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Health

  • Cute Compression Socks for May–Thurner Syndrome (MTS)

    May-Thurner Syndrome (MTS), also known as Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome, is a rare condition that occurs when the left iliac vein is compressed by the right iliac artery. When the artery blocks blood flow, it can lead to the development of blood clots. MTS often affects young women who have given birth and is five times more likely to occur in the left leg than the right. It is rare to have MTS in the right extremity. Symptoms of May-Thurner Syndrome are similar to restless legs, and can also include pain in the thighs, hips or in the lower back, swelling, or the development of varicose veins in the affected area.

    This condition is most often diagnosed after a blood clot forms and the patient is diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). If the blood clots break off, they can travel to the lungs and cause Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is life threatening. DVT symptoms include swelling, pain, warmth in the affected area, redness or discoloration. If you think you may have a blood clot, see your doctor right away to decrease your risk of complications.

    Michelle Dalton Tyree has been diagnosed with Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome. To manage her condition Michelle, must wear compression socks or stockings every day and takes blood thinners to help prevent clotting. She was so excited to hear about cute compression socks like Rejuva, Vim & Vigr and Sockwell! For those who have to wear compression socks to manage medical conditions, we offer fashionable compression socks in a variety of compression levels for both men and women.

    Compression socks help to manage and prevent a variety of ailments, including varicose veins, swelling, fatigue, lymphedema, diabetes, DVT, Dysautonomia and much more. For medical compression socks or more compression options, please see our sister site, BrightLife Direct.

    To hear more about Michelle's story, check out her feature from 89.3KPCC.

     

  • Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Prevention

    plantar fasciitis

    One of the most common causes of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the middle foot bones. Pain and inflammation occurs when the plantar fascia is strained. Plantar fasciitis is a common running injury, but can also be caused by standing on hard surfaces for a long time, high arches or flat feet, and wearing shoes that don't or lack support.

    If your heel hurts as soon as you get out of bed in the morning or you suffer from lots of pain at night, there are some things you can do for relief. First things first - rest. If you stay on your feet, this stress will make the pain and swelling worse. Put ice on your feet to reduce inflammation and pain.

    When you have to walk around, wear shoes that have lots of support, cushioning and shock absorption. Shoes with great arch support can also help. You can even use shoe inserts to add some extra comfort and protection.

    Compression socks and sleeves can also help ease the pain. The zensah foot sleeve for plantar fasciitisZensah Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve is designed to relieve arch and heel pain and is made from a moisture-wicking fabric with silver ions that keeps your feet cool, dry and free from odor and bacteria. This foot sleeve uses targeted T-band compression to lift and stabilize the plantar fascia. This sleeve is designed to fit comfortably in your shoes, so you can wear it whenever you need. The Zensah Plantar Fasciitis foot sleeve is made for men and women and comes in white or black. Great to wear all day or while exercising.

    Sockwell ankle compression socks for plantar fasciitisAnother option to relieve the pain from plantar fasciitis is the Sockwell Plantar Ease ankle sock for women. Made from cashmerino wool, which is naturally antibacterial and thermo-regulating fabric These soft, stretchy ankle socks provide 20-30 mmHg of compression at the arch of the foot to sooth and minimize pain, while increasing circulation to reduce swelling. These socks are also designed with a seamless toe to prevent irritation and fit comfortably into your normal shoes. These ankle socks provide a more subtle look for plantar fasciitis than a foot sleeve.

    To help speed up the heeling process, try doing a couple of exercises each day to help stretch the plantar fascia and achilles tendon. These stretches are particularly good to do in the morning for flexibility and strength.

    Once you've finally healed, be very careful to avoid plantar fasciitis in the future. Make sure you are always wearing comfortable, well padded shoes - especially when running or walking long distances. You should also stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon regularly, whether or not your are exercising. Also try to avoid walking or working out on hard surfaces as to not cause irritation.

