The Science Behind Compression Garments

The Science Behind Compression Garments

Posted by Tyler Gatlin on 15th Jan 2020

With the recent release of  Jeba, our full line of gradient compression socks and hosiery, we thought we'd take a moment to dig into the science behind these incredible products. Because the truth is, they can do some pretty spectacular things, like ease the pain and fatigue of varicose veins, improve circulation in the lower legs and even make your next flight on an airplane a breeze! 

First, Let’s Talk Circulation

During the process of circulation, the feet and lower legs are the parts of the body that are furthest from the heart and require the blood to travel the greatest distance. And while gravity helps pull oxygen-rich blood down to these areas, it makes for a lot of work on the return trip to the heart as the blood is now fighting against gravity.

As we’ve mentioned before, the veins that carry blood back to the heart are equipped with one-way valves to make this work easier. Over time, though, these valves can wear out and lead to issues like varicose veins, in which the blood pools and the veins stretch, increasing their diameter and resulting in a loss of efficiency.

Two veins: one vein stretched out and one original, efficient shape.

When our veins are healthy, they are at the most optimal diameter to efficiently move blood around the body. Increasing the diameter of the vein causes the blood to slow down as it moves, which in turn, means it takes longer for the blood to make its return trip to the heart.

Slower moving blood plus incorrectly working valves both add up to inefficient circulation in the legs. 

How Gradient Compression Helps

Applying compression to the legs helps reduce the diameter of the stretched-out veins so that they return to their original, efficient shape. This, in turn, helps the blood flow at a higher velocity, which means that it take less time to return to the heart. On top of that, restoring veins to their original, efficient shape may also help the valves function better.

Two veins: one showing Varicosity and one showing healthy.

All Jeba socks and hosiery are based on gradient compression technology, which simply means that the garment applies the most pressure around the ankle and gradually reduces the amount of pressure applied as you move up to the top of the garment.

Why gradually reduce the pressure?

Because as the blood moves closer to the heart, the effects of gravity are lessened and the need for compression support decrease. Using gradient compression hosiery allows us to be more strategic in supporting the veins in your lower legs, applying pressure where it’s needed most.

Jeba is for Everyone

But the truth is, Jeba isn't just for people dealing with varicose veins. In fact, Jeba is for everyone: from the office worker who spends their day sitting a desk to the woman who wants to prevent the appearance of spider veins during pregnancy, and from airline passengers looking to reduce leg swelling to athletes, joggers and hikers looking to aid in their recovery from exercise.

All Jeba products are available in two different levels of compression, measured in mmHg:

  • 15-20 mmHg: Provides a moderate level of compression and can improve circulation in the legs while reducing swelling, leg aches, pains and muscle fatigue. Ideal for air travel, pregnancy, prolonged standing, and athletic recovery.
  • 20-30 mmHg: Provides a higher level of compression to help prevent blood clotting and varicose veins. Ideal for those with venous insufficiencies and those who need increased blood flow in the legs as a result of conditions like diabetes.

Shop Jeba's fun styles and patterns today!