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Vein-related issues are incredibly common in the United States. While varicose veins aren’t always a serious medical concern, they can cause significant discomfort, such as aching, itching, or burning sensations in the affected areas — all of which can dramatically impact one’s quality of life.
Because of these issues, many seek treatment for their varicose veins. Although there is only one true way to get rid of varicose veins, there are many things that vein specialists like ourselves recommend for patients struggling with varicose vein-related issues.
In our Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based practice, one of the most common at-home remedies we recommend to our patients is wearing compression socks or stockings.
In this article, we’ll detail why we recommend compression socks, how they can relieve discomfort and prevent the progression of varicose veins, how to use them — and finally, what you can do if you want to eliminate your varicose vein issues forever.
What are Compression Stockings?
Compression stockings, also known as compression socks, are designed to apply mild pressure to your legs and ankles, aiding blood flow from your legs to your heart. Additionally, compression socks can reduce excess fluid and inflammation in the legs.
Compression stockings are commonly used by athletes, pregnant women, and those suffering from vein issues — something we endorse in our practice.
We recommend utilizing compression socks because they’re known to help reduce swelling and discomfort, in turn leading to a better experience for our patients and preventing further varicose vein development.
What are the Different Kinds of Compression Socks?
In general, most pharmacies have three types of compression stocking: graduated compression stockings, anti-embolism stockings, and nonmedical support hosiery. Depending on which type you need and your desired compression level, getting these compression stockings may require a prescription from a doctor.
Of the three available options, we generally recommend graduated compression stockings to help resolve your varicose vein issues. With these, the level of compression is greatest at the ankle and gradually decreases towards the top. They’re designed for mobility and meet certain medical specifications for length and strength, making them an ideal option for those seeking compression socks.
If the compression is strong, these stockings may require a prescription. Ask your doctor which kind of compression stocking and level of compression is right for you.
Benefits of Compression Socks for Varicose Veins
Compression stockings can be a great tool in managing varicose veins and the accompanying painful symptoms.
First, compression socks are great at relieving swelling and discomfort, especially after long periods of standing or sitting.
By gently compressing the legs, compression socks increase the pressure beneath the skin. This promotes better circulation, prevents blood from pooling in the legs, and improves oxygenation of tissues, which can be particularly beneficial in preventing further damage and promoting healing.
Wearing compression socks can also reduce the risk of blood clots, which can be a serious complication of varicose veins and can lead to more serious health problems over time.
Tips on how to use compression socks
If you’ve never worn compression stockings before, here are some tips on how to use them when first starting out:
Choose the right type. Compression stockings come in different levels of compression ranging from mild to strong. Your doctor can help you determine which level of compression is best for your individual needs. It’s important to choose stockings that fit properly, are comfortable to wear, and are made from high-quality materials that won’t irritate the skin.
Wear them regularly. To get the full benefits of compression stockings, it’s important to wear them regularly. Your doctor may recommend wearing them all the time, just during certain hours of the day, or only during certain activities (such as standing or sitting for long periods of time). Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to ensure that you’re getting the most benefit from your stockings.
Look out for discomfort or pain. While compression stockings should not cause pain, some people may find them uncomfortable to wear at first. This is normal, and it may take a few days to get used to the feeling of compression on the legs. However, if you experience pain or discomfort that does not improve over time, talk to your doctor about adjusting the fit or trying a different type of compression stocking.
Compression stockings are generally safe to use, but there can be risks associated with wearing them for people with certain medical conditions.
Before getting compression stockings, ask your doctor about what you should know about wearing them. Everybody’s case is different, and your doctor will be able to tell you about the risks and benefits associated with compression socks in your specific case.
That said, compression stockings only provide temporary relief from varicose vein-related issues. If you want to resolve your vein pain forever, there is only one way to do so: treatment.
If you’re interested in fixing your vein issues for good, reach out to us via our contact page. Our specialists will work with you to determine the best treatment for your specific case on a schedule that works for you.