Compression Stockings Information
What do compression stockings do?
Compression stockings are used to keep pressure applied evenly to the lower legs. This helps to maintain healthy blood flow and reduce any discomfort or swelling that comes along with vein disease or recovery from a vein procedure. If you have a condition causing unhealthy blood flow in your legs, they could be recommended by a vein doctor. They can also be recommended as a way to help ease recovery after you have a procedure done.
Varicose veins are one of the most common vein disorders that call for compression stockings to be worn.
Compression Stockings for Men vs. Compression Stockings for Women
We are taught from an early age that most clothing items are particular only to one sex. Of course, much of this has to do with our anatomy. Many clothing items are designed specifically to accommodate the male or female body shape.
In the case of compression stockings, it is the manufacturers who have decided that some are suited for men and some for women.
Men tend to have fewer options, especially when trying to treat circulation issues above the knee, which we refer to as compression hosiery. Women, on the other hand, have a wider range of stockings and hosiery that are both functional and sometimes even fashionable.
If the compression stocking fits, wear it
Honestly, if you can get past the packaging, compression stockings are often the same under the surface. If they fit and you like them, you should wear them. Do not worry about whether they were specifically designed for men or for women.
Men will often find a better selection and a more reasonable price among the selection traditionally targeted at women; especially when trying to treat an issue above the knee.
How long should I wear compression stockings to improve circulation?
If you are wearing compression stockings because of a vein condition affecting circulation in your lower extremities, you may need to wear them for several years. In some cases, you could have to wear them for the rest of your life to remain healthy and pain-free.
How to Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings come in many different sizes, lengths, fits, and colors. They also come in different levels of compression, being a tighter or a looser fit. Sometimes the fit tightness depends on comfort and sometimes tighter is recommended by your doctor.
Your legs will be measured to figure out which type of stockings you need. For the ones supplied by the doctor, they will always be tested by the doctor or nurse to make sure they are fitting you correctly.
When you wake up, you should put your compression stockings on in the morning and then wear them throughout the day. At night, you can take them off just before bed. They should stay on a majority of the time. Many are quite comfortable and you will forget they are even there.
At all times you should have two pairs per leg that you are treating with compression. While your stockings are being washed, you do not want to have to go without. We always recommend having at least two for each leg.
Your doctor will monitor your progress over time. Due to the recovery that can come with wearing them, you should have your legs remeasured and your stockings replaced every three to six months. You never want to end up with a loose fitting stocking due to swelling going down, etc.