain.
I think the main reason I don't wear them is that I have so much trouble getting them on and off. Am I the only one who struggles with this?
I have trouble with the thigh-high ones. They can take me several minutes to put on. My biggest problem with them though is probably that they tend to keep me a little too warm. I'm so extremely heat sensitive.
I too would say the waist high are a real pain in the bathroom. There doesn't seem to be much compression past the leg anyway, and the waist high made me feel much more overheated than the thigh high. I'm dreading the hot weather and compression stockings, but hot weather is always when you need compression most :P Anything over 73 degrees and I start to melt. I haven't tried the cooling gel yet; maybe this summer...
New to the world of compression stockings/garments -- my husband has been stricken with a very sudden onset 'autonomic insufficiency' which is still in testing and diagnostic stage. No specific label/name yet. Scary times.
While he/we wait, he was put on the 'do it yourself/at home' prescription: compression stockings and hydration program.
Wears thigh high Mediven(sp?) all day, from getting up to going to bed. First few days, struggled with the tops falling more to knee level -- defeating the purpose of thigh-high and a real annoyance. (Hubbie has very toned and trim legs from 6 days per week workouts prior to this mystery illness attacking him.)
Found product called "Stays On" and it does! It's a roll-on gel, safe to use every day (says our local home health care center RN), he puts it on his legs around where the band tops will sit, and they remain in place all day. No matter how many times goes from sitting to standing to laying down. As he has regained some strength and balance thanks to compression stockings, he has resumed some light exercise at home -- treadmill walking and recumbent bike, plus stretching. With the gel product, stockings don't move even through that.
In the new, bewildering world of autonomic problems, without a real diagnosis yet, and absorbing these life changes and alterations, the "Stays On" product was a bit of a thrill -- one less hassle to contend with. Hope this is helpful to others.
Also, I wash his stockings nightly, in the special soap (Jolastic) and sure hope stockings last longer than 1 month. His are not covered by any insurance, and yes, they sure are expensive, that will really add up if they become worn out so quickly.
I just ordered some new waist-high compression stockings, (30-40 mmHg), this afternoon. I usually go with the thigh-high stockings, but decided to take a chance on the waist-high ones. Thank you for letting me know that they don't squash the stomach. I was quite concerned about that. :)
After Heiferly's comment, I went looking for higher compression, and it turns out you can get 40-50 or 50-60 mm from Sigvaris and Juzo. I should have mine on right now, but the company sent me knee-high instead of thigh-high. One of them makes pantyhose that compress all the way to the waist. I'll let you all know if the 40-50 are impossible to get on!
I recently got compression stockings, knee highs, sigvaris 20-30. I was told to put them on wearing vinyl gloves. The first time I tried taking them off I almost strangled my legs!
They rolled down and compressed and I was in a panic to get them off. Now I have the hang of it.
My problem is I have both low and high blood pressure. I have to be careful when and how long I wear the stockings to get the right effect. If I wear them too long my blood pressure goes too high. If I don't wear them long enough it goes too low. Of course fluid balance, activity, temperature, body position and how long I have been standing or sitting all come into account. I feel sometimes like I need a computer to sort if all out.
My insurance company will cover their portion of two pairs per six months. The place I got them said normally they last only 3-4 months. Maybe mine will last longer as I wear them only part of the day.
I raise my blood pressure also with water. Two glasses can raise it within 30 minutes.
It has been a challenge to keep it in the right range where it is low enough I won't have a stroke and it is high enough I won't faint. Going off two medications that caused skipped heartbeats helped a lot. Before that my head felt like it was being constantly inflated and deflated because of falling and raising blood pressure.
No, Medicare unequivocally does not have coverage for compression stockings, even if you have home healthcare and the attendant coverage for durable medical supplies (it's not included in their list of covered durable medical supplies despite coming from the same type of stores).
