Compression Stockings for Vein Insufficiency

By Ron E Lev MD – Follow me on Google+

Compression stockings are often the first tool in the arsenal used to prevent or treat an array of venous conditions. They work to improve blood flow throughout the lower legs, and may alleviate uncomfortable symptoms associated with venous disorders. Compression stockings are an effective, non-invasive and inexpensive method for preventing blood clots and addressing a host of vein issues.

What are Compression Stockings?

Compression stockings are a special type of stocking woven in a special way to improve blood flow. The compression is graded to be tighter around the ankle and looser as the stockings move up the leg. This is to encourage healthy blood flow from the lower leg back up to the heart, preventing or alleviating venous conditions where blood tends to pool in the lower extremities. Pooling occurs when weak veins or faulty valves inside the veins are no longer able to work against the forces of gravity and move blood from the lower extremities to the heart.

Compression stockings come in a wide range of strengths, sizes and styles. Typically these special stockings extend from the foot to the knee or mid-thigh. Some compression stockings may also resemble pantyhose, offering even more support in an easy-to-wear style. While the old style of compression stockings used to resemble hospital-grade apparel, new compression garments come in a wide range of colors and styles to look like regular hosiery.

Strengths of Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are available in a wide range of strengths, so they can be customized to the specific needs of the patient. Patients who are prescribed compression stockings to treat venous insufficiency are typically recommended a 20-30 mmHg strength, which means the stockings offer a pressure of 30 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) around the ankle and taper to a pressure of 20 mmHg at the top.

Severe cases of venous insufficiency may be prescribed a higher strength, usually 30-40 mmHg. Most stockings go as low as 10 mmHg and as high as 50 mmHg, which provides a physician with plenty of room for customizing treatment to a patient’s precise condition. It is important to choose compression stockings according to your doctor’s recommendation, rather than simply purchasing a pair over the counter, to ensure you receive sufficient compression from your socks to effectively address your vein condition.

Compression stockings may be prescribed alone or in combination with other vein treatments for best results. This non-invasive approach to treating vein disorders can be an effective way to improve blood flow in the lower legs and reduce painful symptoms associated with a variety of venous conditions. For more information about compression stockings, contact our staff at Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan today.

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