Compression stockings help relieve symptoms and slow the progress of
varicose veins. They improve circulation and are a
mainstay of treatment for varicose veins that are causing symptoms. (Mild
varicose veins that are not causing symptoms don't need treatment.) Compression stockings are tightest at the foot. They gradually loosen as they fit higher on the leg.
often recommend that you wear the stockings during the day to help relieve
For very mild symptoms, you may want to start out
using regular support panty hose, knee-highs, or knee socks (which end just
above the calf, below the knee). You may find that these help swelling and
aching considerably. They are also less expensive than the special compression
stockings a doctor prescribes, and they are available at most department
stores or online.
For more serious symptoms, you may want to buy special compression
stockings from a medical supply store (with a doctor's prescription), where you
can be fitted for them.
Compression stockings can be expensive. They may be hard to put on, and it may take you awhile to get used to wearing them all day. But if they fit right, they should be snug but comfortable. If you have problems wearing the stockings, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Consider any problems you may have with compression stockings
compared with the chance that they may help keep your problem from getting
worse and may help you avoid surgery.
Avoid elastic bandages for
varicose veins unless your doctor specifically suggests them. They can cut off
blood flow and may make varicose veins worse. (If this type of bandage is
recommended, ask how to wrap it.)
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.