Compression Stockings: An FAQ

Is this your first experience with compression stockings? If your doctor recently recommended this type of medical apparel, take a look at what you need to know these specialty socks.

Are Compression Stockings the Same as Regular Stockings?

Simply stated-no. Even though the type of stockings you wear with a dress will compress your legs to some extent, these won’t provide the same level of benefits. The same is true for tighter knee or dress socks.

Compression stockings and socks are specialized medical garments. These stockings/socks are designed in a way to provide more than just a warm covering for your legs. Instead, the stockings treat or alleviate the symptoms of some types of medical conditions.

What Medical Issues Do Compression Stockings Treat?

Doctors recommend or prescribe compression stockings or socks for several types of conditions. These primarily include blood flow and swelling-related issues. Some people wear compression stockings to alleviate soreness or pain from straining or standing. If you work long hours on

As the name implies, the specialized stockings compress the legs. This pressure promotes circulation and can support veins. Along with general blood flow improvement, compression stockings can reduce leg swelling, decrease the risk of blood clots or deep vein thrombosis, improve lymphatic system drainage (in the leg area), reduce varicose vein-related pain, and decrease orthostatic hypotension.

Along with these medical issues, some patients need to wear compression stockings after surgery. This type of use can reduce the risk of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. The socks can also promote healing in patients who’ve had varicose vein surgery.

Are All Compression Stockings the Same?

All compression stockings put pressure on the legs. But the degree of pressure (or compression) varies. Over the counter socks typically offer a lighter level of compression. If you need a stronger sock with added compression, your doctor may need to prescribe a stocking.

Other differences between compression stockings include the length/height of the sock, the material make-up, and the color. Some stockings provide full foot and leg coverage, while others have openings for the toes or stop at the knees.

Should Your Doctor Prescribe Compression Stockings?

Again, stringer compression levels often require a doctor’s prescription. But this doesn’t mean a doctor always needs to prescribe medical-grade stockings. You can buy compression socks from a medical supply retailer-if you know what to look for. Before you buy non-prescription compression stockings talk to your medical provider. The doctor can help you to choose the best compression level and style or length of sock for your individual healthcare needs.

Even though you may not need a prescription for all compression stockings, it’s possible you will need a professional consultation or fitting-especially for graduated compression stockings (socks with a stronger compression level at the ankle). The doctor or a medical supply professional can make sure the stockings fit correctly and apply the right amount of pressure to the necessary areas. This can maximize the effects and reduce your swelling or circulatory symptoms.

Are Compression Stockings Difficult to Wear?

Some people find it difficult to put on compression stockings. The constant pressure can make it a challenge to pull these socks on. If you have mobility issues or concerns about your ability to wear compression stockings, talk to your medical provider or a medical equipment professional. You make want to try a stocking aid to assist you in putting on stubborn stockings.

Do you need to buy your first pair of compression stockings? Contact Corner Home Medical for more information on your choices.