What Are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings are a type of elastic clothing that are tightest at the foot and gradually become looser as they travel up your leg. They are generally prescribed by vein doctors to encourage blood flow in problem veins and come in a variety of lengths, colors, and levels of compression.
Compression Stockings & Varicose or Spider Veins
Varicose veins are veins in which the one-way flow of blood, back from the body to the heart, has been compromised. Compression stockings help relieve mild varicose symptoms by squeezing and applying a pressure gradient that makes it easier for blood to travel up your legs than to stay pooled at the bottom. By encouraging proper blood flow, compression stockings can help with symptoms such as heavy or aching legs and swelling in the ankles though they will not remove your problem veins. Compression stockings are also used after receiving minimally invasive vein treatments to remove spider veins or varicose veins such as endovenous laser treatment, ambulatory phlebectomy, or sclerotherapy. Request a FREE vein consult at our Chicago, IL or Elgin, IL locations to find out if you are a candidate for one of these procedures which allow you to resume regular activity immediately after the procedure.
Varicose veins are largely hereditary, but can be triggered by certain habits or changes such as prolonged sitting or standing, or pregnancy. You may find them particularly useful for relieving symptoms if you have a desk job, will be on a long flight, or are pregnant. Patients with light symptoms can start by trying knee-high socks, but patients with more serious spider vein or varicose vein symptoms will usually be prescribed stockings of moderate compression. Patients with a more serious vein condition will be prescribed firm or extra firm stockings. If you’ve been prescribed compression stockings, your legs will be measured so that you get a pair that apply pressure appropriately. You should wear them during the day and take them off before bed.