Do Compression Socks Treat Veins?
Written by Dallas Vein Specialists on August 15, 2014
Some of our patients at Dallas Vein Specialists are curious whether there are conservative ways to manage
symptoms and promote good blood circulation. We recommend three steps: exercise, elevating the legs and wearing good quality, graduated compression hose daily.
Wearing compression socks or hose is especially important during long flights, car rides or prolonged immobilization of the legs. The hose will reduce the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots in the legs.
GRADUATED COMPRESSION SOCKS AND STOCKINGS
We recommend graduated compression socks or stockings to apply pressure to the legs. The pressure has a tapered effect, meaning the greatest compression is at the ankle, and the compression decreases as the garment extends toward the upper thigh.
As you walk, the contraction and relaxation of your calf muscles around the veins help move blood efficiently up toward the heart. The external compression of the hose or socks gently squeezes the stretched vein walls together, helping the veins to empty. This reduces the cavity of the vein, helps restore normal blood flow and promotes overall circulation.
If you do purchase a pair of compression hose or socks, you should put them on before getting out of bed in the morning, and remove them when you return to bed at night. They should feel snug (but not painful) around your legs.
Compression hose are safe for women who develop enlarged and painful veins during pregnancy, and will do much to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins of pregnancy.
Compression hose will not cure varicose veins, and there is no conclusive evidence that daily wearing of the hose will decrease the progression of varicose veins. They are best used to decrease the symptoms of varicose veins.
WHERE CAN I FIND COMPRESSION HOSIERY?
Compression hose should be purchased from medical offices, some pharmacies, and specialty medical stores where measurements of the leg are taken and appropriate sizes are selected based on the measurements. Department stores and many online purchase sites have inferior quality stockings that are of little medical benefit. Brands such as Medi, Bauerfiend, Sigvaris and Jobst produce excellent quality compression hose available in many sizes and fits.