It is Medicaid that has coverage for compression stockings, provided that the patient falls under one of the diagnosis codes for which they are covered. (This means not your primary diagnosis code, per se, but the diagnosis code for the sign/symptom/disorder for which the compression stockings are being Rxed.) I'm not sure what you mean by Medicaid varying from person to person? All else being equal, (that is, if two people have the same dx code and the same rx for something), coverage is equal between patients on Medicaid. What can vary is Medicaid from state to state, but that's something that we see more significantly in terms of the application of the waiver program which is a fund-matching program where federal funds are matched by the state and each state does it differently ... at any rate that's irrelevant to the compression stocking discussion. Patients may be on "classic" medicaid vs. various third-party HMO-style medicaid providers, but either way there are certain core services that are covered by medicaid. To the best of my knowledge, compression stockings are covered for all Medicaid-insured individuals who meet the diagnostic criteria. In my state, the rules outlining this coverage can be found online (if you know where to look), but I don't think this is consistent from state-to-state in terms of what information is available online. It may be much easier just to call a durable medical supply store and ask; they generally will know what is covered if they fit and sell the stockings there.
There is a brand that you can get at Walgreens and some grocery stores called Futuro. They are really pretty inexpensive and last forever. They have knee highs and waist high. They have the thigh hi's but these require a garter.
I too love the Sigvaris. They are probably the most expensive, but seem to hold up well and fit well. I don't have any trouble with them sliding.
I also, use gloves to put on and remove the hose. They help to slide them up and down your leg. I think they probably protect the hose from over stretching also.
There is a site I order at a discount --For Your Legs. They have been very good, so far.
What level of compression are the Futuro ones? I didn't think any grocery store pharmacy or regular pharmacy chains carried Rx compression garments due to their having to be fitted by a certified professional fitter. I could be wrong about this though.
Also, as a sidenote to everyone, please talk to your doctor before getting knee-high compression. As a rule, knee high compression is not recommended for dysautonomia patients as this can lead to edema directly above the knee. (I can dig up medical journal/textbook reference for this, given enough time if someone really needs it.) However, it may be the case that this is what a particular person's doctor recommends in their case so obviously go by what YOUR doc says for YOU. Just wanted to put that out there so everyone would be aware of the general rule for dysauto treatment. (Thigh-high or waist-high are what's usually recommended.)
You're not the only one who has had a terrible time with waist high. That's one reason why even though I spent I believe over 70 bucks for one pair, I only wore them once or twice. Another is one of those foot seam lines twisted and made a deep red cutting off the circulation groove in my foot! And they weren't supposed to run easy but mine sure did!
The highest compression Futureo comes in is 20-30. But to me they feel stronger. I have had the knee highs and the panty hose in this brand. I like them both.
Sigvarius is my favorite though. But they cost 3 times more. I have the cotton ones that breathe very nice in the heat and the elegance line for dressy. I have these in the thigh highs. Love them. I recommend either brand.
Ah. Good to know there's someplace that sells them relatively cheaper for those on our site that don't have insurance coverage for them!! Thanks for that info. The URL to that site for everyone who wants it is:
I still think it's rotten that not all insurers cover these. Hello?!?! We SO *NEED* them!! That's one thing that I'm really grateful to Medicaid for--they have been really great about covering my stockings, even when I switched to custom fitted (where they make a gajillion individual measurements separately on each of your legs and literally make stockings custom to the exact fit of your own legs ... which as you can imagine, costs more).
One of the many injustices I see for patients with dysautonomia is with EVERYTHING being "off label" for us, we're constantly doing little dances with insurers trying to get coverage for things that really should be no-brainers for our disorder. I would LOVE to see something in healthcare reform to help out everyone with rare diseases. A girl can dream, can't she? :-D
Boy this is a good thread! If you have that article I would really like a reference to it concerning not wearing knee highs. My doctors were thinking start with knee highs and see how they work Well at $110/pair...^&*&*$#(! I did have problems with them as they seemed to make the vessels break on my thighs. I think the thighs also needed the support. I have not been wearing them because they also caused my BP to skyrocket. I am thinking when I am off my diovan completely and my BP is needing constant support I will wear the stockings then. It is really good to hear there are places where you don't have to break the bank to buy a pair of these. Mine were professionally fitted but I did not get any real advice as to which to pick out as far as material was concerned. I ended up with black shiny ones. Oh my. Not sure how those will be in summer. If I have the article I can pass it along to my doctors and the next time I will get thigh highs.
