Should You Wear Compression Socks with DVT?

Individuals who are suffering from deep vein thrombosis are recommended to wear compression socks or stockings. Whether it’s compression socks, stockings, or sleeves, there is not much difference in purpose. The only distinction between the three kinds of compression legwear is its coverage of the lower extremities.

1. Causes of Deep Venous Thrombosis

DVT is caused by nerve damage either by trauma, surgery, or even varicose veins. Once the blood vessels dilate, blood flow gets disturbed. It then creates a pool in the veins and may bring about blood clotting. If this scenario happens and has not been addressed right away, the blood clots may travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.

Other Risk Factors that may Trigger DVT

  • Immobility and sitting for long periods
  • Age of over 60
  • Pregnancy or postpartum (within six weeks)
  • Obesity
  • High altitude
  • Cancer
  • Birth control pills and HRT
  • Cardiac problems
  • Superficial venous thrombosis (SVT). Blood clots from the superficial veins
  • Congenital illnesses affecting blood clotting factors
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), an illness where blood clotting occurs caused by severe infections or organ failure
  • Respiratory conditions
There are signs and symptoms which you may notice on the legs where there may be obstruction of blood circulation. These markers are usually at the area where the blockage occurs. Here are those symptoms:
  • Redness
  • Warm to the touch
  • Inflammation
  • Evening leg cramps from the calf
  • White or blue skin discoloration
  • Gradual pain that may worsen when the foot bends

2. The Need for Compression Stockings for DVT

Why compression stockings for pre and post DVT? Since deep vein thrombosis is blood clotting in the blood vessels, it needs maneuvering to reinforce pressure and help with blood circulation. Compression socks were designed to produce pressure by squeezing the muscles at the feet, legs, and pelvis area.
Another compression legwear called anti-embolism stockings are prescribed to patients as a remedy to a more severe case of DVT after surgery and who are at high risk of blood clotting. There are two lengths of this type of medical compression stockings: calf length and thigh-high.
On the other hand, non-prescribed compression stockings are worn for preventive measures to a possible DVT. So make sure you do not confuse the two compression legwear.

3. Dos and Don’ts for Compression Stockings

One thing is for sure you cannot treat compression socks or stockings like ordinary legwear due to the way it was designed.


  • Wear stockings that are either damp or wet
  • Apply oil-based ointments and oily moisturizers on your legs since they may compromise the elasticity of the compression socks.
  • Roll down your socks or stockings while wearing them because it will tighten the area and act as a tourniquet which will restrict blood circulation.


  • Check your compression socks regularly, making sure that the fit and elasticity is still in good condition
  • Remove the socks and stockings before washing, showering, or bathing.
  • Check your skin for any irritation, redness, or itchiness.
Another thing, make sure that the pair of compression socks you have are not too tight, or else have it replaced with the right size for your feet and legs. Also, make sure that you are not allergic to the material of the legwear. Compression socks are available in different kinds of fibers.

4. How Long to Wear Compression Stockings After DVT

The longevity of wearing compression stockings will vary depending on medical intervention and your condition. After surgery, an individual would be advised to wear compression socks for 3 to 6 weeks. It will depend on the advice of a doctor as to how long you would need to wear them.
Right after a procedure on the legs, you will have to put it on immediately. Wearing DVT compression stockings at night is also advisable during recovery. The only time you would need to take them off is when you have to wet your body.
Remember, it is okay to wear compression socks if you have DVT to prevent further complications. However, it would always be best to see a doctor for proper indication and usage of compression socks or stockings. It is not always a good idea to wear over-the-counter compression legwear, especially if there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed.

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