Compression Classes - understanding them

Compression Classes - understanding them

Posted by NW on 1st Feb 2018

I think compression classes have been designed to confuse us all.

But like everything in life - when you get to know them it gets easier!

Compression garments are rated in mmHg.

What does "mmHg" stand for?

The medical abbreviation "mmHg" stands for "millimeters of Mercury", which is a unit of measurement for pressure. It’s the same unit of measure when you take your blood pressure.

Compression garments use a range for how much pressure it provides because the compression changes depending on your size. There is no universal system for the mmHg but generally speaking the higher the level of compression the stronger it is.

Why do products have two numbers in the mmHg?

This refers to graduated compression, ie, 15-20mmHg in a upper arm product, means the distal (wrist) compression would be 20 mmHg reducing to 15 mmHg proximally (top of arm). This graduated compression is needed to squeeze the veins and prevents pooling of the blood in the veins.