    Plantar fasciitis

  • Never Fly Without Compression Socks

    Best travel compression socks

    If you travel a lot (especially on an airplane), it is important to wear compression socks to prevent blood clots and leg fatigue. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), also known as "economy class syndrome", occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in your leg, and is a very serious matter. It can cause leg pain, swelling and can lead to complications like Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

    Frequent fliers must be very careful to avoid blood clots. One of the best ways is to wear compression socks or tights. Generally 15-20mmHg compression is recommended for traveling and everyday wear, but may vary by person. Luckily, compression socks come in tons of colors and patterns, so you can always look stylish anywhere you go. Be careful of "travel socks" - socks that do not say what level of compression they provide. These travel socks often do not provide any compression and will not protect you from blood clots. You often find them in convenience stores or grocery stores, so make sure to read the label, even on the ones at the airport!

    Even if you are a healthy individual, you are still at risk. Professional tennis player, Serena Williams suffered from a life threatening blood clot after a flight from Los Angeles to New York and back. She was diagnosed with PE, which was caused when part of the blood clot broke off and traveled to her lungs. She had to take a step back from her intense training to recover. Long flights increase your risk of a blood clot from sitting for a long period of time, even if you regularly stay active.

    Long periods of immobility and being dehydrated can increase your risk of DVT. Before your flight, make sure you drink lots of water and get some rest. Drinking something with a lot of electrolytes is also a great way to prevent dehydration. You should also try to avoid coffee or soda before your flight. If you are able to stretch or briefly walk around the cabin during the flight, it will also help prevent clotting. If there's room, store your carry-on in the overhead compartment to give you more room to stretch your legs out. Getting an isle seat is ideal to be able to get up and walk around for a few minutes. Lastly, comfort is key. Wear loose clothing so you don't restrict blood flow.

    Browse Travel Socks

  • Shin Splints - What You Need To Know

    The Basics

    Shin splints refers to pain, soreness and tenderness in your lower leg along the shinbone. Symptoms can also include minor swelling as well. Shin splints, also known as medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is caused by stress on the shinbone, which causes you to feel pain during physical activity, but in more serious cases, the pain is constant throughout the day. Shin splints can occur on the inside of your leg (medial shin splints) or on the outside of your leg (anterior shin splints).

    You may be at risk of shin splints if:

    • - You barely stretch or don't at all
    • - Run on uneven surfaces
    • - Have flat feet or high arches
    • - You are new to running or are running long distances
    • - You start exercising more frequently and/or intensely
    • - Wearing worn out shoes or shoes that lack support
    • - Have had shin splints in the past

    Shin splints is very common among runners (especially beginners) and develops when runners switch up their routine, or are running too far, especially on uneven surfaces. Usually, your most dominant leg is affected. This pain can feel so severe that it will keep you from running or working out. If you are a new runner, make sure you don't push yourself! You want to increase the distance you are running gradually to avoid injuries like this.

    Prevention

    "Pounding the pavement" quite literally can cause shin splints. Running downhill puts a lot of stress on the leg and can cause pain and swelling. Beware of running on uneven surfaces. Shin splint symptoms can come on gradually, so pay attention to what your body is telling you so you know the difference between fatigue and an injury.

    It is extremely important to stretch. Also, make sure you are wearing comfortable, supportive shoes. If you already are wearing good running shoes, try getting shoe inserts for additional comfort and protection. You can also wear compression socks or sleeves to protect yourself from shin splints. Compression increases blood flow and helps to reduce swelling, pain and fatigue.

    Zensah Tech+ Hot Pink Compression SocksZensah Tech+ Compression Socks help to prevent shin splints by targeting compression to provide muscle support for your shins and calves. These socks are designed for men and women and feature a lightly cushioned toe and heel. Zensah Compression Calf Sleeves are also great for shin splint relief and are designed with wide ribbing in the front to provide shin support and are available in a variety of colors. These are great if you already have a comfortable pair of ankle socks that you swear by - you can still wear them with these sleeves.

