Brown, Brown A. Office diagnosis of lower extremity venous insufficiency and treatment with the use of nonprescription support hose. J Am Osteopath Assoc 1992;92(4):459. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19126.96.36.1999.
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A two-part crossover study assessed the efficacy of nonprescription support pantyhose by evaluating the relative performance of sheer- versus firm-support types in 30 women with lower extremity complaints. In this clinical trial, 23 women wore nonprescription firm-support pantyhose and seven wore sheer-support pantyhose during the initial 4-week treatment period. Next, treatment was discontinued for 2 weeks, after which a 4-week crossover trial was started. During the crossover, the 23 women who had worn the firm-support hose during the initial trial wore the sheer-support hose, and the seven who had worn the sheer-support hose switched to wearing the firm-support hose. The 2-week washout period did not prove sufficient to allow measured values to return to baseline, thus invalidating the crossover comparisons between the sheer- and firm-support pantyhose. However, the direct comparison of results showed that patients generally experienced an improvement in venous circulation by using either firm- or sheer-support hose as evaluated by venous index measurements and a corresponding decrease in subjective complaints. One year after this study was completed, the patients were recalled. Of the 25 who were seen at this follow-up, 91% continued to use support hose, either when they had symptoms or on a regular daily basis. Venous circulation, as evaluated by noninvasive Doppler ultrasound and photoplethysmography, remained improved.
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