You may have heard people who swear by these stockings when they fly, sit, or stand at work for long periods of time. They come with many benefits like soothing pain, but they are not a cure for underlying health conditions.
We ask ourselves: Are compression stockings even worth it? The verdict is still out. Studies suggest that compression stockings can improve some symptoms of varicose veins, but little evidence supports the idea that stockings alone will eliminate them.
What are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are supportive, snug-fitting socks that typically come up to the top of your calf and encourage the healthy circulation of blood from your ankles back up to your heart. Compression socks are typically worn during the day and taken off during bedtime. They can be worn on one or both legs depending on the condition and recommendations by your doctor.
Types of Compression Stockings
Compression stockings come in various forms including graduated, anti-embolism, and non-medical. Each can be very useful for patients at risk of blood clots and venous ulcers.
Benefits of Compression Stockings
While compression socks alone won’t make your spider or varicose veins go away, they have many benefits:
- Improve blood circulation in the legs
- Prevent blood from pooling in your leg veins
- Reduce leg swelling
- Prevent ulcers
- Prevent blood clots in the veins of the legs
- Reduce pain
How to Use Compression Socks
Consult with your doctor first, before using compression stockings. They come in various lengths and sizes, and they need to fit properly based on measurements of the patient’s legs. Different types of stockings exert different amounts of pressure. A doctor or nurse should assess the right size or else you won’t get any results.
Uses for Compression Stockings
Compression stockings may be used in the following condiments of the lower limbs:
- Edema (swelling)
- Venous Insufficiency
- Varicose veins
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
What’s the Downside to Compression Stockings?
- Irritation: If compression stockings are worn for too long, new areas of irritation can occur. You should remove stockings every day and check the legs and feet for signs of damage or irritation.
- Bad Fit: When compression stockings don’t fit properly, they won’t help! Non-fitting compression socks may increase the risk of blood clots or circulation issues. So it’s important to discuss with your doctor the right type for your specific condition.
- Uncomfortable: First time wearing compression stockings can be uncomfortable, especially when they need to be worn during the warmer season.
Compression Stockings After Vein Treatment
We encourage patients to walk as soon as possible after vein removal treatment. It’s also common for doctors to recommend compression stockings after vein treatment, but we find that they don’t make much a difference. If you receive the proper number of vein treatments, your legs will look and feel better without ever having to wear compression socks.
Compression stockings may or may not make sense for you, so it’s best to discuss this with your doctor which will address your concerns and determine if they are the right choice for you.