    Treatment

    If shin splints go untreated, the pain will get worse and could result in a stress fracture. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to relieve the pain and feel better, fast. The most important thing you can do is rest. Even if the pain isn't stopping you from running or exercising, it's important to take a break and let it heal. It's definitely worth missing a couple days instead of a couple months if your injury gets worse!

    A great tip for instant relief is to put ice on your shins to reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Try icing your legs between 15-30 minutes every three to four hours for a couple days or until the pain subsides. If you are in a lot of pain, try an over-the-counter pain reliever.

    You can do exercises to strengthen, prevent and recover from shin splints. One exercise is to trace the alphabet on the floor using your toes to strengthen and stretch out your calf and shin muscles. Do this with both of your legs four times in a row about three times a day. This exercise is great for recovering and prevention. To strengthen your shin muscles, try doing toe raises (2-3 sets of 10 to 20 reps). If you're looking to strengthen all of your lower leg muscles, do calf raises.

    You can also wear compression socks or calf sleeves to speed up recovery, reduce swelling and fatigue and provide relief for aching legs. 2XU 24/7 Recovery Compression Socks are great to wear to recover after a long run and from injury too. These socks are designed specifically for men and women to provide the relief you need when training.

    If you haven't already, invest in a foam roller to "roll" out kinks and break up muscle adhesions or knots. This also helps to increase blood flow. If you have had a stress fracture which caused your shin splints, it is advised that you do not use a foam roller. Check out this video for tips!

    Once you are feeling better, remember to gradually lean back into your workout. Slow and steady wins the race!

    Still have questions about shin splints? Comment below to get answers.

  • 2015 Stylebook: Gym Glam - Look 5

    Ladies, now is the time to get back in the gym and kick butt! With summer just around the corner, it's never too early to start toning. First things first - clean up your diet. You can run for miles and miles, but if you sit in front of the T.V. mindlessly eating afterwards, you're not going to see much of a difference. Eating foods like avocados, nuts, berries and low-carb string cheese are great snacks that take the edge off without packing on the pounds. When you are consuming the right foods, your body has more energy and you are more likely to make it to the gym.

    Polyvore-Gym Glam

    When you're starting out, think about what your goals are. Weight loss, toning, strengthening your muscles or training for competitions, etc. It is extremely important to be realistic with what you can achieve in the given time period, so you don't get discouraged. Designate how many times a week you want to go to the gym and try and stick to it. Don't beat yourself up if you can't make it one day, just make up for it another day or do some exercises from home. No matter what pace you take getting back in shape, you are always further ahead than the people on the couch.

    Need some motivation to get started? Get yourself some cute gym clothes! What better way to look and feel your best than with a great gym wardrobe? The most essential item to have is a pair of compression socks or sleeves. Grab a pair of Sigvaris Compression Calf Sleeves to enhance performance and to prevent injuries like shin splints and leg cramps. Most important? Wearing compression sleeves or socks after a workout speeds up your recovery time so you can get back out there in no time. Featuring 20-30mmHg of graduated compression from the ankle to the knee, these sleeves increase circulation and improve blood flow. They are perfect for working out, training for marathons or triathlons, and also for running long distances. Compression sleeves and socks are vital to keeping your legs healthy and energized, especially when you are first starting out.

    It is important to work in cardio and weight lifting each week. There should be a balance between the two based on how often and how long you work out and for. If you only go a couple of times a week, you should consider doing a total body workout each time. This is where you hit all of your muscle groups in one session, and if you have time, add in about 20 minutes of cardio after. If you plan on going 3-5 times a week or more, you should try dedicating each day to targeting specific muscle groups. For example, spend one day focusing just on your legs, and another only doing back and tricep exercises to work the muscles more thoroughly. If you want to tone your body, the best way to do so is through resistance training. Grab a pair of resistance bands and try some of these exercises.