I saw a doctor here yesterday who saw a neurologist from Mayo lecture on POTS and said to Try Spanx. They constrict the stomach area (not the footless long leg Spanx, just what I always called suck em in undies)
I am still not sure about wearing them in Florida heat on top of trying (key word) to wear the thigh highs....gaaa
Maybe if I went to dinner?! Maybe if I could not stand the thigh highs
Maybe Maybe Maybe...sorry I am just can't seem to wear these things.
I just wanted to throw this out there for anyone.
OH also I just got a letter from the place at Mayo where you buy these things that said if you buy two pairs of stockings you get a third free during June. If you want the number let me know!
I go to the Bali Hanes outlet store and get the Barely There brand of long leg compression pants and the tank top to compress the upper body. It really makes a huge difference. I put my compression hose underneath. You can use the knee high hose if you have the pants on. They breathe pretty well. But when you add layers, your going to get hot. I like these better than the Spanx and they hold up better. They also make a thigh length that you can use with the thigh high hose.
One combination that has worked well for me is wearing the waist-high or thigh-high compressions stockings with a cooling vest so that I won't overheat. In my experience, the combination has made a far more noticeable difference than either alone.
Originally, I had thought that the compression stockings wouldn't workout for me because I am so heat sensitive, but they actually have been helpful as long as I am able to stay cool as well. If you are very heat sensitive, and the compression stockings are keeping you too warm, a cooling vest might be something to consider.
I've been using the Stacool Vest for the past year. It comes with sheets of plastic-like material that you submerge into water, then place in the freezer. In a couple of hours they turn into ice, and then fit into the pockets of the vest. I usually get about three to four hours of use before needing to swap to a new set of icepacks. (It came with two sets, so I just swap between them throughout the day.) I absolutely love it!
What exactly are compression pants? I looked at a Bali Hanes site and didn't see anything marked as such. Is this a long pant? I am just not familiar with the term...but they sound interesting...and useful!
I guess that's what I call them. It is a long legged type of girdle pants. They are not like the girdles of the 60's and 70's, but are of a spandex type material only more cottoney feeling. They have a long leg and thigh length version and have tank tops. They squish you in and help with the blood pooling. I wear them both and where I live today it's 108 degrees today. They don't roll very bad either. (Unlike some other brands.) I'm pretty hefty and that's a good selling feature for me. Hope they help you. If you go to the outlet store on line they are allot cheaper.
Sorry this took me sooooo long to find!! The part about knee highs not being appropriate is BURIED waaaay down in the article so it wasn't easy to spot and it took quite a bit of digging before I figured out that this was the article that had that part in it. Oy!
It's down in the section about non-medication treatments. Good luck! Sorry again about it taking me so long to find! At least now I'll be able to search for this thread here on MedHelp from now on and find the article whenever we need it again, LOL.
If you have any further questions, please let me know. Thanks,
I have never tried them or know someone that has, so I don't know how good they are.
Even if they don't confer the 30 mmHg that is usually advised, I thought they might be a viable alternative to compression stockings for people who can't tolerate them very well, but still would like some support.
I believe those will stay in place, should not become loose and "Antimicrobial treatment and moisture management helps you stay dry and comfortable", so they say.
If you do buy a pair, please follow the fitting guide very carefully.
I'm giving this thread a BUMP because I know a couple of you have been searching for it and haven't been able to find it. I excavated it so if people want to bookmark it in your browsers, here's your chance. I'll also link it on our "Conversational links" Health page.
(This is just for posterity though, folks. If you want to discuss this further, go ahead and do it in a newer thread and feel free to link back to this one for reference if desired. Let's let this old one end here.)
I've used 30-40mm and 40-50mm thigh-highs, and have found that how long they last--and of course how effective they are, and how comfortable and how hard/easy to put on/take off all vary greatly by brand.
