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What is the easiest way to put on compression stockings?

This question was asked in Gulfport, Florida and has 3 answer(s) as of 11/03/2015.
I am having difficulty putting on my compression stockings every time and it makes me not want to wear them. Is it supposed to be really difficult to get the compression hose on? What is the easiest way to put on compression stockings?

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Doctors Answers (3)

Compression hose can be difficult at first, especially when they are stiff right out of the box. There are a few butler assistant devices that work as a wire metal frame to assist in putting on the hose, especially with patients having mobility, flexibility or hand-strength problems. This may be found or ordered from your vein specialist, at a medical supply near you, or possibly ordered online. I recommend wearing a pair of rubber dish-washing gloves for a better grip when putting on the hose. Start from the top of one leg and move down forming a ring of compressed hose between your two thumbs, going all the way past the ankle to the end of the hose. Then use your thumbs pulled outward to stretch the ring open, and push the end of your foot into the hose while pulling firmly upward past the ankles. Consider wearing the open-toe style hose, which can be more comfortable to wear and allow you to use a slippery foot cover (that comes either with the hose or can be purchased separately). A slippery foot cover makes pulling the hose over the foot and ankle easier, which is usually the hardest part of putting on the hose. An open-toe style hose makes removing the foot cover easier after getting the hose past the ankle. Continue to use your thumbs around the ring of hose and pull upward while stretching the hose with your thumbs and moving from front to back as you pull the hose up. Avoid leaving creases in the hose, which can act to pinch and bruise the skin over time. You may cushion over sensitive spots on the foot and knee with a few pieces of 4x4 cotton gauze, if needed, for high compression hose.

The hose should fit you tightly and are a bit difficult to get on. You should make sure you are measured correctly. I tell people to measure the narrowest part of the ankle, the widest part of the calf, and to measure first thing in the a.m. Then, to put on the hose, they should make sure the skin is dry and not damp or tacky (use baby powder if needed), step into the compression hose like pants, and do not bunch them up. Use a pair of gloves to grip the hose better. There are also stocking donner devices that help and can be used as well.

It is somewhat difficult to explain without a personal demonstration. We do complimentary hose fitting appointments in our clinic because of this. Turn the stocking inside out (for both knee and thigh length), but push the foot back inside to above the heel. Put on a pair of disposable gloves or even dish gloves (these give you better grip and prevent finger nails catching), put the thumbs inside the inverted foot, and work the stocking up until the heel pops in. Take another section of stocking about six inches and pull that up firmly. Check that your heel is in the right place. Continue pulling up in sections until you reach the desired height. Open toe hose are easier as there are silky slippers which help the hose slide on. You then can pull it out the open toe. Additionally, not all hose are made the same. Higher quality hose have more stretch and "memory" to go back to the right strength. Inexpensive hose are often very tight around the ankle and can be quite a struggle.

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