    Check out these customized workouts by Women's Health Magazine that are based on your specific body type. Make sure you listen to your body. Try keeping a food and exercise log to see your progress. This helps to catch patterns that may be preventing you from reaching your goals faster. No matter what kind of exercise you do, the most important part is that you're out there trying. Don't give up!! Remember, the real workout begins when you're so tired that you want to quit. Mention us on Twitter at @brightlifego and show us your progress!

    The Look:

    Chanel Weights

    Facial Gym Cleanser

    Pink Resistance Bands

    Under Armour Logo Hoodie

    Jordan Dominate Gym Sack Bag

    New Balance Women's Gym Shoes

    adidas by Stella McCartney Yoga Mat

    Sigvaris Compression Calf Sleeve 20-30mmHg

    Thanks for reading :)

  • Compression for Pregnancy - Does it Help?

    VIM&VIGR Compression Socks for Expecting Moms

    Swollen ankles and feet, tired legs, varicose veins - these are all common complaints during pregnancy. I can talk all day long about the benefits of wearing compression socks to treat and prevent these symptoms, and you can read about how they help on our site, but the most compelling proof is testimonials from real-live expecting moms. Check out what moms-to-be are saying about how compression helped them:

    Katie at A Mother Thing tested out Sockwell Calf Sleeves:

    "I absolutely LOVED the calf sleeves. I didn’t want to get real socks because I have a history of very sweaty feet, so I wanted something cute that I could wear with my boots OR with sandals. These fit the bill perfectly. I’ve been wearing them A LOT, and when I last saw my doctor, she was really pleased about how much less swollen my legs and feet were. Plus, they just look really cute. Even barefoot they are kind of adorable."

    Liz at The Diabetic Mommy tried out the Preggers line of compression:

    "Let me start by saying these compression socks are so incredibly comfortable...I started the night off swollen but by the time I got home my feet were back to normal. It was amazing. I’ve washed and worn them every day since. No lie.

    Next I had to try the leggings. Those are featured in the last picture. I liked them a lot. Be warned: the first time wearing them can be a struggle. With my swollen legs and pregnant belly in the way I got quite the workout putting them on. Once I did I was in heaven. You could just feel the relief. I have to admit they have worked just as well as the website boasts. I would recommend these to all pregnant ladies, and even diabetics. After wearing these my legs/feet were like new again."

    Holly at Eat Great Be Great also tested out Preggers Leggings in a few different colors:

    "I was lucky enough to try out the leggings in black and the tights in purple. First and foremost, I was impressed with the fashionable options and colors. Typically, I tend to think of compression garments as being ugly and drab, but that’s certainly not the case with the Preggers line. I also liked the fact that the material is very soft and not at all itchy. Both these products were super comfortable, and not only helped to reduce swelling in my legs and ankles, but also provide the right amount of support for my growing belly and achy back. I could seriously wear these everyday and would highly recommend them for all my fellow pregnant mamas."

    Hollie at Mommies With Cents! checked out the VIM&VIGR socks after suffering from varicose veins during her pregnancy:

    "When I was pregnant with my first baby my varicose veins started to get worse.  They didn’t really bother me but they sure didn’t look pretty.  By the time I was pregnant with my third baby they started to cause some discomfort.  Luckily, while still unsightly, the uncomfortableness pretty much vanished after birth.  That being said, I’ve been told by doctors that this will likely change as I age.  Compression socks were recommended to help inhibit swelling, alleviate soreness and reduce or prevent spider and varicose veins in the future. First of all, I have to say that I really enjoy the styles of VIM & VIGR socks.  I’ve always liked wearing knee highs and I like fun patterns too.  These are some of the most comfortable socks and very well made.  They’re the first ones I reach for whenever they’re clean!"

    Are you wearing or did you wear compression during your pregnancy? Tell us what you thought!

