Compression therapy is the use of specially designed stockings or socks that support veins and help improve blood circulation. Most often, the compression socks or stockings are worn during the day to prevent the pooling of blood in the veins in your legs and help reduce swelling. Medical compression stockings are an important aspect of vein disease treatment for a number of our patients and are sometimes prescribed as part of ongoing care after certain procedures.
Compression stockings provide support to both the veins and legs via graduated compression, meaning that the greatest support is at the ankles, decreasing gradually towards the top. In concert with the calf muscles’ normal blood-pumping ability as they contract and relax, this gentle pressure assists the blood’s movement. Compression socks and stockings can be thought of as an extra layer of muscle that squeezes together the walls of stretched or weakened veins.
Compression therapy may be used in the treatment of a number of conditions, including chronic venous disease, varicose veins, venous ulcers, chronic edema, venous insufficiency, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and more. Even patients with mild vein disease may be able to benefit from using compression stockings during the course of a normal day.
If we prescribe compression stockings for you, our staff will provide complete information on how to correctly apply them, how long to wear them each day, and what to do if you should experience any problems. We will evaluate your unique condition and determine the compression stocking strength that’s best for you.
Compression stockings have been continuously improved since they were patented in 1848, and today’s modern stockings and socks are more effective, yet comfortable for most people. Compression strength varies among the different medical grades of compression stockings. These are rated according to the unit of measure in millimeters of Mercury — the same numbers used in blood pressure measurement — and include:
In recent years, recovery or sport compression stockings have become popular among athletes. These are not as highly pressurized as medical-grade compression stockings and may not meet the needs of patients with vein disease or vein-related disorders.
Our board-certified interventional radiologists are experts in non- and minimally-invasive vascular procedures. To learn more about compression therapy or to make an appointment, please contact us.