Compression Stockings: Benefits & FAQs

The things you don’t know about compression stockings might surprise you. Compression stockings offer a solution to easy maintenance of vein health and blood flow in the legs while reducing swelling and pain associated with varicose veins. Keeping your legs healthy and happy is easy. Learn how, from our easy FAQ, how compression stockings can work for you.

What is a compression stocking? What makes them valuable?

Compression stockings have been around for more than 160 years. The original patent is from 1848. Over the years, they’ve come a long way. 

Compression stockings and socks put a comfortable amount of pressure on the legs. This increases blood flow and reduces stress on the veins. It’s a simple yet effective solution that has the power to relieve leg issues like swelling, discomfort, and aching. Compression socks are highly beneficial in managing symptoms of varicose veins.

You may hear compression stockings referred to as gradient stockings, pressure stockings, compression hoses, or support stockings. They are available in knee and thigh-high lengths and a variety of stylish colors for women and men.

Who Can Benefit from Wearing Compression Stockings?

Absolutely anyone can benefit from wearing compression stockings. From preventing deep vein thrombosis and blood clots to managing swelling caused by varicose veins, compression hosiery is the key to comfort and leg health for many people.

Choosing The Best Compression Hosiery For You

It’s essential to choose the type of compression stockings that will provide the most significant benefit to you. Keep our critical points in mind when selecting your compression hosiery.

Prescription strength?

Compression stockings range in strength from 10mm Hg to stronger than 50mm Hg or more. You will find lower-strength socks readily available in pharmacies and online. Higher-strength stockings are available with a prescription from your physician and are commonly used for varicose veins.

Gradient or uniform?

There are two types of compression stockings – gradient and uniform. There is a significant key difference between the two. Gradient compression stockings are tight on the ankle and slowly get less tight as they move up on the leg. Uniform compression stockings are the same level of tightness up the leg. Gradient stockings are what most people tend to choose.

Best length?

Knee-length stockings are the perfect choice for most people unless swelling or varicose veins are present above the knee. In this case, thigh-high stockings are a better choice for you.

Varicose Veins and Compression Stockings

The correct strength of compression stockings relieves many of the uncomfortable and painful symptoms caused by varicose veins. Varicose veins cause blood to collect in the legs, which results in pain and swelling. The constant pressure applied to the leg by compression hosiery causes blood to flow naturally through the veins, reducing pressure, pain, and edema.

For men and women with varicose veins, it’s best to have a physician prescribe the correct strength of compression stockings. Your stockings can even be made specifically for you to provide the most benefit and comfort.

How Long To Wear Your Compression Stockings?

How long to keep them on each day will be guided by your physician. Why you are wearing stockings and the strength of your socks will make a difference in wear time.

People who have chronic venous issues often wear their stockings 16 hours per day, removing them at bedtime. You should never wear your compression stockings to sleep in unless your physician has specifically prescribed 24-hour wear. For instance, following treatment for varicose veins, some patients must wear compression socks for a specified number of hours or days.

When is the best time to put on compression stockings?

Morning is the time when your legs are at their least swollen, so it tends to be the best time to put on your compression stockings. If you find it challenging to put your stockings on due to age or weight issues, try some of these tips.

  • Apply some baby powder to the legs.
  • Use a special dressing aid available for socks and stockings.
  • Roll the stocking down before putting your foot into it.
  • Consider open-toe stockings.

How to care for compression stockings or socks?

Keep a few pairs of compression socks in your drawers if you use them daily and wash them after each wear. To machine wash, use a gentle detergent, warm water, and air dry the socks before using them. Proper care will maintain elasticity and give better support longer. Replace every three-six months when properly maintained.

Will my insurance or Medicare cover pressure stockings?

Many people wonder if insurance will pay for compression stockings. In some cases, insurance does pay for prescription-strength stockings of 20mm Gh or greater. Individuals with Medicare Part B will find that compression stockings are not covered, even with a prescription

Call your insurance provider to address this concern.

Whether you want to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, are experiencing mild leg discomfort, or living with the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins, compression stockings are an invaluable tool for leg and whole-body health.

For more information on how compression stockings can benefit you, contact Five Clinics today!

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