Varicose veins are the bulging and tortuous bluish-purple veins that develop due to pooling or slow movement of blood inside them. These veins can occur in various body parts but are predominantly observed in the legs. Compression stockings are widely recommended by many doctors for fast symptomatic relief from varicose veins in the legs.
How to determine the best compression stockings for you?
Which compression stockings are best for the patient depends upon the severity of varicose veins in their case. The more severe the condition, stockings that have stronger compression are recommended by the doctor.
- mild compression- For constant mild heaviness in the legs that is the initial sign of varicose veins.
- moderate compression– For heaviness, swelling, and burning sensation caused by varicose veins.
- Firm and extra-firm compression- Recommended for severe cases of varicose veins, venous ulcers, etc.
Hence, upon diagnosing the severity of varicose veins, your doctor can tell you clearly about the pressure range of compression stockings that best suit you. Too much pressure can have the opposite negative effect and too little pressure may fail to provide relief. Therefore, it is important to discuss the most suited pressure range with your vascular specialist.
Also, the best-suited type of compression stockings for varicose veins depends upon the combination of a few factors like:
Size of the compression stockings
Compression stockings are available in a variety of sizes. Make sure that you choose the appropriate size according to your legs. Inappropriate size can lead to either cut on the legs or not enough pressure on the region. Ensure that the compression stocking is snug enough to regulate blood circulation, but still not too tight.
Length of compression stockings
Compression stockings come in a variety of lengths- knee-high, thigh-high, and waist-high. Knee-high stockings are suitable if the region of pain is limited to feet and ankles. For pain in the legs and thighs, you should go for the thigh-high compression stockings whereas, for pain near the buttocks region or varicose veins post-maternity, waist-high compression stockings are most suitable.
Fabric choice for compression stockings
A variety of fabric materials are also available in compression stockings. Opaque fabrics are usually most suitable because of their high durability and comfort. You can also go for the cotton or wool sports fabric but these may not be available in the high-pressure ranges such as firm and extra firm stockings.
Now that you are aware of the things to consider while buying the best compression stockings for you, let’s know about the working of compression stockings.
How do compression stockings work?
Compression stockings help in even distribution of the pressure on the lower body. The stockings exert gentle pressure or gently squeeze the legs to enhance blood circulation. Appropriate levels of pressure push the blood upwards toward the heart and prevent it from pooling. The accelerated blood circulation subsides the swelling and greatly reduces the chances of blood clot formation. Thus, compression stockings function as an effective measure for maintaining healthy blood circulation.
Wearing the right compression stockings as advised by the doctor offers the following benefits:
- Reduces the risk of further blood pooling inside veins
- Provides significant relief from the pain and heaviness of varicose veins
- Decreases the swelling and inflammation in the legs.
- Prevents venous ulcers and deep vein thrombosis (blood clot inside the vein).
- Reverses high blood pressure on the walls of the veins (venous hypertension)
- Provides external support to the veins in pushing the blood to the heart
- Minimizes the chances of lightheadedness due to poor blood circulation
It is strictly advised by the doctors to not overwear compression stockings. Wearing the stockings for 8-10 hours a day is the right way of using them for varicose veins. Also, wearing compression stockings overnight has a negative effect on blood circulation. Thus it is necessary to use compression stockings as instructed by the doctor.
Compression stockings can be a very effective way to alleviate the pain and swelling of varicose veins. However, choosing the right compression stockings is an important mindful task for ensuring maximum effectiveness. Also, make sure that you consult your doctor before going for compression stockings so that the condition does not deteriorate any further.