Guide to Socks for Varicose Veins
Varicose vein socks, compression hose, compression stockings...what are these?
All of these terms can be used interchangeably. Varicose veins socks are simply a specialized type of sock that provide a set pressure to the legs. When worn properly, these socks can reduce some of the symptoms of varicose veins, such as swelling and heaviness, and may even help to prevent varicose veins from worsening. Varicose vein socks are commonly used for conservative treatment and also after varicose vein procedures for proper healing.
How Compression the Socks work
The swelling in the legs from varicose veins is a result from the the movement of some of the fluid out of the vein, from the pooling of the blood in the vein that increases the pressure in the vein. The symptoms of swelling are usually worse throughout the day, particularly with sitting or standing for long periods of time. And this is how varicose vein socks come into play. They apply pressure to the leg to help squeeze the vein to return blood bad to the heart, versus allowing the blood to pool in the vein.
Types of Varicose Vein Socks
Varicose vein socks apply a specific and set amount of pressure over the leg. They are found in two lengths, knee-high and thigh-high, with varying amounts of pressure. The varicose vein socks with the highest pressure are prescribed and specially fitted, whereas there are plenty of options that can be purchased at your local pharmacy or through an online store or retailer.
What is causing the varicose veins?
As swelling from varicose veins worsens through the day, the best way to utilize varicose vein socks is to apply them before swelling begins. Varicose vein socks also may be placed prior to working a a stationary job with either sitting or standing. It is an important part of the day to place these in the morning and remove them at night, when you are able to elevated your legs to also help reduce swelling and improve circulation.
What to Beware of with Varicose Vein Socks
Varicose vein socks are helpful devices to reduce symptoms and potentially help to prevent any worsening of the varicose veins. However great that varicose vein socks work, there are some downfalls to their use. If varicose vein socks are not worn correctly or do not fit right, this can cause irritation of the skin, skin sores, or discomfort.
They are extremely tight since they work to compress the legs, which poses a challenge with putting them on daily. There are devices to can help to apply varicose vein socks, or you may use the help of a family member or roommate. Lastly, they can be expensive, particularly the prescription socks, and they should be replaced every 3-6 months for maximum effect.
What type of Compression Sock is best for you?
Compression from varicose vein socks is an excellent way to treat the symptoms of varicose veins conservatively, if used properly and for the post treatment of any varicose vein procedure. Different strengths of pressure for compression are available to suit different needs. Speak with your doctor about what type of varicose veins socks may be right to improve your varicose vein symptoms.
Meet ABMS Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Mackay
Contact the office of Dr. Edward Mackay, a board certified vascular surgeon providing services to patients in the Tampa area.