But even the best brands last about the same few weeks you describe--the ones that start the strongest tend to last longer, especially one heavy-weight super-duper all-latex pair no one would wear as visible hose. And the instruction do say that skiun oils, sweat and hoe carefully you don them and yank them off all are factors in lifespan.
I;m bad about washing them avery few days, or just the feet part, and even worse about yanking them on and off. But even so, 6 months wear is a joke.
One ordering technician admitted that Jobst Releif (their bargain-brand, about 30% cheaper) doesn't compress quite as well or last as long--but he'd be fired for admitting that the lifespan is MUCH less than they say, and that the cheapies wear faster/work less well, or even that the "donning devices and techniques" are jokes, too, for most people.
I feel very sorry for fragile people who would buy and try the donning frame that supposedly helps get them over the lower leg by sliding the hose onto the frame (not easy!) and "stepping into" each one while it is on the frame. If you can get them evenly on the frame, you can get them on the leg--and easier, too. The only value in that is if putting them on is painful, which is is for me, but not unbearably so, and the point is to avoid the pain, especially if a stronger person positions them on the donning device.
Unfortunately, I can say as a patient, and as someone who talks to many patients with other insurances, that many do NOT cover them. CIGNA does not, even with a prescription and a medical reason. Some Flexible or Health Spending Accounts let you pay for them without taxing you, because they are tax-deductible sometimes. I've been paying for mine out of pocket since Day One.
Re: going to a higher compression: Be cautious. I did that and have had to keep to the 40-50, having gradually moved up from 20-30mm, then 30-40mm. The higher-compression ones have distorted my feet. I now have big toes that lean inward (bunions) and so do the baby toes. My feet hurt, too, because my feet are small but wide, and they turn into B widths under the hose.You can't cut the feet off, either, as I'm sure you all know--it rolls and creates a nightmare garter instantly.
The reduced blood flow to my feet, while enough not to cause pressure ulcers, has caused toenail deformity and reduced immune protection, so that even though I don't go barefoot nor are my feet sweaty, and even though I wear toeless hose, I still get plantars warts and fungus, etc. You have to have blood flowing to an area if the immune system is going to protect it! I use antifungal spray and nuke every wart at the first sign...and it gets expensive, and is dangerous. If I were diabetic, I would have to have a medical professional do i, and that would cost a LOT.
Yes, you are right. There are so many compression garments brands out there that it is difficult to choose which one to purchase. Having threads like this is really helpful to narrow down choices if only they would recommend brands they use together with the compression gradient. Needless to say, compression stockings do really work!
I've only started wearing compression stockings for six months because of leg swelling (initially) -- I just noticed that my left leg is swelling and did not mind it until it became a pitting edema. Meaning when I press the skin for about 5 seconds, the area where the finger was left a dent. I panicked because this is not normal! I've been awfully inactive - no exercise, and been sitting for hours in front of the computer for days so I figured that caused it.
I searched online for possible solution to my problem and my research says wearing compression stockings will be helpful. And wow, yes it did wonders for me in just under a week! Now I always wear compression socks and stockings everyday! I just want to keep my legs and feet healthy and I feel better!
I've tried a few brands, I love www.LegsTherapy.com. I buy my compression garments from them. They have a wide selection of brands, and styles and at very good price!
I love Jobst Ultra Sheer stockings and Sigvaris 120m Sheer fashion -- the sheerest compression stockings available. It feels good on my skin.
I also like Sigvaris 230 Cotton Series with silicon border -- they are so comfortable and they stay up, i need not worry walking around all day with it.
Other good brands are Mediven, Juzo and Futuro. You can check them out too!
I have used almost every brand I personally like Jobst stockings and socks the best for men. I used to buy them at our local medical supply but found that I can get much better deals online. The lowest price Jobst dealer I've found so far is www.thecompressionshop.com. I also have been using the code: shouldofwornthesocks. at check out and I get 5% off.
does anyone know where I can find a compression band to wear around chest? I had mastectomy, nodes removed and chemo & radiation and the swelling & pain I have in arm and I wear armsleeve but also have swelling & pain on right side under armpit that goes to back. I just know a compression around back & chest would feel great.
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