How Do Compression Stockings Work?

by | Nov 3, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

The specialists at Virginia Vein Care want to share how compression stockings work, so you know what to expect. Compression stockings are specially made, stretchy socks designed to gently squeeze the legs in a graded fashion, with compression at the ankle progressively decreasing to the thigh. The added pressure helps maintain venous blood flow in the proper direction and reduces the pain, swelling, heaviness, and discomfort associated with vein problems. Typical vein issues include:

  • Spider veins
    Small, twisted blood vessels that are visible through the skin. They can be red, blue, or purple and most often appear on the legs and feet.
  • Reticular veins
    Medium-sized veins that appear just below the surface of the skin. They are usually blue or purple and most often appear on the backs of your knees, inner thighs, or near the ankles.
  • Varicose veins
    Larger, twisted, bulging veins that result from weakened or damaged valves (flaps) inside the affected vein. They are typically blue or purple and most often appear on the legs. They can also be painful, especially after sitting or standing still for a long time.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    A blood clot in one or more of the deep veins in your legs. These frequently do not present any visible symptoms but may lead to a throbbing or cramping sensation in a calf or thigh.

Compression stockings come in several lengths for use in the lower extremity. Depending on the underlying abnormal anatomy, either knee-, thigh-, or waist-high pantyhose are available. Thigh-high stockings generally provide the most relief for the broadest range of abnormal anatomy, although knee-high compression stockings are the easiest to wear. For those with a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), knee-high stockings should usually be avoided. Virginia Vein Care offers safe, effective treatments for varicose and spider veins and symptoms of venous insufficiency.

These treatments include:

  • Endovenous radiofrequency ablation
    A minimally invasive treatment that uses radiofrequency or laser energy to cauterize (seal) the abnormal veins that lead to varicose veins.
  • Endovenous laser ablation
    A minimally invasive procedure that uses heat from a laser to reduce varicose veins.
  • Ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
    A non-surgical, minimally invasive technique that injects an FDA-approved foam sclerosant into the malfunctioning vein or veins to close them permanently.
  • Cosmetic sclerotherapy

A minimally invasive procedure used to treat weakened or damaged blood vessels. A medicine is injected into the vessels and makes them shrink.

Winter is almost here, so it’s the perfect time to get started on your vein treatments. Not only are swelling and vein dilation diminished during cooler months, but many health insurance providers also require wearing medical-grade compression stockings for 6-12 weeks before they approve any type of vein treatment. Visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you and talk to one of our skilled vein care specialists to learn more about your particular venous symptoms.