Varicose veins and other circulatory problems in the legs can be painful or even dangerous, and many people are looking for ways to improve blood flow and vascular health. Compression stockings are an easy solution that is right for many people. The board-certified doctors at the Nashville Vein Centre can provide a prescription for stockings that will be custom to your needs.
Why are compression stockings beneficial?
Compression stockings are beneficial to people experiencing a variety of vascular ailments and are a nonsurgical solution when prescribed by your doctor. Some health concerns the stockings can decrease are:
- Varicose veins or leg ulcers
- Swelling in legs
- Preventing blood clots
- After surgery or procedure care
- Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI)
- Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS)
While compression stockings generally do not get rid of these illnesses, they can reduce the formation or control discomfort. You may think these stockings are worn only with advancing age, but they can benefit many people from athletes to pregnant women, as well.
How do they work?
Wearing compression stockings helps keep blood from pooling in the legs, ankles, or foot. When veins are not working correctly, or vein valves become damaged blood is not able to flow upward toward the heart. This backward flow creates pain, enlarged veins, burst capillaries, tissue inflammation and damage, and even infection. Compression stockings combat this by applying pressure to help promote blood flow back to the heart and efficiently through the body. They are designed to apply consistent pressure. Often, the highest amount of pressure is at the ankles or feet, allowing blood to more easily move upward against gravity.
What types of compression stockings are available?
There are different types of compression socks available, by coverage design and strength. Some stockings include the foot area, and others are open. Generally, stockings will be at least knee-high, but some are up to the thigh. Different strengths include light and medium support options that you can get over the counter or at some retail stores. The strongest compression socks are prescribed and custom fit by your doctor. This additional pressure must be approved by a professional so that the stockings do not have an adverse effect. Knee-high stockings promote healthy circulation in the lower leg. Thigh-high stockings can be used after a surgery or vein procedure to prevent blood clots and swelling or to manage varicose veins. Your insurance company may cover the costs if compression wear is necessary for medical reasons, so ask your doctor if you qualify.
When To Wear Compression Socks
It is recommended that people who sit or stand for extended periods wear compression stockings as this can cause circulatory issues. For this reason, wearing them during long car rides or on a flight is very beneficial. Pregnant women can benefit from them, as well. The added pressure to the legs and pelvic area can cause varicose veins that many women wish to avoid forming. With a doctor’s approval, they can aid recovery after surgery, reduce pain from varicose veins, or help if you have a clotting disorder like DVT.
Dangers To Be Aware Of
While compression socks are generally safe, there are a few cases where they are inadvisable. People with arterial disease should not wear them because it can cause the death of bone tissue. Pressure sores and skin damage could also occur if the socks are not fitted correctly. Smokers and those with diabetes, skin infections, or neuropathy should not wear compression stockings without the approval of a certified vascular doctor.
Contact our vascular treatment center in Brentwood, Tennessee, to schedule an appointment. Our doctors are experienced in prescribing the correct type and strength compression wear to improve your vascular and circulatory health.