COMPRESSION FAQ

If you’re new to the world of compression garments, you probably have a few questions. Below are the most frequently asked questions about how compression garments work, what fit is right for you, and other customer inquiries. If you still need more info, contact us and we’ll be happy to explain and give our advice.

How do compression garments work?

As the name implies, compression garments apply pressure to the area they cover. This pressure helps to increase blood flow and disperse fluid back throughout the body. Compression garments are effective at relieving swelling, but are most effective at preventing swelling in your extremities. Compression garments are recommended for people with conditions like lymphedema, deep vein thrombosis, venous ulcers, and arthritis, as well as athletes and pregnant women. 

Compression garments also help support your muscles and veins. For those who are susceptible to varicose veins and other vein conditions, compression stockings help prevent varicose veins from getting worse, and helps to prevent veins from stretching out causing further damage to veins. 

How tight should compression garments fit?

Your doctor can recommend the right level of compression that is best for your health condition. For those who want everyday relief from swelling that is caused from sitting, standing, and walking, look for a fit that is tight, but not so tight that it causes discomfort. Compression garments should be comfortable enough that you can wear them all day long. 

What does “mmHg” mean?

"mmHg" stands for millimeters of mercury. It is a unit of measurement for pressure. mmHg is used for blood pressure readings and to indicate the strength of compression wraps.

What level of compression is right for my situation?

Ask your healthcare provider what compression products are right for you. If you still need help finding the perfect product and fit, reach out to our experts for help that is tailored for you and your health. Here is a general guide to the most common tightness measurements of compression garments:

  • 15-20 mmHg - This compression level is “mild” and is recommended for slight swelling and varicose veins.

  • 18-25 mmHg - This compression level is “moderate” and is usually recommended for slight swelling, severe varicose veins, and prevention of venous ulcers.

  • 20-30 mmHg - This level of compression is "firm" and can be recommended for venous insufficiency and other conditions.

Mild to moderate levels of compression are also great for people who spend long periods walking or sitting, like on airplane rides or at office jobs. Just because you want maximum support doesn’t mean the maximum levels of compression are right for you. Everyone’s needs are different, and a medical expert is your best resource for compression level advice. NuLife Medical staff are more than qualified to help you find the perfect fit.  

Why do compression garment levels have a range?

Most compression stockings and garments have a graduated pressure, which means they are tightest at the bottom and the pressure gradually lessens as you go up. This helps improve your circulation in your legs and moves the fluids back up towards your upper body. This helps blood return to the heart where it can be oxygenated again.

Do compression garments reduce pain from intense exercise?

When you build muscle from exercise, your muscle becomes damaged and rebuilds itself stronger than before. That is why you experience pain and soreness after exercise. Experts recommend wearing compression garments during exercise and a while afterwards to help relieve this pain and discomfort.

Do compression garments enhance athletic performance and recovery?

The short answer is yes. Compression garments improve blood circulation, facilitate muscle contraction, reduce muscle damage fatigue, and enhance proprioception.

How often should compression garments be replaced?

Compression garments typically last 3-6 months. After that, they may lose elasticity. You will likely be able to notice this when your garments become easier to put on. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care and cleaning.

What is the difference between anti-embolism stockings (TED) and compression stockings?

Anti-embolism stockings, or TED hose, are meant for patients that are completely imobile and lying flat on a bed. TED hose are ineffective for people who are sitting, standing, walking, or doing other mobile activities. For doing anything other than lying on a bed, compression stockings are the best choice. 

Shop NuLife Medical for compression garments that offer a range of pressures, from mild to the highest level available without a prescription.