How to Choose Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins

compression stockings for varicose veins


This is half of the circulatory system.

It is also a source of concern for millions of people around the world.

Vein diseases are widespread. Scientists have calculated that up to 15% of middle-aged men and 30% of women suffer from varicose veins - vasodilation of the venous system. Among the elderly, the proportion of patients with venous diseases is even higher.

Therefore, many people go to the doctor to treat swollen blood vessels. Sometimes with surgery. In other cases, conservative therapy with medication, exercise and special underwear.

We'll talk about stockings for varicose veins later. In the meantime, we will assess the danger of the disease and its possible complications.

Varicose veins can affect any part of the venous system, but their favorite target is the vessels in the legs.

The vulnerability of the veins is easy to explain.

When blood flows through the arteries to the organs, it mostly moves downward. That is, the force of gravity helps blood flow and therefore there is usually no accumulation of blood in the arteries. It flows through the arteries to the feet. Blood surges back through the veins. At that point, the problems begin - the force of gravity slows the blood flow and some of the blood is constantly struggling to drain.

The situation is not terrible. Yes, blood circulation in the veins is difficult, but the body has protection mechanisms against this discomfort.

Inside the vessels, the venous valves grow, which close the passage of flowing blood and return it to the bloodstream. Muscles also help blood flow. They contract and put pressure on the veins and, as a result, blood circulation improves.

In diseased vessels, blood movement is impaired. This happens for several reasons:

  • long immobility
  • Obesity
  • old age
  • Pregnancy
  • hormonal imbalance

In varicose veins, the valves are often weakened or damaged. Therefore, blood accumulates in certain areas of the vessels, putting pressure on the venous walls and causing expansion.

Symptoms are not severe at first:

  • Feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Blue or purple vases appear on the skin
  • Convulsions
  • Edema
  • skin discoloration
  • Itching and burning in the veins

These signs of illness often go unnoticed and sometimes people just get used to them. Thus, they allow the development of varicose veins.

Yes, it can take years for more severe symptoms to appear. But without treatment, complications are unavoidable and are not as harmless as the first manifestations of varicose veins.

The consequences of varicose veins:

  • Trophic Ulcers. . . Wounds that do not heal near diseased vessels. Tissues do not receive the necessary nutrients and gradually die. A symptom of an ulcer formation is the lightened skin area. To prevent complications from developing, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Bleeding. . . Dilated superficial veins sometimes rupture. Bleeding from these vessels is not very severe, but medical attention is still needed.
  • blood clots. . . Dilated vessels are a comfortable environment for blood clots, which doctors call blood clots. These formations interfere with blood circulation. Sometimes they also break off and can enter the lungs with blood. This phenomenon is called pulmonary embolism and usually leads to respiratory failure and even death.

The further the disease progresses, the greater the risk of complications. Another problem is that developed varicose veins often cannot be eliminated with conservative treatment and an operation is necessary.

It's much easier to deal with this early on. The complex treatment with stockings against varicose veins has excellent results. This underwear is also useful for disease prevention.

What are compression socks for?

This shirt improves blood circulation in your legs. As a result, the pain and swelling that bother many people is reduced. Lingerie also helps against more serious illnesses, for example by reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis and the likelihood of blood clots.

Varicose stockings are made of a special material that stretches well and fits your leg. The shirt gently squeezes the veins. Normally, underwear puts the strongest pressure on the ankles, and the pressure on the leg decreases.

Doctors prescribe compression stockings for different purposes:

  • vein support
  • Prevention of blood accumulation
  • Prevention of Trophic Ulcers
  • Combating venous hypertension
  • Improving lymphatic drainage

When the mesh puts pressure on the vessels, it has several positive effects:

  • Reduces the diameter of the veins. . . Blood flows faster through narrow vessels. Therefore, it rarely accumulates in one location and blood clots almost never occur.
  • improves blood flow. . . Thanks to the added pressure, blood flow is accelerated and travels faster from the feet to the heart.
  • Prevents bleeding. . . Despite the force of attraction, blood rarely descends through the veins and does not fill the connecting vessels.

Even some athletes wear compression socks in their workouts. For example, runners and basketball players. Underwear protects tissue from damage and accelerates the delivery of oxygen to muscles. After training, muscles recover more quickly.

Of course, styling varicose vein stockings cannot be considered a magical artifact that will save you from any problems with your blood vessels. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like other medications, compression stockings are not good for everyone.

Indications and contraindications for wearing compression underwear

Don't buy tight socks yourself. First go to your doctor and see what kind of shirt you need.

Find out the size. Compression ratio. And other underwear features that you'll wear for months.

Buying knitwear without a doctor's recommendation can damage blood vessels. For example, the stockings press too hard and as a result, blood circulation in the veins is even more impaired. The result is that the condition of the vessels deteriorates.