  • Prop Stylist Swears by Compression Socks

    Kendra Smoot on A Cup of JoKendra Smoot is a beloved prop stylist for Cole Haan, Lucky Magazine, Kate Spade and more. What's a prop stylist you ask? Well a prop stylist assembles a photo shoot - laying out the furniture, accessories, background, fashion and more so that both photographer and model look amazing in a photo shoot! She was recently highlighted on A Cup of Jo (if you're not reading this blog, you should be) in a section called My Beauty Uniform. In it, she talks about her favorite beauty products and routines to make sure she's looking and feeling fresh from day to night.

    Here are a few of our favorite snippets, direct from A Cup of Joe:

    Have you developed any travel beauty routines?
    Whenever I fly, I drink big bottles of water and remember to use a face mist. And if I'll be in the air for more than four hours, I swear by compression socks! I discovered them when I had to fly to my brother’s wedding late into my second pregnancy—I didn't wear them, and by the time I got to my destination, my legs had swelled to twice their normal size! It was so uncomfortable. My doctor suggested I pick up a pair of compression socks and wear them on the red-eye flight home, and I could not believe what a difference it made. I had zero swelling but also tons of energy! I didn't even feel like I needed a nap after flying all night.

    As a stylist, you're obviously talented at creating beautiful moments. So I'm curious, do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
    Yes! I hadn't really thought about it until you asked. I think beauty is about contrast—that things shouldn't be too perfect. I'm "allergic" to things being too done-up, whether that be a room or a garden or my personal look.

    Read the full post here and check out our favorite travel compression socks here.

  • Post-Pregnancy Compression Garments

    Rebecca Judd and her newborn baby A model recently credited her dramatic weight-loss after having a baby to wearing compression shorts. Rebecca Judd, an insanely beautiful Australian model and TV presenter, says she did not diet – she simply wore a pair of compression shorts that her doctor prescribed all day, every day.

    Judd is not the only woman in the public eye who has recommended compression garments to get her body-before-baby back.  Jessica Alba, mother of two, told Net-A-Porter that she wore a compression corset to bring back her slim physique:

     “It was brutal; it’s not for everyone,” she qualifies. “I wore a double corset day and night for three months. It was sweaty, but worth it.

    So, what’s compression doing to help slim down these beautiful women?

    Cecila Jevitt, a certified nurse mid-wife in Florida told Today.com that, “Wearing an external binder or corset gives the muscles support while they’re healing postpartum,” Jevitt said. “It doesn’t make mothers magically lose weight.”

    In the same article, a high-risk obstetrician at New York University said she recommends compression to her patients as well, but more for comfort and support – not weight loss.

    “It’s helpful if you’re bending down and picking up the baby off the changing table,” says Dr. Iffath. These products can help reduce lower back and abdomen pain and make it easier to be active.

    Compression products are becoming more and more popular for athletes – compression helps increase circulation of blood and oxygen to muscles, helping them to recover more quickly after a hard game, workout or run. So, it makes sense that compression worn over the abdominal muscles would help those muscles repair faster after giving birth. But, we doubt that it’s really a tool for weight loss.

    For confidence, however, we think wearing abdominal compression can be really positive. Many compression product brands offer the benefits of increased circulation as well as the benefits of shapewear. If you’re feeling self-conscious about your body after pregnancy, certainly wearing shapewear can be very helpful in creating a smooth, slim appearance and getting you back into your pre-pregnancy jeans. And, if you’ve had trouble with varicose veins during pregnancy – compression leggings, socks and stockings are proven to help relieve and prevent those from occurring again.

    If you’re interested in wearing compression garments post-pregnancy, we recommend the Solidea Abdominal Band. This band has a special micro massage fabric which activates circulation under the skin and has been shown to reduce cellulite and prevent scar formation. Additionally, the silver in the fabric eliminates bacteria which can help wounds heal if you’ve had a caesarian section.

