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Tips for Promoting Leg Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Yvette Mier,

BSN / RN / CWON

About:

Yvette Mier, BSN / RN / CWON, is a well-respected nurse with over 25 years of experience in wound care. She is a chapter author in the Wound, Ostomy, Continence Nursing Society textbook, Core Curriculum for Wound Management. She presents regularly at national wound care conferences and is passionate about leg.

She lives works in the Atlanta area. When not directing clinical care in an outpatient wound center, she can frequently be found in local parks walking with her husband and their dogs.

Tips for Promoting Leg Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic:

1. Wear your prescribed compression socks, stockings or wrap. Compression should be applied before you get out of bed in the morning and removed at bedtime, unless you are wearing a night garment.

2. Pamper your skin. Gentle skin care is a frequently overlooked component of leg health. When bathing, use a non-perfumed, liquid soap to help maintain the natural pH of the skin. At bedtime, apply a therapeutic moisturizer to your legs and feet. Let the moisturizer absorb into your skin overnight. These simple choices decrease the likelihood of skin breakdown with minor trauma. Moist, supple skin is harder to injure than dry, brittle skin.

3. Call a friend with legs positioned above your heart. Medically therapeutic elevation occurs when the legs are above the heart. A visual cue is to draw an imaginary line from your nose to your toes. Your toes should be at or above your nose.

4. Take a walk. Walk for 30 minutes to an hour. This does not have to be a brisk walk; a leisurely stroll is just as effective and allows you to stop and smell the roses! You can even walk around the house if you cannot get outside.

5. Inventory your compression socks, stockings and inspect your wrap. A single pair of compression socks is therapeutic for 3–6 months; develop a way to mark or organize your garments so they are removed from rotation before they are no longer therapeutic.

6. Read that book on your shelf that you’ve always wanted to read but haven’t had the time. In-between chapters, alternate exercising each leg by writing the alphabet in the air with your great toe acting as an imaginary pen. It’s harder than it seems!

7. Struggle with compression sock application and removal and would like a little help? Consider using a donning aid. Donning aids like rubber gloves, foot slips or other donning tools can help. You can find donning aids online if stores are closed. What previously took 5 minutes of struggling can literally be accomplished in seconds. You could also consider a inelastic wrap garment.

8. Exercise your calf muscles specifically. It is the contraction of the calf muscles that act in conjunction with your compression garments to promote venous return. Calf pump exercises include pretending to pump on a gas pedal, circling the feet, standing up and raising up onto your toes, and marching in place to name a few easy exercises.page1image6626432

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