Compression stockings are elastic stockings used to treat varicose veins. Compression stockings are available both with and without prescription. For those who suffer from severe varicose veins, prescription-strength compression stockings are usually recommended.
Although compression stockings are not a cure for varicose veins, they can prevent vein problems from progressing. The use of compression stockings is often the first treatment approach we try prior to moving onto other treatments.
Compression stockings work by squeezing the varicose veins and stopping excess blood from flowing backward. In order to be effective, compression stockings must be worn on a daily basis. Compression stockings are the tightest at the ankles. The tension gradually lessens as the stockings stretch over the knee and toward the upper leg.
Compression stockings effectively force blood to flow along its natural course. They steadily squeeze the leg muscles, helping to drive blood back to the heart. Compression stockings prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce swelling in the feet.
To maximize the effectiveness of compression stockings, wear them immediately after you get out of bed in the morning before blood starts to pool in your legs. It is recommended that you keep your legs elevated at night when you aren’t wearing your compression stockings.
You can turn the compression stockings inside out or apply silicone lotion to your legs to put your compression stockings on more easily. You must pull very hard to get the stockings past your ankle. If you have weak hands or arthritis, there are devices available to assist you in putting your compression stockings on.
For patients who suffer from severe varicose vein problems, Dr. Sweda or Dr. Shuster will most likely prescribe compression stockings. Non-prescription compression stockings can be purchased at most pharmacies and medical supply stores.
During your initial consultation at the Integrated Vascular Vein Center, we will use a tape measure to measure your legs. Proper measurement is important because compression stockings that do not fit properly can cause further circulation problems.
Compression levels of compression stockings are measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Compression levels range from 15 to 20 mmHg to 50 to 60 mmHg.
Compression stockings typically cost between $50 and $100. They eventually lose their compression, so they should be replaced after three months or so of regular use. To maintain the elasticity of the stockings for longer, it is recommended that compression stockings be washed by hand.
Compression stockings come in many shapes, colors, and styles. You can purchase flesh-colored compression stockings if you would like for them to blend in with your natural skin tone. There are compression stockings that look like a sock or sleeve and compression stockings that look like pantyhose.
There are no complications associated with wearing compression stockings, but they do take some getting used to. Some patients complain that their legs feel warmer than usual when they wear compression stockings. When the weather is warm, some patients may feel reluctant to wear their compression stockings.
Dr. Shuster is dedicated to the treatment of all vascular diseases specializing in vein therapies.Meet Dr. Shuster