    If you’re looking for additional shapewear options, look through Solidea’s other products which include shaping leggings and pantyhose – all with graduated compression.  Additionally RejuvaHealth offers a slimming black legging with mild compression – comfortable and effective.

  • How to Prevent and Treat Varicose Veins and Spider Veins

    Barista wearing Sockwell SocksWe’ve all seen them on other people’s legs (if not our own) – teeny, tiny blue spider veins, or bulging, rope-like varicose veins. They’re the first sign that your circulatory system is struggling and needs help. Today I’ll walk you through what exactly is happening in your body to cause those sometimes painful and unsightly veins, and what you can do to treat and prevent more from forming. Even if you don’t have spider or varicose veins yet – it’s important to find out how to keep them from showing up. Because – ladies – more than 50% of all women in the USA are affected by venous insufficiency.

    What are varicose veins and spider veins? Varicose and spider veins are swollen veins that usually appear on your legs. They can be blue, red or even flesh toned, and sometimes they can be raised above the skin.

    How do varicose and spider veins form? Varicose and spider veins form when a vein is struggling to push blood back to the heart. If you think back to anatomy class, you’ll remember that the heart pushes oxygenated blood out of the heart through arteries, and then veins bring the blood BACK to the heart for more oxygen. Your legs and feet are below your heart, so your veins must work against gravity to push this blood back up. As we get older, gain weight, and spend more time standing or sitting for long periods of time, our veins have more trouble pushing the blood back to the heart. Blood begins to collect in the veins, which makes them swell and become apparent under the skin. For some people, this is just a cosmetic issue – something you can see on your legs that didn’t use to be there, but for other people these veins can cause throbbing pain and soreness.

    Treatment & Prevention – If you are struggling with pain from your varicose veins, you should speak with a doctor or medical professional. There are a number of surgical procedures that can be done to eliminate both varicose and spider veins, but there are also some less invasive strategies.

    1.  Compression socks – Compression socks relieve the pressure on the veins in your legs and help push blood back up to your heart. They’re comfortable and will actually leave you feeling more energized throughout the day. You’ll find that a lot of professions that require standing for long periods of time wear compression socks all day – nurses, waitresses, chefs, sales people, and more. It's easy to integrate compression socks into your every day outfits nowadays because so many brands are offering cute styles.

    2. Elevate your legs when possible. Some doctors have suggested keeping a footstool under your desk so that you can raise your feet and legs during the day while sitting.

    3. Maintain a healthy weight – too much weight on your legs can cause circulatory problems.

    4. Regular exercise can strengthen the leg muscles that help support your circulatory system.


    For many women, varicose veins are genetic. If your mom had them, you're more than likely to have them too. So, start taking steps to prevent them today!


    Brita on Google+

  • Recovery from Triathlons, Marathons and Races

    Sigvaris Compression SleevesRacing, whether on a bike or on your feet, can be brutal on your body. It’s crucial to take care of yourself after your race or workout to prevent pain and injury. While there seems to be no definitive answer on what THE BEST recovery solution is, I’ve compiled a list after scouring athletic sites and magazines.

    1. Foam roller: If you haven’t used one of these on your shins or quads, you are missing out. It’s hard to describe the feeling – maybe a very firm massage on your sore muscles? It releases an incredible amount of tension in the muscles. The Guardian has a great article on how to use the foam roller.

    2. Proper diet: Every athlete has their different go-to meal post workout, but most people will agree: water, a mean that combines carbohydrates and proteins (4:1 ratio), and vitamins (omega3, vitamins E and C). Check these articles for recommendations on meals: Runners World and USNews

    3. Compression socks:  Wearing compression socks after a run will increase circulation and move lactic acid away from the muscles, to prevent soreness. Some athletes wear their compression socks for up to 3 days after a big race or intense workout. Luckily there are some work appropriate ones, so you don't have to wear your neon sport stripes to the office!


    Brita on Google+

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