Triathlete Safety

Think running, biking and swimming are great for your health? You might be surprised to hear that it’s not always so. The number of athletes and races that result in casualty and not just because of accidents is high. What is even more surprising to hear is that during triathlon races, it is during the swimming part that most deaths occurred. In between 2003 and 2011 out of 31 out of 45 deaths during races occurred during the swim leg.

While most of the deaths seem to be heart related, it appears that many of the athletes suffer from swimming-induced pulmonary edema, particularly prevalent during endurance swimming.

Read more about this phenomena here:

Bottom line is – you can’t be too careful or cautious. If you are a triathlete and don’t feel good at any point stop. You may not win the race but you may win your life.


Study proves compression socks improve recovery

Well we’ve been saying this all along, but now an official study has been done to show the effectiveness of compression socks.

Runners world reports that a recent study was done where participants ran on a treadmill and their exhaustion levels were measured two weeks before they ran the marathon. They were then told to wear support stockings for 48 hours after running the marathon with some wearing compression socks and others a placebo and two weeks after the marathon the same graduated treadmill test was done with exhaustion levels were taken.

Well, guess what? Those wearing Jobst support stockings (sponsored of course) did indeed score better.

Surprised? We’re not. We’ve been saying that good support gear with graduated compression is imperative for recovery from sports. But now that there’s  an official study, we can finally be believed.


Do You Run in Compression Socks?

I was reading a blog post by Running for Cupcakes today, and in it she plays the “Never Have I Ever” game regarding fitness and running. (Some of the comments are also pretty hilarious.) Courtney has never run more than a mile on the treadmill. (Neither have I! I’m an outdoors guy myself.) She’s never run with sunglasses on. (Neither have I…granted, I run mostly after dark so that I don’t get overheated.) And she’s never worn compression socks during a race. Only after.

So here’s a question to go out to all of our customers, and runners in general: how many of you wear compression socks to help with recovery? And how do you wear them? Do you wear the socks during a marathon or 10k? After? We’d love to hear your thoughts!



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!).