Compression stockings are designed to help improve blood circulation in the legs. They may help prevent venous insufficiency and guard against existing venous disorders, such as phlebitis, edema and thrombosis, from becoming worse. Compression stockings add pressure to the lower legs, ankles and thigh, and are typically prescribed by a doctor.
To understand how compression stockings work, it may help to understand how blood flows through the body. After the cells use the oxygen-rich blood that is pumped from the heart to the cells, the deoxygenated blood that includes waste products such as lactic acid enters the veins and is pumped back to the heart and lungs to become oxygenated again.
Compression stockings are designed to add pressure to the lower legs to help push the blood through the veins back to the heart and lungs. They create contractions in the veins and muscles that move the blood along the legs. The stockings may also help reduce swelling, cramping and to a lesser extent blood clots, which are symptoms of venous insufficiency.
During a consultation with our specialist, you may learn more about compression stockings and which level of compression is right for you. There are diabetic socks that are not the same as these stockings and are especially made for people with diabetes. Graduated compression stockings provide more compression at the ankle and decrease the pressure towards the knee. They may be knee-high or reach to the top of the thigh. They can also come in several colors.
It is usually recommended to wear compression stockings all day unless our specialist prescribes a specific number of hours to wear them each day. When you put on the stockings, it is essential that they remain smooth with no wrinkles. Knee-high stockings should reach to about an inch below the knee bend. Body lotion may make it difficult to put on the stockings, so you should let it dry first. Baby powder or cornstarch on the legs may make it easier to put on the stockings. Usually, they are not worn at night.
It is recommended that people who stand for many hours each day, such as a nurse, teacher or sales assistant, may consider wearing these stockings at work. At the very least, they will improve circulation and prevent swelling of the feet and ankles. Some runners use compression stockings for faster recovery after workouts because they increase oxygenated blood to the muscles.
Compression stockings may make a big difference in your quality of life if you are experiencing leg pain, swelling and heaviness, or if you have just had surgery. To find out more about how you can benefit from compression stockings, set up a consultation at the office of Dr. Mimi Lee in Little Rock, AZ. Her team will help you by diagnosing your circulation issues and recommending the right type of stockings that will help you feel and look better. Contact her office today to schedule your appointment.