Compression Stockings for Venous Insufficiency or Support Hose?

Confused about the difference between compression stockings, support hose and TED hose? Learn about how each product addresses different medical problems and how they can improve blood circulation and alleviate pain and discomfort for venous insufficiency

Compression Stockings for Venous Insufficiency or Support Hose?

I have a question. My Cardiologist ordered compression stockings. They are for ‘venous insufficiency’. What would be the difference if I wear those or say Leggs support hose?

I ask, because, the compression hose are so expensive compared to the support hose.

Thanks in advance

Thank you for a great question. There is a lot of confusion about the difference between compression hose, support stockings and TED hose.

You are not the only one that is confused to the differences of these products. The one problem we have is that the distributors of these products use compression hose, support hose and TED hose interchangeably.

Each of these products look similar on the surface, but address different medical problems.

Compression hose and support hose are used for the purpose of improving blood circulation. The pressure is stronger at the foot and gradually decreases as the stocking moves up towards the leg.  The pressure actually helps push the blood up the leg and towards the heart. This decreases the level of fluid build up, or edema in the legs. Encouraging circulation improves blood flow and decreases the chances for blood clots from occurring.

In the case of venous insufficiency, these stockings would promote the oxygen poor blood back to the heart. This would alleviate your pain and discomfort.

The level of pressure that is needed to support  the circulation will depend on the severity of your venous insufficiency. There is a higher level of pressure needed if your condition is severe.

Compression levels are measured in mmHg (stands for millimeters of mercury and is the same unit of measure in blood pressure). Support hose may be purchased over the counter and have a compression level of 20 mmHg.

Compression hose require a prescription from a health care provider and are measured by a professional if the compression level is 40mmHg or above. Some compression hose are custom made.

TED hose are for non ambulatory individuals. The are anti embolism stockings. They are only to be worn for short periods of time, and have an open toe, so that the nurses may check the circulation.