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Compression socks - leggings - tights - please advise

Old 04-13-18, 06:04 PM
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Compression socks - leggings - tights - please advise

The doctor has recently suggested that I start wearing "compression socks". She thinks that I have blood pooling in my lower legs which would account for a drop in blood pressure (lightheadedness) while cycling. Anyone have experience with this kind of thing? I'm 70 yo and in reasonably good shape - Exercise regularly and have good BP etc. Suggestions on type - style of these damn things? Thanks for any input. Jack
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Old 04-13-18, 06:23 PM
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I’d try knee high compression socks
to start with
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Old 04-13-18, 06:31 PM
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Both compression stockings and calf sleeves aimed at athletes are available. Recuperating from a shin contusion a few years ago, I wore both stockings and then Zensah sleeves, similar to these: https://www.zappos.com/p/zensah-ultr..._placement=1o2
The sleeves were more comfortable.
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Old 04-13-18, 06:35 PM
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If your doctor doesn't ride, then I'd ask around some of the bike shops or clubs and find a doctor that does ride a lot. Not saying you need to change your primary doctor. But I've found doctors that don't ride have no clue when talking to them about cycling issues, so consulting one that does ride regularly will get you someone that already has half an idea what you might really be experiencing.

Where you ask about hydration and HR while riding among other things?
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Old 04-13-18, 06:57 PM
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I recommend CW-X. A bit expensive but I’ve been using their running tights for over a decade and they’re the best on the market. Well made, durable and supper supportive. My tights easily last 10,000 miles of running so the calf sleeves I’m sure will last at least as long.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0042...xTL&ref=plSrch
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Old 04-13-18, 06:57 PM
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I've had clotting issues in my legs. I too was told to wear compression socks. The Rx type I found way too thin for my taste. You might consider one of these. Differing weights for different temps. Been wearing them for several years.

https://www.duluthtrading.com/search...cessor=content
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Old 04-13-18, 08:54 PM
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I have a clotting disorder and have found that roadrunner sports have a great sock with compression. during the winter I wear the regular RX compression socks.
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Old 04-14-18, 01:26 AM
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I wear compression socks sometimes. I have a couple of knee highs, a couple of mid-length. Mostly to relieve swelling that sometimes occurs after a hard workout or standing/walking too much. Seems to help.
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Old 04-14-18, 04:46 PM
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Compression Socks

Thanks for all the input!

No one mentioned the 'Thigh High' type which is what I got the impression that the Dr was referring to. Living in the tropics I like to keep it as light as possible when I ride.

I'll check the local shops for input and keep in mind the collective advice.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-18, 06:03 PM
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As was mentioned, get a second opinion on the 'lightheadedness while cycling being due to blood pooling in the legs' theory. At 70 years, lightheadedness could be caused by many things, some as simple as hydration/electrolytes.

Congrats on good health and good location.
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Old 04-14-18, 07:37 PM
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Can't say that I have ever seen anyone cycling while wearing thigh high compression stockings. I have seen quite a few hospital inpatients wearing them, though.
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Old 04-14-18, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Can't say that I have ever seen anyone cycling while wearing thigh high compression stockings. I have seen quite a few hospital inpatients wearing them, though.
If they were wearing pants, you'd never know.
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Old 04-14-18, 08:17 PM
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Worth experimenting with the socks. My wife liked these:https://www.amazon.com/Physix-Gear-C...dp/B01J4MF4DW/
and the Blitzu as well.

Beyond socks, you want compression tights. We don't usually wear anything under our shorts, but I think compression tights would be OK. There are many of these on the market. These look interesting: https://www.eastbay.com/product/mode...ns/gold/black/
and there's a 3/4 length too. Cheap enough to experiment with.
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Old 04-14-18, 08:17 PM
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Jack, you may reconsider getting a second opinion. Unfortunately your doctor is incorrect. The swelling in your lower extremities is edema. It is fluid...........not blood. And while he/she is quite correct in advising you about TED Hose or such, that will only really help with the swelling, your mobility and possible sensation.* As posted above, there are many reasons that one can be lightheaded and a proper work up really should be done. Medications reviewed, Orthostatic BP's taken and possible films done. Stay hydrated for sure, that will help.** BTW, I work in a Neuro ICU and have been a nurse for over 30 years.





*i know not about if you have any neuropathies with this
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Old 04-14-18, 10:29 PM
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I don't believe the OP mentioned swelling.

Another suggestion is that lightheadedness could be simply low blood sugar. Try eating during your ride when you feel like that. The standard advice for all odd feelings while cycling is - eat.

Yet another suggestion as above, is to have your doc take your orthostatic BP. If the doc already has and you had like a 20 pt. drop and that's why the compression advice, change docs. It's quite normal for fit individuals to experience some orthostatic hypotension and dizziness immediately after standing, but only very momentarily.
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Old 04-15-18, 04:38 PM
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I guess I should give a little history. I had an accident (on a recumbent bike) several years ago from which I acquired a 'Deep vein thrombosis' which was treated with Coumadin (I think) after which I was advised to keep my eye on the leg use compression socks - which I didn't do because I really didn't want to bothered and the leg felt fine. Several years later I stopped riding the recumbent and went back to my touring bike because I was planning a mainland tour and the recumbent was just too hard to ship. I was training pretty hard and I found that the muscles it takes to ride my tourer were very different than the recumbent. Which is when I started feeling light headed. I usually try to be well hydrated but I tried harder, watched that I was not letting my blood sugar even start to get low, made sure electrolytes were ok by adding 'Elete' to my water but nothing I did seemed to stop the light lightheadedness. One day after a pretty hard climb I stopped a a light and woke up on my back in the intersection with a bunch of people standing around me including the police and EMS. I managed to convince them that I was ok , rested a few minutes + water + fuel and went back down the hill. So, I went to the doctor and began an 'Ahole' to appetite investigation of everything is sight. Brain and neck scan, MRI (I think) heart scan looking for problems with valves or arteries - and more. Final answer: no problem found that would account for the problem. So I canceled my plan to do the TransAmerica, cut way back on cycling and changed to swimming open ocean water ~a mile every day - which I can do as hard as I want and never feel anything but fine, I assume because I'm horizontal. All that was 2 years ago. So, lately I've begun think that perhaps I should get back on the bike and see how I feel these days -> Thus the original question... Jeez, that was a long winded explanation, I just got on a typing roll I guess, anyway sorry internet, way too much information.
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Old 04-15-18, 05:41 PM
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Gee whiz, there are a lot of people that stayed at the Holiday Inn Express last night.