Sign up for a consultation with a phlebologist about choosing compression underwear. And also check out the indications and contraindications of these socks.


Doctors prescribe weight-loss underwear for illnesses:

  • chronic venous insufficiency
  • Phlebeurysm
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • lymphedema
  • Phlebitis
  • lipodermatosclerosis

Also, jersey is sometimes prescribed for healthy people who are at risk for vascular disease. The need for socks arises:

  • During the pregnancy. . . The mother-to-be's body is exposed to great stress. The hormonal balance is disturbed. Thereafter, the venous walls weaken and often expand. The amount of blood in the body also increases. Because of the child. The increase in blood volume greatly increases the load on the vascular walls. The mesh helps the veins maintain their normal shape under such strong pressure.
  • Due to increased stress on the legs. . . At work, many people have to stand for a long time and therefore the pressure on the vessels in the lower extremities increases. Frequent efforts can cause varicose veins. Lingerie supports the veins. Thus, they remain healthy even in people who spend all day working on their feet.
  • With a sedentary lifestyle. . . The less a person moves, the harder it is for the veins to pump blood. Muscles don't work and don't improve blood circulation, so blood often builds up and dilates blood vessels. The mesh prevents swelling of the veins.
  • After vascular surgery. . . The success of surgical treatment largely depends on the patient's correct recovery. After the procedure, the doctor prescribes knitting. It must be used strictly on schedule, as any violation of the regimen can lead to a relapse of the disease.

The right choice of elastic underwear is very important. Phlebologists prescribe meshes with a certain degree of compression and class, depending on the patient's disease and risk factors.


Compression socks are completely safe for most people. They have only a few limitations:

  • Suspected or already diagnosed peripheral arterial disease
  • severe peripheral neuropathy
  • Extensive leg or pulmonary edema after heart failure
  • Allergy to knitted fabric
  • Skin and soft tissue problems: gangrene, dermatitis, severe cellulitis

Individual patients simply cannot wear elastic underwear effectively.

Sometimes only temporarily. For example, they have leg wounds and have to wait for them to heal.

In other cases it is permanent. For unusually shaped or deformed legs, compression stockings do not work. It simply does not grip the limbs properly and therefore will be useless against diseases of the veins.

How to Choose Compression Socks

The elastic mesh against varicose veins includes models of different lengths. Some fully cover the legs. Others are just knee-deep. It depends on the purpose of the compression stockings.

An important feature of linen is pressure, which directly affects knitting efficiency. Socks should fit snugly over your legs, but they shouldn't hurt.

Some models are specially designed for operated patients. They are not suitable for other people.

The degree of compression of knitted stockings for the treatment of varicose veins will be determined by the physician. So be sure to make an appointment and buy elastic underwear only after the appointment.

Check the knitwear in the store. Choose the products:

  • Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • no seams
  • With a shelf life of 12 months
  • RAL quality standard

With proper care, these underwear will last a long time and you will not need to change them until the end of the treatment.

Types of Compression Socks

All slimming knitwear models are divided into three types:

  • Preventive. . . These products are not considered medical and therefore can be purchased even without a prescription. They just support the vessels. These underwear reduce fatigue and leg pain. The mesh lightly puts pressure on the veins and is perfect for preventing vascular disease, but it does not cure varicose veins.
  • Therapeutic. . . The most extensive group of elastic stockings. For these products, the pressure level in different areas is different - near the ankle, the underwear is tighter, and the pressure in the leg is weaker. The medical shirt is prescribed by a doctor. The socks are for people with varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.
  • Anti-embolic or hospital. . . This clothing is indicated for people who must remain in bed after surgery. Helps reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. High compression class. The pressure in the different parts of the socks is different, as is the case with medical devices.

Yes, you can buy elastic underwear on your own for the prevention of vascular disease. But we still recommend that you see a doctor. He will help you choose knits. The phlebologist will also tell you about other preventive methods, so you will learn much better how to protect your veins.

Compression Socks Compression Rates

According to the pressure level, elastic underwear is divided into four classes:

  • Compression up to 22 mm Hg. Art. This shirt helps stop the development of varicose veins - it removes edema, spider veins and other signs of varicose veins.
  • Pressure up to 32 mm Hg. Art. Class II stockings are prescribed for patients with chronic venous insufficiency, thrombophlebitis, and varicose veins. Knitwear is also used to prevent people with a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Compression up to 46 mm Hg. Art. These stockings are worn by patients with trophic disorders and congenital defects of the vascular system.
  • Pressure up to 50 mm Hg. Art. Doctors prescribe this shirt only for people with severe forms of venous disease. Lingerie is used to treat severe edema.
  • The correctly selected compression level allows you to successfully fight vascular diseases, while inadequate meshes also damage the veins.

