What is compression stockings?

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How are compression stockings used to treat varicose veins?

Compression stockings can improve blood flow and help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Specially fitted, or graduated, compression stockings are tightest at the foot. They gradually loosen as they fit higher on the leg.

If your doctor recommends compression stockings, wear them during the day to help relieve symptoms.

  • For very mild symptoms, you may want to start out using over-the-counter compression options. These can include support panty hose or compression socks or stockings which end just above the calf, below the knee. You may find that these help swelling and aching considerably. They are available at most department stores or online.
  • Your doctor may prescribe special compression stockings. You can buy these from a medical supply store, where you can be fitted for them.

Compression stockings can be expensive. They may be hard to put on, and it may take you awhile to get used to wearing them all day. But if they fit right, they should be snug but comfortable. If you have problems wearing the stockings, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Avoid elastic bandages for varicose veins unless your doctor specifically suggests them. If this type of bandage is recommended, ask how to wrap it.

What are compression stockings?

Compression stockings help prevent blood and fluid from pooling in the legs. They may be used for problems like varicose veins, skin ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg). There are different types of stockings, and they need to fit right. Your doctor will recommend what you need.

What else should you know about compression stockings?

  • You will probably need to buy a new pair every 3 to 6 months.
  • They may feel tight or uncomfortable at first, but many people get used to them.

Why are compression stockings used?

Compression stockings:

  • Help improve blood flow.
  • Help keep blood from pooling in the legs.
  • Help relieve symptoms caused by varicose veins, skin ulcers, and deep vein thrombosis.
  • Help skin ulcers heal and help prevent them from coming back.
  • Will help the most if you wear them every day while you're awake, especially while you're on your feet.

Specially fitted compression stockings are tight at the feet with a gradually looser fit on the leg. Because there are different types, it's best to use the kind that your doctor recommends and that work best for you.

How to Put On Compression Stockings

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