People with leg trouble and venous problems may hear about treatment using compression stockings or compression socks.
Sounds odd? Sure, but compression stockings can help improve blood flow in your legs by gently squeezing them. This moves blood upward, preventing the legs from swelling. Doctors may prescribe compression stockings as a treatment for varicose veins, spider veins, or following a surgery. Compressions stockings can also improve the achy, heavy feeling in legs experienced by many people with venous diseases.
Short or long? Your doctor will talk to you about the different types of compression stockings. Some are knee-high, while others reach the top of the thigh. There are also different levels of compression, which is expressed in millimeters of mercury. You’ll see it as mmHg on the label.
Boring? No way! These aren’t the beige compression pantyhose your grandmother wore. They come in many colors and styles, some specifically for runners and other activities. Google “fun compression stockings” to get an idea of the wild colors and patterns available. Triangle Vein Clinic carries a variety of socks and stockings from brands such as Sigvaris and Juzo. Stop by to see the newest styles and get sized for your pair!
How much? Check with your health insurance plan. It may be part of your prescription plan. You’ll need at least two pairs so you can wear one pair and wash the other. It’s best to replace them every three to six months so they remain strong.
Uh, how do you put them on? Putting on compression stockings isn’t as easy as you might think. First, it’s important to get a good fit, so get your legs measured correctly. The staff at Triangle Vein Clinic can help with this! The stockings should feel strong around your legs, with the most pressure on your ankles. Put them on first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Hold the top and roll it down so you can slip your foot into the bottom. Pull up, and then unroll the rest up your leg. Smooth out any wrinkles, and don’t let the stockings bunch up.
Tip: Avoid lotion before putting them on. If your legs are damp, try a little baby powder or cornstarch. Some people swear by wearing rubber dishwashing gloves while they put on their stockings. You can also try buying a stocking donner at a medical supply company or online.
Questions? If something doesn’t feel right, call your doctor. Don’t stop wearing them, but there might be a different type of compression stocking that works better for you.