Varicose Vein Treatment: How Do Compression Stockings Work Exactly?

Virtually all varicose vein treatment doctors recommend that their patients wear compression stockings after any type of treatment in their clinic, including sclerotherapy, endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), and ambulatory phlebectomy. Compression stockings are also used as a "conservative therapy" to control symptoms of varicose veins before clinical measures are performed. Even when patients have clinical varicose vein treatment, they are often instructed to wear compression stockings every day as an ongoing preventative measure to lessen the likelihood of additional varicose veins forming.

So, compression stockings are an integral part of varicose vein treatment at all chronological stages of treatment, whether it is home treatment or clinical treatment. However, from reading through the many questions posed online about compression stockings, it becomes obvious to anyone with advanced knowledge on this subject, that most people don't really understand how compression stockings work their magic! So, let's explore exactly how compression stockings work.

Having a good understanding of how compression stockings work will help you get a better fit. It will also help you select the type and brand of compression stockings that will work best for you. You'll also be cognizant of all the important factors when you put them on once you start wearing them. Having a better understanding of how compression stockings work will also help explain why it is so important to put your compression stockings on first thing in the morning before your legs have a chance to swell.

First, it is important to understand that compression stockings don't just apply equal pressure to all portions of your leg. In fact, if this were the case, they would actually impede the flow of blood in your veins rather that aid the flow back to the heat!

Compression stockings apply Graduated pressure to your legs! Note that we have emphasized the word "graduated!" This is because having Graduated pressure is the key to how compression stocking perform their magic. This is true both before and after clinical varicose vein treatment and as an ongoing home varicose vein treatment the patient can continue on his or her own.

Graduated pressure means the degree of pressure changes as the pressure moves up the leg. The pressure exerted by compression stockings is the highest right around the ankle. This is why they should feel much tighter in this region. Then, as the compression stocking moves up the leg, the pressure becomes increasingly less all the way to the knee or thigh, whichever version of compression stocking you are wearing.

This differential in the pressure, with the highest pressure near your foot, and the lowest pressure near the top of the compression stockings, creates an overall movement of blood up the leg, against gravity, and toward the heart, as it would in a leg with totally healthy veins.

The tighter pressure around the ankles of the leg also forces the blood where it tends to pool the deeper into the calf muscles. This has the effect that the harder working part of the muscle, i.e. the stronger portion of the muscle, can literally physically pump the blood up the leg toward the heart. You can accentuate this even more if you do daily calf muscle exercises to make your calf muscle even stronger.

Now, you can probably better imagine why it is so important to get a proper fit, as well as putting on your compression stockings correctly. For example, if you do not get a good fit right around the ankle, the graduated pressure will not be working correctly. If the stocking is loose around the ankle, the compression stocking won't work properly. Further, the blood pooling at the bottom of your leg will not get properly pushed into the deeper portions of the stronger calf muscles. If you don't get an overall snug fit, there won't be a proper graduated pressure effect on the leg.

To get a free evaluation of your venous condition, call Metro Vein Centers and set up a free appointment. You do not need to get a referral from your primary physician to set up a free appointment at Metro Vein Centers. You can just call yourself to set it up. While you're there, if you have questions about compression stockings, this is a great time to ask these questions. You'll also get a good feel for the excellent doctors and staff at Metro Vein Centers in case it is determined that you do need clinical varicose vein treatment.

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