Discount Surgical is a Google Trusted Store!

After years of dedicating ourselves to great customer service and communication, Discount Surgical is proud to announce that we have been accepted to the Google Trusted Stores program!

Google Trusted Stores only accepts online stores that have achieved excellence in terms of overall customer experience, shipping time, and customer service.

Google also works with their Trusted Stores to work out any issues that might come up between the store and customers, to ensure the continued satisfaction rate.

You can find out more about Google Trusted Stores below:

Compression Socks and the 2014 World Cup

The month-long 2014 World Cup drew to a close yesterday. I personally was rooting for Costa Rica, but firstly, I knew that they didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell in winning over the Netherlands, and secondly, I don’t actually feel any  allegiance to Costa Rica. The decision was based purely on a Buzzfeed quiz. They did make it further than anyone expected, so all in all not a bad choice.

One notable garment that featured largely in the World Cup was – you guessed it – compression socks. And that brought up the age-old compression debate: does compression technology contribute to athletic performance, and if so, how does it contribute?

This argument has gone back and forth many times over the past couple of years, and athletic compression has staunch advocates as well as skeptic doubters. Australia’s Charles Stuart University decided to settle the question once and for all. After conducting a controlled experiment with cricket players in Australia, they determined that while compression socks didn’t enhance any of the athletes’ performance during the game, they contributed significantly to recovery afterward. Muscle soreness was relieved more quickly, and exercise-related trauma was substantially reduced.

 

Compression Socks Enter High Fashion

That’s right. Miuccia Prada featured compression stockings on her runway this year. And Prada wasn’t the only one focusing on athletic wear.

Fashion trends are leaning toward sporty. If you don’t believe us, check out the ready-to-wear from Victor & Rolf, ALC, Belstaff, and  DKNY spring 2014 collections. But Prada took it one step further with their take on compression stockings.

In general compression wear has developed into a trend that involves much more style and fashion. Runners are sporting vibrantly hued compression socks over the course of their marathons. Basketball players are sleeving up with brand-name compression arm and calf sleeves. (We love the Mojo Performance calf sleeves ourselves.)

Point is, compression socks and hosiery are no longer limited to travel and specific conditions. Compression wear offers support to runners and athletes, and it may shorten recovery time and reduce swelling in those who partake in longer periods of activity. Compression socks are fun, colorful, and – dare we say it? – cool.

Don’t believe us? Just ask the NBA.

New Infographic! Choose the Right Compression Level for Your Socks

Are you lost when it comes to choosing your compression level? So are a lot of customers. Discount Surgical offers four levels of compression for our socks and stockings, from mild support to extra firm compression. And each one offers different benefits for different lifestyles.

That’s why we created a fun visualization on choosing the right compression stockings. Have an office job that requires you to sit for long hours? Then our mild support (15 mmHG) compression level may be right for you. If you’re taking a long plane trip, then medium support compression socks might be the way to go.

Check out the infographic below – and remember, if you’re still having difficulty selecting the right compression level for your socks, you can chat with our friendly, helpful support team.

If the Sock Fits - Infographic
Compression stockings by Discount Surgical Stockings.

How to Comfortably Put On Compression Stockings

As indicated by the name, compression stockings have a tighter fit than the average stocking that you’ll find at your local supermarket or pharmacy. This is intentional – compression socks are meant to be snug in order to force blood flow upward from your legs to your heart.

Nevertheless, it can make it difficult or uncomfortable to put the stockings on. The close-fittedness (is that a word?) that makes them so effective also makes it nearly impossible to pull on your compression stockings as you would any other regular stocking.

Fortunately, Discount Surgical has a number of excellent options being sold as compression accessories. Sigvaris offers anti-slipping rubber gloves, and Juzo, Sigvaris, and Jobst all offer sleek, easy-to-use donning gloves.

To see how to use rubber gloves or donning gloves to put on your compression stockings quickly and easily, watch this video:

From Honeymoon to DVT

One unlucky bride got her 84-year-old grandpa’s compression stockings as her something borrowed. Raquel Kelley returned from her euphoric honeymoon with swollen, “cankle-icious” legs and went directly to the emergency room.

Miss Kelley was unaware that suffering from deep vein thrombosis. Her primary symptom was swelling, but there may have been other symptoms that she was unaware were related. In fact, there may not have been any symptoms at all.

If you do experience any of the below symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor:

  • Unusual warmth in one or both of your legs
  • Swelling in one or both of your legs
  • Pain or cramping in your legs
  • Discolored (typically red or blue) skin on your leg
  • Sudden visible veins on the surface of your leg

Your doctor may want to perform a couple of tests on you, such as a duplex ultrasound or a venography, neither of which are invasive procedures.

As the Mayo Clinic says, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have any of the risk factors for DVT (weight, family history of clotting disorders, pregnancy, and sitting for extended periods of time, among others), you should periodically check in with your doctor.

If you have a job that requires you to sit for extended periods of time, make sure to exercise and stretch your lower calf muscles whenever possible. And of course, we have compression socks and stockings that are designed specifically to help prevent and treat DVT.

Possibly the best preventative measure, of course, is to make some lifestyle changes. Eat healthily, stop smoking, and use any excuse to move around. (Did I hear zumba?)

Varicose Veins and Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

varicoseveinsNewVaricose and spider veins are by-and-large an aesthetic issue. We don’t like having bulging, ropy veins on our legs, so we treat them with laser surgery, sclerotherapy, microsclerotherapy, endoscopic vein surgery, vein stripping, and other procedures.

After treatment the varicose veins fade away from both our legs and (hopefully) our memories. Problem solved, presumably.

