Compression stockings are a medical garment worn to improve circulation in the lower extremities.

The stocking fits more snugly around the foot and ankle, gradually loosening as the stocking moves up the leg to encourage healthy blood flow back to the heart. Think of it like a tube of toothpaste – when you squeeze the tube from the bottom, the toothpaste comes out the top. The more you push the bottom of the tube, the more toothpaste you get.

Compression stockings were actually invented by an individual who suffered from venous disease. The inventor noticed that his symptoms improved when he was standing in the deep water of a swimming pool. He determined that the water pressure at the bottom of the pool was higher, helping to push blood and fluid toward the middle of the body.

Use of Compression Stockings

Patients at Vein Specialists of the Carolinas wear compression stockings after all of our vein procedures, to promote healthy blood flow and the healing process. Compression stockings can also be used to reduce symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chronic vein disease.

Compression stockings also help to prevent the formation of blood clots in patients at high risk for the condition. This might include patients with chronic vascular conditions like DVT and those who have recently undergone surgical procedures. In some cases, compression stockings might be combined with medication to further reduce the risk.

Choosing Compression Stockings

Compression stocking strength is measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg). To be considered medical grade, the pressure must measure at least 20mmHg. Doctors typically use compression stockings for their patients in the 20-30mmHg or 30-40mmHg ranges. The strength of the stocking is based on the severity of the patient’s condition and the perceived risk of blood clot formation.

Many patients in the past failed to wear their compression stockings as directed, which greatly impeded their potential benefit. In many cases, noncompliance was the result of stockings that were hot, uncomfortable and ugly. The good news is the compression stockings have evolved into a lightweight material that may resemble slinky dress hose to cotton athletic socks. With greater comfort and a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from, patients are more willing to wear their compression stockings as prescribed and enjoy the full benefits of these garments.

Vein Specialists of the Carolinas will tailor compression therapy to the specific needs of each patient using Sigvaris compression garments.

If you suffer painful symptoms from venous disease, Vein Specialists of the Carolinas can help. Contact our office today to learn more about what compression stockings can do for you.

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