Saturday, December 1, 2018

Squeeze Some Life Back Into Your Legs


by Dr. Denis Marier, ND, MA

Do you have tired, heavy legs from working on your feet all day? Do you have varicose veins? While gravity is essential for life on Earth, it can also play havoc with your veins.

Varicose veins are veins that become twisted, lengthened and dilated as a result of poor circulation, appearing predominantly in the legs. They often develop in the lower extremities because of the effects of gravity on venous pressure due to valves in the veins not working.

Varicose veins start out as small, visible spider veins but can grow into twisted, bulging veins and lead to lower limb swelling and even leg ulcers.

Symptoms Of Poor Venous Circulation

The most common symptoms of poor venous circulation include one or more of the following:
  • tired, heavy legs
  • calf pain/cramps
  • spider veins/visible veins
  • varicose veins
  • lower limb swelling
  • skin discolouration
  • dermatitis
  • dry or weeping eczema
  • leg ulcers

Compression Therapy Works!

The concept of graduated compression therapy lies on a simple and efficient mechanical principle: the application of an elastic garment around the leg. Depending on the pathology, medical compression therapy can be applied in different forms: socks, stockings, tights/pantyhose or bandages. Graduated compression therapy is medically different from just wearing tights or purchasing simple compression garments at the pharmacy.

By compressing the limb with graduated compression - strongest at the ankle and decreasing up the leg - the compression stocking helps with:
  • venous return and decreases venous pressure
  • prevents venous stasis, reduces edema and deterioration of venous walls
  • and efficiently relieves aching and heavy legs by aiding the body in moving blood up the leg.
Compression therapy also prevents venous issue during pregnancy and long distance travel and is recommended for athletes for optimal performance and recovery.

If no contraindications like severe arterial insufficiency are present, you may even buy compression stockings of lower pressure without prescription. Most extended health care plans cover compression therapy as it is viewed as medical therapy.

Compression Therapy Treats

Compression therapy can help to prevent and treat a number of conditions including:
  • varicose veins
  • lymphedema
  • phlebitis
  • thrombosis
  • surgery after-care 
  • sclerotherapy
  • all conditions of chronic venous disease (tired, heavy legs, lower limb swelling, leg ulcers)

How Do You Choose The Best Compression Therapy?


If you are looking for medical-grade compression therapy, it is best to work with a professional trained in determining the compression strength and style that is best for you.

When choosing socks and stockings for compression the following are the points you want to consider:

  • to address circulatory concerns, you want to choose socks or stockings that have graduated compression versus the same degree of compression throughout.
  • there are a number of different fibers including merino wool, cotton and microfibre.
  • the length of the compression - socks versus stockings depends on the symptoms that you have and what you want to achieve.
Medical-grade compression stockings also protect your legs from extreme heat and cold with their moisture-wicking technology in the heat, and warm, comfortable natural fibres for the cold weather. 

If you want to treat your varicose veins, or if you have more advanced circulatory concerns that you want to manage better, consider adding compression therapy into your treatment regimen. 

Dr. Denis Marier, ND is a certified compression therapy fitter for Sigvaris. Call the clinic at (905) 940-2727 or email Dr. Marier, ND at d.marier@naturopathicfoundations.ca to book an appointment to get fitted for the best compression socks, stockings, pantyhose, and limb-wraps for you.