Varicose Veins

Do Compression Socks Help Varicose Veins?

You notice that you have discolored blood vessels sticking out of your legs. They are twisted, purplish or bluish, swollen, and enlarged. Although varicose veins do not threaten your health, this can significantly affect your physical appearance, especially when it gets worse.
But first, here is some information on how varicose veins develop:
Superficial veins are channels that have the possibility of turning into varicose—these tinier blood vessels placed over muscle tissues that are closer to the skin’s surface. When there is an increase in blood pressure, it disrupts the blood flow.
Since the blood travels by a single path throughout the body, if there are weakened and dilated veins, it causes blood to flow in the opposite direction. Blood will build-up, and the veins swell, resulting in varicose veins.
Here are further inquiries that you may have: Do compression stockings help prevent varicose veins and the other question is, do compression stockings make veins worse? Let’s dig in further to know the truth about these questions.

1. What Does Compression Socks Do for Varicose Veins?

The primary responsibility of the veins is to carry blood throughout the body. As mentioned, varicose veins are damaged blood vessels where blood flows incorrectly. Combining tension and pressure is needed to restore proper blood circulation and eliminate blood pooling to correct the damage in the veins.

Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins Prevention

The main thing that compression socks do is improve blood circulation at the feet and legs. The reason for its name is to compress your muscles together. Since superficial veins are somewhat at the surface of the muscles, it is more vulnerable because there isn’t much support.
Imagine if a person has excess weight, is pregnant, or stands for long periods; where does all the weight go, together with the pressure? So to prevent or even stop the growth of varicose veins, you have to wear a support on your legs, and that’s where compression stockings can do the work.

2. Do Compression Stockings Make Veins Worse?

There are no studies that say compression legwear can cause vein damage in any way only if you have peripheral neuropathy. So it would be best if you still considered other health conditions that you have before trying a pair of compression stockings. Insurance companies would suggest getting a couple of compression hosiery before further treatments. Additionally, doctors would advise a couple if you have varicose veins to avoid furthering the growth of varicose veins.

3. Benefits of Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins

Aside from preventing the growth of varicose veins, there are other benefits that you can get from compression stockings.
  • Helps with swelling, pain, and discomfort.
  • Reduces vein dilation
  • Boosts blood circulation
  • Lessens pressure on veins
  • Manage primary symptoms of varicose veins

4. Types of Compression Stockings

There are different types of compression stocking. They offer variations in compression stockings pressure for varicose veins. There are also specifications for prescribed stockings. However, what you will read here addresses conditions other than varicose veins.

Nonmedical support stockings (Nonprescription)

  • Nonmedical support stockings do not have strict medical specifications compared to graduated compression socks. This type of compression stockings mainly relieves heavy, worn-out, and painful legs.
  • The compression level is between 15 to 20 mmHg only, which is lesser than graduated compression socks.

Graduated stockings (Doctor prescribed)

  • These stockings apply intense pressure at the ankle while the compression level reduces upwards.
  • Medical compression stockings are intended mainly for ambulatory patients. The makeup of graduated socks is with strict medical specifications. It includes durability and tightness. It applies levels of tension and ankle compression.
  • Graduated socks are for the treatment of edema and chronic venous disease.
  • Specific use for ambulatory patients.

Anti-Embolism stockings or TED (Thrombo-Embolus Deterrent) hose

  • These stockings are specifically for bedridden and immobile patients. Anti-embolism stockings have different specifications of use that are different from graduated socks.
  • TED hose minimizes the chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
  • Similar to graduation compression socks, it uses increasing compression for pressure support.
  • "Anti-embolism socks" and "graduated compression stockings" often get mixed up. The confusion is due to the similarity of the pressure. However, this two compression legwear have different levels of compression and specifications.

5. Other Compression Legwear

There is other compression legwear that is available in the market that you can use for varicose veins. There are bandages and calf sleeves. Bandages can be accepted; however, you can only put as much compression as you can. In other words, not enough for your varicose needs. Meanwhile, calf sleeves help with varicose veins; however, if your problems go beyond your calf, the coverage is not enough.
So there, you only have to know this information to answer your question if compression socks are good for varicose veins.
If you believe that you have more problems with your legs, always choose to see a medical professional moving forward. But for plain varicose veins, compression stocking will already be a big help for you.

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