The Journal Commonly encountered compression problems solved

Commonly encountered compression problems solved

Here our Daylong expert provides advice on commonly encountered compression garment problems. If you have a problem with your garment, write to us at editorial@daylong.co.uk and we will try to help.

Q – Why does my compression garment roll when I wear it?

A

Why does my compression garment roll when I wear it? Garments roll for a variety of reasons. For example, if swelling is present, rolling may occur because
the fabric is not stiff enough to contain it. Rolling will also occur if the style of the garment is unsuitable for the shape of limb, or if the garment size is incorrect. Also, consider if the top band of the garment is too narrow to achieve good anchorage.

To avoid rolling, check that your garment is made from the best material for your condition, and that it is delivering the right amount of compression. For example, a limb with lymphoedema might require a stiffer fabric to contain the swelling. Would a thigh-length garment suit your limb shape better? If all these factors are correct and rolling is still a problem, remeasure your limb and check your measurements against the manufacturer’s size chart to make sure they correspond with your hosiery. If the fit is correct, consider the use of a hosiery adhesive to help the top band stay in place, as long as it’s not restrictive.

Q – I know my compression garment needs to be tight, but how tight? My hosiery digs in and is painful and uncomfortable to wear.

A

The garment should feel supportive on the limb but not dig in or cause discomfort. Wearing a garment that is too tight and uncomfortable could result
in damage to your skin and, in extreme cases, restrict your circulation.It’s important that your limb is measured according to the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific garment you are buying/wearing to ensure correct size and an accurate fit. Remember that your compression needs may change according to your health and the condition of your limb. For example, if swelling reduces, your garment may become loose. If your footwear had a poor fit you wouldn’t tolerate it and your hosiery shouldn’t be any different! Keep trying to find the right garment and fit for you, it will be well worth it.

Q – When I walk my garment wrinkles around my ankle. Why is this?

A

When I walk my garment wrinkles around my ankle. Why is this? This could be for one of several reasons. If your garment did fit, but is suddenly falling down, think about its age. Near the end of its shelf life, usually around 3-6 months, the garment may have lost its elasticity and will need replacing. If your limb had swelling which has reduced since you were measured for your garment, this could explain why it is looser. If your garment has just been purchased/prescribed and is falling down, it’s possibly the wrong size so either you or your clinician should remeasure your limb and check measurements against the manufacturer’s size chart to be sure.

Q – I can’t even get my garment on, let alone wear it. This can’t be right?

A

Check your limb measurements against the manufacturer’s size chart to ensure you have the correct garment. If the size is right, but you still find it hard to apply, there are different aids available that can assist with application, or a different style or type of product might help; one with a softer fabric, or zip fastening, for example. Compression wraps which fasten with VELCRO® might also be an alternative

Q – My compression garment bunches up when I wear it. Why does this happen and how can I stop it?

A

Compression Q&A If your compression garment bunches up or the fabric creases during wear, this can lead to areas of damage to the skin. It is therefore important that your garment does not wrinkle. As always, first check garment measurements are correct for your limb. For example, the garment chosen may be too long – either you or your clinician should check your measurements against the manufacturers’ leg lengths. Not all products will be the same, so find the one that fits your measurements best. If your garment is too long, don’t be tempted to fold it to solve the problem, as two layers means twice as much compression in that area. This can lead to skin damage and restricted blood flow and could result in swelling above the fold. It’s much better to have a garment that fits.

When first putting on your garment, each day, make sure the material of garment is evenly stretched over limb, smoothing out any crinkles. A good way to smooth out your hosiery is to wear a pair of household rubber gloves and smooth out the material as you apply. If this doesn’t help, you may need to consider an alternative garment.

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