Vein problems affect a large portion of the American population, and can cause a great deal of tightness, discomfort and swelling in the legs. There are many possible treatments for vein conditions. One of the first ones that we recommended which can help a great deal is compression stockings. Compression stockings will help make your legs feel better while you are wearing them, but they will not correct medical issues.
How Compression Stockings Work
Blood circulation works differently depending on what position your body is in. When laying horizontally, blood travels more easily to and from the heart. But when standing, gravity begins to affect your circulation. There are many valves in your leg which assist the blood in getting up your leg. They are like rungs in a ladder, so when you walk the calf muscle squeezes, pushing blood up your leg. The valves shut, holding the blood in position until the next step. When valves no longer work properly, the blood has a difficult time fighting gravity, which is where compression stockings help. Compression stockings have the most compression at the ankles and less at the top, assisting in returning the blood up your leg.
Different Types of Compression Stockings
Not all compression stockings are created equal. Many are not guaranteed compression or graduated compression (more pressure at the ankle and less as you go up). Knowing the differences is very important when selecting compression stockings.
Compression stockings come in different styles and different levels of compression. There are knee-highs, thigh-highs, pantyhose and leggings. Many different patterns and colors are available in different compression levels, ranging from 8 mmHg to 50 mmHg.
Lower-level compression stockings can range from 8 mmHg to 20 mmHg. These are generally considered wellness stockings. They are for people who are on their feet all day, as well as for travelers, for athletes and for use during pregnancy. They are used for general leg health.
Higher compression stockings are considered medical grade stockings. The compression will range from 20 mmHg to 50 mmHg. These are for treating medical conditions such as varicose vein, blood clots, heart disease and more.
It is best to be evaluated by a certified fitter to ensure the correct fit, giving you the correct level of comfort and compression.
How We Can Help
Compression stockings can help with general leg health and a variety of conditions, including varicose veins. At Virginia Vein and Wellness Center, we offer custom Sigvaris compression stockings with a certified fitter on staff so you can go about your daily activities without leg issues getting in the way. Contact us today for a fitting!