Your main squeeze: Why every nurse should wear compression stockings

By | 2022-02-21T17:16:40-05:00 October 11th, 2012|0 Comments

Did you know that tired legs actually make your brain tired, too?

According to this study, prolonged standing can lead to lower extremity discomfort and fatigue, which has been linked to a decline in level of alertness and concentration. That means, not only might we be suffering from our leg fatigue, but our patients might be as well.

Many nurses suffer from lower leg pain, fatigue, edema and varicose veins. There are a variety of ways to help avoid lower body fatigue like:

  • Choosing good footwear
  • Sitting intermittently
  • Stretching as often as possible

But adding compression stockings to your arsenal might actually be the missing link that keeps you from crashing at the end of your shift.

Things To Consider When Purchasing Compression Stockings

Compression stockings apply pressure to the lower extremities, encouraging venous return. Stockings come in varying degrees of tightness. Those under 10 mmHg have not shown much efficacy when it comes to decreasing lower extremity fatigue symptoms. On the other hand, stockings in the higher range >20 mmHg can be uncomfortable and difficult to tolerate. Your best bet is somewhere in between. Look for pressure in the 15-20 mmHg range.

Measuring For Compression Stockings

It’s best to measure your legs in the morning, before any venous pooling has had a chance to set in. Measure the circumference of bilateral ankle, calves and thighs. In addition, you should measure the height from foot to knee or foot to thigh, depending on the type of stocking you plan on purchasing. With the help of a guide like this one you can ensure that you purchase the proper fit.

Extend The Life Of Your Stockings

Wash your stockings either by hand or on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Harsh wear and tear can decrease the elasticity. Lay flat or hang dry. When putting your stockings on, remove jewelry to avoid tears.

If you don’t wear compression stockings at work, why not give it a try? Your legs (and your brain) will thank you.


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