Get a Leg Up on Swollen and Achy Legs, Feet and Ankles

?????????You get home from work. You drop your bag and finally sit down on the couch after having been on your feet all day. To rest feels good, but your legs do not. They are aching and your feet look swollen.

Does this sound familiar?

Many jobs in the workplace require a fair amount of standing throughout the day. Standing on a regular basis can leave the legs and feet fatigued. But a special pair of socks may offer some relief.

“The discomfort individuals feel after standing all day is often associated with circulation,” said Lori Valentine, director of Durable Medical Equipment at Memorial Home Services. “Compression therapy can often help.”

Compression therapy works against gravity, applying pressure at the bottom of the ankle, working up the leg. Most of the compression (or tightness) is applied at the ankle and lessens as it moves up. This helps increase circulation and push fluid back toward the heart.

The garments are just like a sock and available in various styles.

“Today’s compression isn’t like it used to be,” Valentine said. “Now, compression garments are very stylish—tube socks for tennis shoes, men’s dress socks and a variety of colors. And women have multiple options of fabric for professional and casual wear—sheer like panty hose or thicker fabrics like tights. The product has really adapted for all types of work environments in recent years.”

Valentine said that individuals who experience the following symptoms often benefit from compression therapy:

  • Tired, achy legs
  • Mild swelling or edema
  • History of blood clots
  • Swelling during pregnancy
  • Shin splints and calf cramps during workouts

Compression garments are also available in various strengths. Lower strengths are available over the counter, but a physician’s prescription is required for higher strengths of compression.

“The fitting process is very simple,” Valentine said. “We take two measurements—at the ankle and the calf. Measurements are best taken early in the morning, before any swelling begins. Individuals should put their garments on in the morning, before they are up and moving. This will help control the swelling and fatigue before it begins.”

Memorial Home Services will hold free consultations for leg health at an open house for its newly remodeled retail store in Jacksonville on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. Visit any Memorial Home Services retail location and speak with a customer service associate about compression therapy.