    Choosing the right size for your underwear is just as important.

    Compression Sock Size Chart

    Be sure to measure your feet before purchasing your outfit. You need to measure:

    • Calf circumference
    • ankle circumference
    • thigh circumference
    • Leg length from floor to hip
    • foot length

    Take all measurements in the morning upon waking up. Don't get out of bed - you'll get the most accurate results that can't be achieved in a standing position due to pressure on the vessels. Leg measurements recorded will be useful when using the sock size chart.

    The size height (cm Weight, kg hips, cm S; S1 150 - 162 41 - 55 90 - 100; 90 M; M1 152 - 170 55 - 75 88 - 100; 98 - 115 ME; L1 155 - 175 58 - 95 113 - 130; 98 - 115 XL 167 - 180 68 - 95 XXL 160-178 85 - 108

    How to put on and wear compression stockings

    how to put on compression socks

    First, put on elastic underwear immediately upon getting up. Without even getting out of bed.

    Raise your leg. It must be above the level of the heart - in this position the pressure on the vessels decreases. Gently slide your foot inward and slowly pull the fabric up.

    Smooth your socks. They should fit the skin perfectly. Straighten the folds. The upper part of the linen must not be folded down, otherwise the shirt will press like a tourniquet and, as a result, blood circulation will be impaired.

    It is not recommended to remove compression socks during the day. Only in the shower or bath. Before going to bed, lie down on the bed and lift your legs. Then take off your clothes.

    How long should knitting be used?

    Ask your doctor. Mild forms of varicose veins can be eliminated in a few months, but chronic diseases are a more serious problem. Phlebologists sometimes recommend that patients wear elastic stockings for several years. In rare cases, throughout my life.

    With a careless attitude, the knits don't even last several months. Therefore, it is necessary to take proper care of it.

    Care with compression stockings

    Socks don't look like a durable product. And indeed - usually their shelf life does not exceed 12 months and, in many cases, clothing breaks and becomes disrepair even sooner.

    What to do?

    First, the socks must be washed. Includes mesh with antimicrobial protection. Remember: you wear stretchy underwear all day and dead skin cells constantly build up on your underwear. So wash it daily.

    Best of all - by hand.

    For washing, use children's soap or other delicate products that do not damage the fabric. Clothes cannot be boiled.

    After washing, squeeze the water out of the socks very carefully. Do not stretch or damage the fabric. You can wipe away moisture with a towel.

    Dry the meshes on a flat surface, only in cold or hot places, as the high heat can destroy the material.

    Even with proper care, socks will sooner or later lose their elasticity. Sometimes after a few months. Less often - after a year.

    How to change my shirt at the right time?

    The loss of elasticity is easy to notice in the morning, when putting on the socks. Old compression garments fit easily. Hence the conclusion - it no longer grips its legs with the necessary strength and therefore it is necessary to buy a replacement.

    How much to wear compression stockings after surgery

    Elastic knits are not only included in the complex treatment of vascular diseases, but also in the prevention of varicose veins. This underwear is also prescribed for patients who have undergone surgery. Sometimes for several days. In other cases, for months.

    The time for wearing the socks is determined by the physician.

    After treatment, the meshes must be used at different times, depending on the procedure:

    • Cesarean - up to three weeks
    • Removal of the uterus - two to eight weeks
    • Laporoscopy - from three days to one month
    • Removal of a kidney - from five days to four weeks
    • Gallbladder Removal - From Ten Days To One Month

    How much should I wear a compression stocking after sclerotherapy?

    It is necessary to take into account the number of vessels treated by the doctor. During the operation, the phlebologist destroys the inner walls of the veins by various methods, which inflames them. The blood circulation in the vessel stops and, after a while, the diseased vein disappears completely. Blood passes through other vessels.

    The compression mesh, in this case, helps to keep the treated veins closed and prevents blood from entering them. Therefore, the vessels disappear faster.

    Elastic underwear should be worn for up to four months if your doctor has operated on one or two veins. A large number of removed vessels need to be kept longer - six months. Also, this is not a full term. As long as the patient wears a second-class shirt, the doctor can replace it with a first-class underwear.

    Modeling socks are also used in other vein surgeries. For example, they are useful for phlebectomy and miniphlebectomy recovery.

    But endovasal treatment does not require compression therapy, and underwear is only worn if signs of venous insufficiency - edema and trophic disorders - persist.

    Unfortunately, this information is not universal. It cannot be applied to absolutely every situation and every person. The doctor prescribes knitwear and determines how long patients should wear special socks.

    Reading information about stretch underwear is a good start, but the real fight against vascular disease will only get worse after a visit to the doctor.