But what happens if your varicose veins aren’t just varicose veins, but a symptom of an underlying medical condition?

Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the valves in your legs are damaged and the walls of your veins are weakened, preventing blood from being pumped properly to the heart. There are a variety of for CVI, including swelling, redness, and (you guessed it) varicose veins.

CVI is not in-and-of-itself dangerous or life threatening, but it can lead to venous ulcers on your legs. (And yes, they are just as painful as they sound.) Unfortunately, once they already exist, venous ulcers often become a recurring issue. According to the American Heart Association, more than 50% of venous ulcers take longer than a year to heal.

Fortunately, you can decrease your risk for CVI by doing any of the following:

  • Exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Reducing blood pressure by moving from your desk at least once an hour

Take a nice long walk with a friend a few times a week. Get up and take a coffee break or hang out at the water cooler at work.

If you already have CVI, you can prevent it from developing into a skin ulcer by catching it early on. If you have any of the symptoms of CVI, consult your doctor right away. For milder cases that are caught early, your doctor may recommend increasing your exercise routine, medication, and/or wearing compressive garments (shameless plug!).

Shin Splints and Compression Socks

Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, are the pains in your tibia that are induced by continuous running or exercising. They are caused by flat feet, swollen muscles, or tiny stress fractures, and the discomfort that they wreak can be debilitative. And based on recent Twitter activity, shin splints are all-too-common an issue.

Fortunately, you can prevent shin splints from occurring, and you can treat them once they already have occurred.

Prevention

First and foremost, if you’re a distance runner, make sure that you have comfortable, supportive shoes. Unfortunately, there is no one-shoe-fits-all solution for running. Every runner is different in terms of his arch, running terrain, weight, previous injuries, and motion mechanics. Runnersworld has a great Shoe Advisor app as well as an accompanying article explaining how to use it. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should also be replacing your running shoes every 350-500 miles.

Stretching exercises (*after* your run), running on softer terrain, and cross-training with lower-impact exercise such as swimming can also help prevent shin splints.

Compression calf sleeves can also help prevent shin splints caused by swollen muscles by increasing blood flow in your legs. This in turn decreases the chances that your muscles will swell up.

Treatment and Recovery

Experts recommend icing the affected areas on your legs in order to reduce pain, and making sure to rest your body. This doesn’t mean that you need to completely eliminate physical activity from your exercise regimen. You can still participate in those low-impact activities such as swimming or biking.

While it’s not recommended to continue running toward the beginning of your recovery, once you do start running again, it’s also advisable to wear compression sleeves. Not only can compression sleeves assist your legs in healing much more quickly, but they can also reduce your risk for future injury as well.

Check out Discount Surgical’s stock of compression sleeves for your calves here. If you need assistance for your selection, we offer live chat customer service during regular business hours.

Recovering from Marathons

The Boston Marathon took place again this past April 21st. And as always happens when there’s a large athletics event, the Internet was rife with chatter about marathons in general, and the Boston Marathon in particular. The talk spanned from the sobering “My Choice of Socks Brings Normalcy” Businessweek article to the lighter-hearted “Marathon Will be High-Tech Affair” piece featured in the Boston Globe.

There was also a burst of online activity revolving around marathon recovery. Despite recent buzz about the risks of running marathons, distance running is by and large safe. Provided, of course, that you take the proper precautions, such as putting in enough training miles and making sure to have a recovery plan in place before the big day.

On the 21st  of April, (the day of the Boston Marathon), the Boston Globe spotlighted an article that discussed different techniques to recover from distance running. (Coincidence? Methinks not…) It reviewed everything from icing (to ice, or not to ice?) to – you guessed it – compression gear.

The Boston Herald had a similar article outlining the post-marathon week of recovery that included stretching, yoga, hydration, and compression.

The upshot of the various marathon recovery guides indicated that distance runners should do the following after a marathon:

  • Change into dry clothing – Your immune system may take a bit of a beating after running a marathon, and you’ll be damp and clammy after the race is over. Changing out of your wet clothing will act as a preventative measure.
  • Get ye some calories – Eat a well-balanced meal that includes plenty of proteins and carbohydrates, and hydrate yourself with a drink full of electrolytes. Gatorade and Powerade are both great choices.
  • Put your feet up and massage your legs – Your legs took a beating. Time to give them some TLC.
  • Compression all the way – Edurance athletes are at a higher risk for DVT. Compression stockings can help reduce the risk – for a full list of the compression stockings that we offer, click here.

Miss England and Her Varicose Veins

Varicose veins. Those bunchy, protruding, sometimes painful blue seams are typically associated with wrinkles and old age, but in fact they can occur at any time – including in your early twenties.

Miss England has Varicose Veins tooIf you need an example, look no further than Charlotte Holmes, the former Miss England. The model had varicose veins on her thigh since secondary school (translation for Americans: middle and high school).

Varicose veins are found most often on pregnant women and the elderly for differing reasons. The elderly experience a loss in vein elasticity, and when the blood tries to circulate back up to the heart from their legs, the veins have a more difficult time forcing the blood back up. Ultimately the veins stretch and become varicose.

Pregnancy causes a change in your circulatory system as well as hormonal changes, ultimately resulting in varicose veins.

Pregnancy and old age are not factors, however, for Charlotte Holmes. So what caused Miss Holmes’ varicose veins at such a young age?

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are several risk factors. In someone as young as Miss Holmes, family history and genetics probably played a significant role. But something as common as hormonal changes in young women can also cause your veins to stretch and become varicose.

Moral of the story: Constant vigilance can pick up varicose veins early before they become too large or enflamed. Stay on the alert!