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Compression Socks and DVT

January 7th, 2010 No comments

Deep vein thrombosis and compression socks

I am not a medical expert, but thought it might be of interest to explain to some of our customers the point of compression socks.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition that occurs when a clot forms in veins that are deep within the body. It can occur in any part of the body, but is most common in the legs. This is an extremely dangerous condition, because clots that form through DVT can break off, be carried off in the bloodstream, and end up in the heart or lungs, where they can block blood flow and cause a heart attack or stroke.

DVT is most common in adults over 60. Obesity, smoking, cancer, recent surgery, and childbirth all increase the risk for DVT. So do long periods of immobility, such as sitting in a car or airplane, or lying in bed. It is possible for DVT to strike without any symptoms, but the disease is frequently accompained by pain, swelling, and redness in the leg, as well as dilation of the surface veins. Varicose veins and spider veins are also signs of possible DVT.

If your doctor detects DVT, he or she will likely prescribe the use of blood thinners such as heparin or warfarin, and may also recommend that you wear compression socks. These are stockings, usually knee-high, that are designed to provide variable pressure along the leg — tighter at the ankle, looser at the knee. These socks provide support to the muscles of your leg, which squeeze blood through your leg as you move, and help ensure that blood does not pool and possibly clot. compression socks are available in a variety of styles today, and look no different from regular hosiery.

While compression socks can reduce the risk of DVT, they are no substitute for losing weight, quitting smoking, and being sure to get up and move around periodically. If you are concerned that you may be at risk for DVT, your doctor will be able to help you with more information.

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