Choosing the right compression garments

Compression garments are essential to stimulate blood circulation and the venous system. In fact, venous insufficiency is a very prevalent condition that can lead to significant circulatory problems:

  • Varicose veins;
  • Phlebitis;
  • Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI);
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT);
  • Swollen ankles;
  • A feeling of heavy legs.

Learn more about these garments and how they can restore your quality of life.


Who needs compression garments?

Both comfortable and aesthetic, compression garments and stockings can be worn while playing sports, outdoors or at work. Available with or without a prescription, they help reduce discomfort in your legs by promoting better circulation:

  • Medical care: For the prevention or treatment of the consequences of poor blood circulation (circulatory problems, varicose veins, edema, lymphedema, etc.);
  • Pregnancy: For the relief of discomfort and to prevent the formation of varicose veins caused by pregnancy;
  • Travel: On long flights, wearing compression stockings prevents leg pain or swelling of the feet and ankles;
  • Work: Compression stockings can be useful if you stay in the same position for long periods of time, as they minimize swelling, reduce fatigue and also improve circulation in the lower limbs;
  • Physical exercise: Wearing compression stockings during or after a workout or any other physical activity improves circulation and speeds up recovery time;
  • Daily: For long airplane travel, long periods of work in the same position or for recovery during or following physical exercise

However, not all compression garments are designed to meet the same needs. That’ s why it’s important to be well informed before you buy.


The different types of compression garments

Support socks:

Also called “support stockings,” they are the ideal products for the prevention or treatment of mild symptoms. They are used as a preventive measure to relieve the feeling of heavy and tired legs (Compression ratio of 15-20 mmHg – available without prescription).

To help improve blood circulation, these stockings will increase the pressure on your ankle and then gradually release the pressure along your leg. They are available in several styles, for men and women. They also come in several materials, such as microfibres, cotton or wool.


Compression socks:

Compression stockings are generally used to treat medical conditions characterized by moderate to acute symptoms. These medical stockings have been carefully selected for your diagnosis. An attending physician establishes the compression class and its use.

These stockings are designed to reduce pain, slow the progression of the disease and delay the onset of complications (Compression of 20-30 mmHg / Compression of 30-40 mmHg / Compression of 40 mmHg and more).


Compression grades

Compression grades are used to properly categorize compression garments according to your needs. Doctors or Médicus advisors can determine the appropriate intensity, but some grades require a medical prescription.

The unit used to measure blood pressure is millimeters of mercury (mmHg). The higher the mmHg rating, the stronger the graduated compression.

The available grades for your compression stockings and garments are:


Compression of 15-20 mmHg

No prescription required. Suitable for:

  • Daily use, training, travel or standing while working;
  • Heavy and tired legs;
  • People who maintain the same position for long periods of time.


Compression of 20-30 mmHg

Medical prescription required. Designed for:

  • Sore or tired legs;
  • Telangiectasia;
  • Mild edema;
  • Post-sclerotherapy of small veins;
  • Mild to moderate varicose veins;
  • Elective surgery


Compression of 30-40 mmHg

Medical prescription required. Designed for:

  • Orthostatism;
  • Orthostatic hypotension;
  • Moderate to severe edema;
  • Orthopaedic surgery;
  • Post-fracture healing;
  • Post-traumatic edema;
  • Sclerotherapy;
  • Skin changes without ulceration;
  • Lymphœdema.


Compression of 40 mmHg

Medical prescription required. Used for:

  • Severe deep vein thrombosis;
  • Post-thrombotic syndrome;
  • Serious skin changes with healed (recurrent) or unhealed ulceration.


Only a qualified healthcare professional can evaluate and recommend the correct compression grade for you. Selecting a grade that is too low or too high could interfere with proper blood circulation.


Médicus: to find the perfect compression garment

Since 1957, Médicus has been helping thousands of Quebecers improve their health with effective, modern compression stockings and garments that can be used to treat a variety of pathologies related to blood circulation and the venous system.

Whether it is to prevent varicose veins, eliminate heavy legs or to improve your performance in sports, compression stockings and garments can meet many needs.


Cover product: Performance sleeves (for women and men), Limette color by Sigvaris Group.

Validated by Annie Pépin, Compression garments clinician at Médicus 

Got questions?

Contact our certified advisors.