What Are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are medical stockings that typically reach up to the knee. They put pressure on damaged veins, helping them to circulate blood more easily. They are usually the tightest at the ankle and will gradually apply less pressure towards the knee.
There are different variations of these stockings. They can come in varying degrees of tightness (different pressure ratings). Many sizes are available as well; some go above the knee, some don’t. Some are open toe, some are not. You can get stockings that are tighter towards the knee, which is good if you have varicose veins behind your knee. If you have trouble putting on compression stockings, you can get some with zippers on the side.
These stockings help blood circulation by forcing the blood through the veins even though they are damaged. This relieves symptoms associated with varicose veins, such as swelling, fatigue, pain, and discomfort.
Who Should Wear Compression Stockings?
If you have varicose veins at all, you should wear compression stockings; the sooner, the better. If you start wearing them soon, you can prevent new varicose veins from forming. However, it is recommended to see a doctor first to get their recommendation. They will be able to help you select the best style for your specific condition.
How To Use Compression Stockings
A few things:
- In most cases, you will want to wear these every day.
- If wearing them every day, you should get several pairs, so you can keep them clean.
- Wash them with warm water and a mild detergent and set them on a flat surface to dry. This will help them maintain their elasticity.
- Don’t wear them to bed, unless your doctor tells you to.
- If you have trouble getting them on, try laying down and raising your legs up to let the blood run out. Your legs will be smaller and it will be easier to get the stockings on. Also, you can use the ones with zippers.
- Elasticity usually begins to deteriorate after 3 or 4 months.
- Compression stockings on their own will relieve symptoms, but will not prevent varicose veins from getting worse. For best results, you need to use them in combination with herbal remedies and medications, regular exercise, and a proper diet.