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What are compression stockings?

This question was asked in Houston, Texas and has 3 answer(s) as of 09/17/2012.
How can compression stockings help treat my varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (3)

Compression stockings are elastic stockings that have been designed in a way to squeeze more in the ankle, a little less in the calf and if the stocking is a thigh high, then a little less in the thigh. This graduated (more in ankle, less in calf) squeezing (compression) not only squeezes the skin, but actually squeezes the leg veins underneath the skin, too, pushing the blood out of the leg vein and back toward the body. A good analogy is using your whole hand to squeeze a tooth paste tube. By compressing / squeezing the blood out of the unhealthy leg veins, this process usually makes the symptoms (tired, achy, heavy, swollen, discomfort, etc) from varicose veins or bad veins under the skin feel better.

Properly fit stockings can support leg veins, improve circulation, and relieve symptoms when they are worn. Of course, the problem is still there once the stockings are removed, which is why most people seek more definitive treatment.

Compression stockings are a simple, inexpensive way to treat varicose veins. These specially fitted hose are designed to reduce the pooling that occurs in spider and varicose veins. Although wearing hose won't eliminate varicose veins, they can help alleviate symptoms caused by the veins, such as aching, heaviness, and swelling as well as help prevent worsening of the veins. Wearing compression stockings can also reduce the risk of developing blood clots from long plane or car rides. These stockings have been proven to help with the treatment of varicose veins.

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