TED vs. Compression Stockings: Which Is Right for You?

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Yes, compression socks or hose and TED stockings do provide similar benefits (at first glance) but after closer review these compression garments are significantly different. Compression therapy is different for those that are active as opposed to those who may be immobile or bedridden. Understanding the difference between TED stockings and compression stockings can help you choose the proper compression therapy device that is appropriate for your situation and we here at Health Products for You can provide you with the information you need to make a proper decision.

TED vs. Compression Stockings

Why do we need Compression Stocking?

Our bodies are designed to be in motion and our different body systems (muscular, nervous, circulatory, etc. systems) all work in conjunction with each other. Sometimes due to illness or injury our circulatory system may not circulate blood properly in our legs. It’s when our circulatory system has difficulty returning blood upward back to our heart that compression therapy is beneficial to help reduce swelling or pooling of blood in our feet or ankles. Whether you choose medical compression stocking or TED (Thrombo- Embolic Deterrent) hose, they are compression rated in units referred to as mmHg (a unit of pressure). The larger the number, the greater the compression and that stocking’s ability to minimize swelling and improve circulation in your legs.

Covidien Kendall Open Toe Knee Length TED Anti-Embolism Stockings
Covidien Kendall Open Toe Knee Length TED Anti-Embolism Stockings

What is the difference between Ted hose and Compression Stockings?

Percentage of Graduated Compression

You may think all compression garments are all the same, but you would be sadly incorrect. Compression stockings are used to combat the potential issue of blood clots, especially in those that have limited or no mobility. TED stockings in particular are designed for patients who have a risk of blood clots after surgery or due to mobility issues, while Medical Compression Stockings provide greater compression at the ankle area and decreases up the length of the garment. Many times people may actually be wearing the improper compression garment. Two great rules of thumb is:

Patient immobile/bedridden:

Anti-Embolism stockings (TED stockings) are appropriate and should be worn. The stockings allow your blood vessels to work better and allow your arteries to circulate oxygen-rich blood freely and your veins get assistance pumping blood back to your heart minimizing the risk of blood clots and other serious issues.

Patient ambulatory/mobile

Graduated compression stockings are the right choice for mobile patients. In the stockings, the compression is greater around the toes, foot, and ankle and gradually lessens up the stocking. In venous insufficiency, vein valves can become weakened and become unable to push your blood back to your heart. This can cause pooling in the vein which causes varicose veins, spider veins, and even general heaviness in the legs. The graduated compression of the stockings can alleviate the symptoms, but not cure the root cause of your problem.

Covidien Kendall TED Knee High Anti-Embolism Stockings  Covidien Kendall Closed Toe Thigh Length TED Anti-Embolism Stockings For Continuing Care  Venosan Below Knee 20-30mmHg Medical Compression Stockings 
Covidien Kendall TED Knee High Anti-Embolism Stockings​  Covidien Kendall Closed Toe Thigh Length TED Anti-Embolism Stockings Venosan Below Knee 20-30mmHg Medical Compression Stockings​ 

The big difference between the two is the compression ratings and the medical reason for their use. Anti-Embolism stockings have a compression rating usually between 8-18 mmHg and Medical Compression Stockings have a rating between 15-20 mmHg or even higher. TED stockings are used mainly to maintain normal venous return in those that are bedridden or immobile. This keeps blood from pooling in the lower extremities and reducing swelling. Medical graduated compression stockings can be used for all stages of Chronic Venous Insufficiency, varicose veins, and other venous issues. They can even be used in treating Post-Thrombotic Syndrome where stronger compression may be needed. Work with your doctor or vein specialist to determine which type of compression garment is appropriate for you. Remember, the right tool for the right job!!


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Compression Stockings Supplies

Compression Garments Pantyhose Compression Alternatives
Compression Garments Pantyhose​ Compression Alternatives