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What are Compression Stockings and Why are they Beneficial?

Updated: Nov 9, 2022



If you are wondering what exactly compression stockings are, or why they are so popular, here is everything you might want to know about compression stockings. These stockings are widely used to treat spider veins, varicose veins, swelling, and other problems.


What are compression stockings?


Essentially, compression stockings or socks are specialized socks that apply pressure to your legs, ankles and feet to alleviate pain and swelling. They are made of specialized elastic material. While compression stockings are tighter than socks, they are not uncomfortable and you can wear them all day long or otherwise, as advise by your doctor. Their primary purpose is to apply pressure to your veins and improve blood flow from the legs to the heart.


The use of compression stockings has been demonstrated to relieve pain and swelling in the ankles and feet, as well as to reduce symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins.


Who can wear compression stockings?


A compression stocking is helpful in treating a number of conditions. The following are some conditions in which compression stockings are used. Always consult your doctor before using compression stocking for spider veins or any other condition.

  • Reducing swelling in legs or feet.

  • To decrease or stop symptoms of varicose veins or spider veins.

  • Increase blood circulation in the legs.

  • Prevent blood pooling in the legs.

  • Reversing venous hypertension.

  • Improving lymphatic drainage.

  • Preventing venous ulcers.


Other than these conditions, compression stockings are also useful for:


  • Women who experience swelling or leg pain during pregnancy.

  • Travellers on long flights to prevent swelling and improve blood circulation.

  • Bedridden patients to improve blood circulation and prevent swelling.

  • People who stand all day in order to prevent fatigue, ache, and swelling.

  • Athletes who use compression stockings to improve blood flow during exercise and to speed up recovery after an injury.


How do compression stocking for spider veins and compression stocking for varicose veins work?


By applying pressure to your legs and ankles, compression stockings reduce the diameter of veins by increasing blood flow from the legs to the heart. Furthermore, they prevent blood from refluxing down to the feet and causing swelling, pain, or superficial veins.


Type of compression stocking


There are three types of compression stocking:


Graduated compression stocking


In general, graduated compression stockings are the most widely used compression stocking. They are specifically designed to put more pressure around the ankle and to decrease pressure as it moves upwards towards the thigh or waist. Graduated stockings that go up to the thigh and waist help reduce blood accumulation in the feet and prevent orthostatic hypotension. Stockings that end below the knee relieve swelling and peripheral edema.


For fitting graduated stockings, you will need professional assistance as well as a doctor's prescription. Other than that, they are available in a variety of colours and sizes to meet your needs.


Anti-embolism compression stocking


Similarly, anti-embolism compression stockings require professional fitting and a doctor's prescription. However, the pressure applied by an anti-embolism stocking is less than that of graduated stocking. It applies between 8 -18 mmHg of pressure and is used for patients who are immobile or bed-ridden. In addition to treating venous and lymphatic disorders in immobile patients, people travelling on long-haul flights may use anti-embolism stockings to improve blood circulation in the legs and prevent swelling.


Non-medical compression stocking


Non-medical compression stockings are easily available at pharmacies and you do not need a prescription to purchase them. It is used to relieve tired and achy legs and they apply the least amount of pressure.


Are there any side effects of compression stocking?


Although compression stockings are very safe to use, improper usage or an improper fit can cause some side effects.

  • Reduce or cut off blood circulation: Compression stockings apply continuous pressure to your legs and feet, so poor fitting can reduce the blood flow as well as completely cut off blood flow.

  • Bruise or cuts: In dry climates or with dry skin, compression stockings may cause bruises or cuts on your skin. However, this only occurs with poorly fitted stockings.

  • Itchiness, redness, or irritation: These can also be possible side effects of poorly fitted compression stockings.


Tips for using compression stockings


  • Seek professional help for the perfect fit of compression stockings.

  • If your weight fluctuates, you should seek professional help for the perfect size and fitting of compression stocking.

  • Keep at least two pairs of compression stockings at all times.

  • Put them on first thing in the morning since swelling is low and it will be easier to put them on.

  • Check your skin regularly for irritation, redness, cuts, and bruises. Consult a professional if you experience any of these symptoms.

  • Hand-wash and dry compression stockings to avoid any changes to the stocking material.

  • Take off your compression socks everyday and wear a fresh pair the next day.

  • Dispose of your graduated compression stocking after about 4-6 months and dispose the anti-embolism compression stocking after 10 washes since it will lose its fitting.


You can find a wide range of Compression Stocking for Varicose Veins or for Spider Veins at Lifeforce Hub. If you would like to know more, feel free to contact us. Browse our collection online today.


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