Compression Therapy

A conservative approach to treating vein disease

Wearing graduated compression stockings (sometimes referred to as compression hose) can provide relief of pain from your venous disease. Commonly referred to as compression therapy, this gentle approach utilizes compression stockings which can be prescribed by your Coastal Vein and Vascular Specialist. They come in various sizes and compression strengths.

It is important that you receive correctly sized compression stockings or the  therapy won’t be as effective – i.e. if they are too large, they won’t provide enough compression strength, where if they are too small they will feel very tight and uncomfortable. These compression stockings are also available from various vendors on the internet – but again, choosing the correct size is very important. The size is determined by the circumference around the widest portion of your calf, and the length of your leg.

Many times, wearing compression stockings is a required first step in treating your vein disease.

Compression Stockings for Compression Therapy

What is involved?

Your Coastal Vein and Vascular Specialist will measure your leg and prescribe compression stockings to help alleviate leg swelling and pain caused by varicose veins. These stockings are stronger then the typical TEDS stockings many patients receive from the hospital or nursing home. Usually, these stockings should be warn anytime you are not sleeping in bed. They should be warn at all times during the day you are awake. First thing you do in the morning is put your compression stockings on. And the last thing you do before you go to bed is take your compression stockings off. Some people will have difficulty putting the compression stockings on, as they can be quite tight. There are gadgets and tools for sale on line that can help with putting the compression stockings on. Alternatively, using baby powder has also helped many patients to put the compression stockings on.

Usually these stockings will last about 6 months. Just like a pair of socks can wear out the elasticity over time, so can the compression stockings lose their elasticity. When compression stockings lose their elastic compressive therapy, they lose their ability to control swelling and pain. Even though they may still “feel” tight, they are not nearly as good as when they were brand new. Once 6 months have passed, it’s time to get a new pair of compression stockings. Don’t save the old ones – go ahead and throw them out because they don’t work anymore.

Many patients will get several pairs of compression stockings at a time. This way they can wear a pair, and wash the others. These stockings also come in various textiles and colors to suit your fashion. Ask our vein doctors for more details.

What are the expected results?

Compression stockings can help to alleviate swelling and pain caused by varicose veins, but they do not correct the underlying condition. Compression stockings are used to control your symptoms and do not cure the disease causing your symptoms. Compression stockings will reduce venous pressure and the associated symptoms of aching feeling, leg fatigue, sensations of heaviness or tiredness, as well as leg or ankle swelling. 

Sometimes, compression stockings only provide only partial relief of your symptoms. In these cases, you may require a procedure to treat the underlying condition causing your symptoms.