Any long-time sufferer of varicose veins knows the joy of putting on and wearing compression stockings. Your legs feel great once they are on but getting there can sometimes be a challenge. Is there a secret trick to getting them on?
Donning Compression Stockings
No, there isn’t one great way to put on compression stockings, but there are some helpful tips, tricks, and tools to help don the socks. First, it is important the stockings are sized correctly. If they are too big, they will not provide adequate compression to be therapeutic. If they are too small, they will be hard to put on, uncomfortable to wear, and potentially cause more harm than good. A good medical supply store should help you measure your legs for the proper size. If you are going to measure yourself, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guide so you are measuring in the right locations. Now that you have properly fitted stockings, let’s put them on.
Make sure your legs are dry of any water or lotion before you start. Sometimes applying some baby powder or cornstarch to your legs can help the stocking move up your leg. Many open-toed stockings include a slipper to help slide the stocking over your feet. Many patients look past this helpful tool or do not know what it is used for. Slide your foot into the slipper then grab your stocking. Often, patients are inclined to bunch the stocking like you would with regular socks. Compression socks fit very tight so this will make the task harder. Instead, reach into the stocking and grab the toe of the sock. Then pull the upper half of the sock inside out, to the heel. You can now easily slide your foot into the sock and get it in place on your foot and heel. Now you can grab the stocking and pull the rest up your leg. Dishwashing or gardening gloves can be helpful to pull them up. Once the stockings are pulled all the way up, make sure to smooth out any wrinkles and folds. Easy stuff, right? If you are breaking a sweat, don’t worry we all do, and it will get easier with time.
There are many reasonably inexpensive, donning tools on the market that can assist you. You may find these tools at your local durable medical equipment store or at online retailers. If possible, head to the DME store to see the tool in action before you buy. Here are a few popular options.
The Medi donning butler is a metal frame that offers an easy donning solution. The stocking is pulled onto the butler then you can grab the top handles pull the stocking up. This tool is good for those who have a hard time bending over to pull the socks up or cannot grip the stocking alone while donning.
Sigvaris Doff N’ Donner
The Doff N’ Donner may look like a dollar store toy, but it is a neat and simple way of donning and doffing socks. The stocking is rolled onto the soft tool. Then the stocking can basically be unrolled onto your leg. Doffing is achieved by sliding the tool up your leg, then pull the stocking over the Doff N’ Donner and roll the stocking off.
Juzo Slippie Gator
The Slippie Gator Kit includes a Donning Aid and an Easy Pad. The Donning Aid is placed inside the stocking and has handles to pull the sock up. It is made of a durable and slick material that makes donning easy. This is great for people who cannot bend over or cannot grip the stockings. The included easy pad is made from a sticky material that allows you to move the stocking up your foot without using your hands. It is placed on the ground first, then, with the stocking part way on your foot, push your foot forward while the stocking moves up your foot.
Hopefully you can use these tips to make donning compression stockings a less daunting task. Keep those legs healthy!