Compression socks are a good idea. I have several pairs, 20-30 mmHg is good. I forgot the name of them. I’ve worn them cycling and they look weirder than hell. And please don’t dismiss your doctor because she suggested compression socks.
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Old 04-15-18, 05:43 PM
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Oh, and one more thing. Have you had a tilt table test? It might be helpful.
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Old 04-15-18, 11:50 PM
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I have been very pleased with the "Sigvaris" wool knee length compression socks. They are a bit more expensive, but they are so much more comfortable. The first ones I used I quit because if was like putting my foot in a mid-evil torture boot. That's also something you should check with your doctor on as they come in different degrees of compression. The wool provides nice padding to my feet and really breath well in the summer, though I take shoes off when I take a coffee stop and are warm wet or dry in the winter.
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Old 04-16-18, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by jackrippah View Post
I'm 70 yo and in reasonably good shape - Exercise regularly and have good BP etc. Suggestions on type - style of these damn things? Thanks for any input. Jack
Try looking at 2XU as a company that seems to specialize in compression wear for cyclists. This may be a bit "pricey" but worth a "look-see" just to get an idea of what's out there.

2XU Compression, Fitness & Workout Gear | 2XU
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Old 04-16-18, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jackrippah View Post
I guess I should give a little history. I had an accident (on a recumbent bike) several years ago from which I acquired a 'Deep vein thrombosis' which was treated with Coumadin (I think) after which I was advised to keep my eye on the leg use compression socks - which I didn't do because I really didn't want to bothered and the leg felt fine. Several years later I stopped riding the recumbent and went back to my touring bike because I was planning a mainland tour and the recumbent was just too hard to ship. I was training pretty hard and I found that the muscles it takes to ride my tourer were very different than the recumbent. Which is when I started feeling light headed. I usually try to be well hydrated but I tried harder, watched that I was not letting my blood sugar even start to get low, made sure electrolytes were ok by adding 'Elete' to my water but nothing I did seemed to stop the light lightheadedness. One day after a pretty hard climb I stopped a a light and woke up on my back in the intersection with a bunch of people standing around me including the police and EMS. I managed to convince them that I was ok , rested a few minutes + water + fuel and went back down the hill. So, I went to the doctor and began an 'Ahole' to appetite investigation of everything is sight. Brain and neck scan, MRI (I think) heart scan looking for problems with valves or arteries - and more. Final answer: no problem found that would account for the problem. So I canceled my plan to do the TransAmerica, cut way back on cycling and changed to swimming open ocean water ~a mile every day - which I can do as hard as I want and never feel anything but fine, I assume because I'm horizontal. All that was 2 years ago. So, lately I've begun think that perhaps I should get back on the bike and see how I feel these days -> Thus the original question... Jeez, that was a long winded explanation, I just got on a typing roll I guess, anyway sorry internet, way too much information.
Ok, sooooo I have to ask an uncomfortable question. Based on your prior history, might it be time to end the cycling? I think about these things as risk/reward. Here you are in good shape, able to enjoy exercising and the outdoors. You risk the next episode ending all physical activity for good... is the reward worth it?
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Old 04-16-18, 08:18 AM
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FWIW, Wifey recently got compression socks for her 7 hr flight to LA + her 15hr flight to Australia, but took them off for the 2.5 hr flight to NZ. she got up every hr for a short walk to the restroom. she thinks those two things helped her prevent swollen legs / ankles, which she does not normally suffer from. I was impressed with them because they were attractive, meaning if you shop, keep looking until you find some you like the looks of. she did not get them on Amazon so I can't refer you to a specific product right now
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Old 04-16-18, 09:06 AM
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Your explanation is interesting. You passed out at the light because of low blood pressure. When you're pedaling or doing any hard lower body exercise, the blood vessels in your lower body are contracted, but when you stopped they loosened up and your blood pressure fell. I frequently feel the same thing when I do heavy squats - at the end of the set after I rack the bar, I'll briefly feel a little dizzy. Lower body blood vessels contract and relax due to the release of various hormones, which take a few seconds to travel to the affected limbs and do their job. So there's something wrong with this process in your body. My guess is that it has nothing to do with the DVT although the DVT might have had something to do with the blood pressure anomaly. IOW it's the other way 'round. It's not the cycling, it's the stopping.

See:
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20352548
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthostatic_hypotension
and similar online resources.
"Symptomatic neurogenic orthostatic hypotension (nOH) can be a treatable condition" and there are even specialists for this.
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Old 04-17-18, 07:53 AM
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Just remembered. Juzo knee high compression socks 20-30 mmHg is what I use when I need them.
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Old 04-17-18, 08:43 AM
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Compressionsale.com is another source for a plethora of information regarding the issue. Online ordering also.

10-20mmhg of compression is like a tight pair of socks
30-40mmhg compressions is a pretty darn tight and even comes with a silk cover for easy on/off
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