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Has Anyone Wondered if Compression Stockings Actually Hamper Recovery?


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I've just gotten compression stockings for the first time after being diagnosed a year ago. Haven't noticed much of a difference yet, but I know I need to stay consistent and give them time to work. However, I am curious, wouldn't compression stockings hamper the possibility of recovering from dysautonomia?

Logically, I would think you'd need to force your body to naturally deal with and get used to orthostatic stress again on its own to heal. But compression stockings are an artificial aid that seems like a band aid for the problem. Wouldn't compression stockings prevent your body from making the necessary changes over time on its own? And wouldn't they make symptoms worse in the long run when you take them off as your body begins to depend on them?

Not sure if I'm even remotely on the right train of thought. But I'd like to know if anyone can shed some light on my concerns.

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@autonomicreg - compression stockings help by creating compression to your blood vessels and muscles in your legs, therefore aiding in preventing dilation which is what triggers the attempt by the ANS to pump blood back up your body. So it helps by constricting the vessels from the outside and helping the muscles to pump the blood back up. This is not something your body can re-learn how to do - unless you are lucky and have a form of POTS that improves after a while. You are right - you will need to wear them for as long as you have POTS, but they are not a band-aid to cover up the symptoms, rather a treatment. 

7 hours ago, autonomicreg said:

And wouldn't they make symptoms worse in the long run when you take them off as your body begins to depend on them?

Well - I don't believe your body becomes dependent on them but rather will go back to how it is without wearing them. Kind of like a tomato stake. As long as it is there it will hold up your tomato plant, but as soon as you remove it the plant will collapse. It will not learn to stand up on its own because of the stake - but it can as long as it is there. ( Sorry for the poor comparison ). 😬

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14 hours ago, autonomicreg said:

Haven't noticed much of a difference yet, but I know I need to stay consistent and give them time to work. However, I am curious, wouldn't compression stockings hamper the possibility of recovering from dysautonomia?

If they are going to work, they should work immediately but it is best to put them on first thing in the morning before you get upright. You might not have strong enough compression for your needs. Many of us have had to experiment with different levels of compression to find the one that works best for us. And, as @Pistol said, you don’t become dependent on them. I have worn them for years and a few times when my OI improved for some reason, I was able to go without stockings with no problem. Unfortunately this never lasted.

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17 hours ago, Sushi said:

You might not have strong enough compression for your needs.

@autonomicreg - Sushi is right, it is recommended to get properly measured  so you have the right size.  Usually thigh high is recommended for POTS - better yet waist high!!!!

Measuring Guide for Sizing of Compression Stockings

measure-big.pngMeasuring your legs for compression stockings, support socks, support hose, and gradient compression hosiery:.

  • For knee-highs: measure around your ankle and calf.
    Then, measure the distance from the floor to the back of your knee.
  • For thigh-high and pantyhose: measure around your ankle, calf, and upper thigh.
    Then, measure the distance from the floor to your upper thigh (bottom of your buttocks). 

 

 
Ankle ANKLE
Measure around the ankle at the narrowest point, generally above the ankle bone.
CALF
Measure around the calf muscle at the widest part.
Calf
LENGTH
Measure from the floor to the bend behind the knee.
Length
THIGH
Measure around the thigh approx. 3" below the gluteal fold (crease of buttocks).
Thigh
THIGH LENGTH
Measure the distance from the bottom of your buttocks to the floor.
Thigh
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On 6/11/2020 at 11:26 PM, autonomicreg said:

I've just gotten compression stockings for the first time after being diagnosed a year ago. Haven't noticed much of a difference yet, but I know I need to stay consistent and give them time to work. However, I am curious, wouldn't compression stockings hamper the possibility of recovering from dysautonomia?

Logically, I would think you'd need to force your body to naturally deal with and get used to orthostatic stress again on its own to heal. But compression stockings are an artificial aid that seems like a band aid for the problem. Wouldn't compression stockings prevent your body from making the necessary changes over time on its own? And wouldn't they make symptoms worse in the long run when you take them off as your body begins to depend on them?

Not sure if I'm even remotely on the right train of thought. But I'd like to know if anyone can shed some light on my concerns.

I have been wearing thigh high compression stockings for 8 months now and I love them.  The pressure was hard to get used to at first but now they make me feel better and I don't have the heavy leg feeling anymore.  They push the blood up toward my heart.  The only problem is I live in the south and they are hot in the summer lol.  Mine are 30-40mmHg.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi everyone, I tried mine for the first time recently and also loved them too. I’ve been wearing them around the house a wee bit too. Mine are 20 - 30 mmHg and I’m wearing one that is “almost needing the next size up fit” so they are on the snugger side. I tried the 30 - 40 mmHg but they made me feel overheated for some reason. I may give them another go in the future, because they’re what my specialist prescribed. 

Has anyone heard of compression stockings, preferably thigh high, for bathing/showering? It’s the most difficult tasks for me. I bought a shower stool and still found it too difficult to shower. I’ve tried every trick in the book for POTS/ME/CFS. (cooler water, time a day, extra hydration, meds, salt, rest). Any other things I’m missing? 🥴 

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Can you take a bath instead of showering? It helps me to be laying down and have the pressure of the water around me. You’d probably like weighted blankets like I do - to me they are the sleeping equivalent of compression stockings. I also use sequential compression devices for a hour or so each evening. That machine doesn’t want to go into the shower, though. I have a really hard time getting my 30-40mmHg stockings on, so I use a mixture of these interventions.
 

The stockings are definitely hot in the summer. I try to keep splashing myself with water...

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I cannot use compression stockings because of Raynaud's syndrome in my toes. Instead I do exercises that help pump the blood back up: sit in a chair, feet flat on the floor, alternate between toes only on floor followed by heels only on floor. I do this often, and especially before and after showering. BTW - I also take lukewarm baths instead of showers when I am bad - as @RecipeForDisaster mentioned. 

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I’m so glad I asked!

R: I had no idea about weighted blankets working like compression. It now makes sense, thank you. I agree, the shower or bath and electricity might not be a great idea. 😳 I take baths, it’s far better than the shower. It leaves me so exhausted and especially washing my hair.

Those 30-40’s look like their made for toddlers, and the energy required... The water sounds great for the odd, super hot day in my country. My body just doesn't know what it wants from one minute to the next, I change clothes and covers all day/night long.

P: I’m so sorry you can’t use compression, my brother has Raynaud’s, so I can just imagine what a bad combo it would be. I also use the exercises (especially the one with the gluteus maximus!!!) I haven’t done it as a preempt to a bath, I will give that a go. I agree, lukewarm is best. Thank you.

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I used compression hose early on when I was diagnosed 11 years ago. The NP at my neurologist (at the time) suggested them. They helped a lot. Eventually in my recovery, I no longer needed them.  That is, until I started with a flare last month. I just started using them again this week. They seem consistent with bumping my systolic bp about 10 to 15 points. That makes a big difference to me.

Best wishes for a strong recovery❤

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