Compression stockings are among the many non surgical options for varicose veins treatment. Medical hosiery is to be worn at all times and will stimulate the blood circulation, so that the blood won’t accumulate in the veins and result in swelling of the veins.
Types of Compression Stockings
There are two main types of compression stockings:
- Gradient, which apply pressure mainly on the top part of the vein
- Anti-embolism stockings
The stockings should be prescribed by a doctor, as if these are not needed and apply great pressure on the veins, they can constrict the blood flow.
The ankle branchial index (ABI) should be measured and if this is over one, compression stockings will be recommended. Typically, patients with varicose veins have an ABI over one. The ABI test measures how obstructed the veins are.
Choosing Compression Stockings
Compression stockings are available as:
- Knee highs
- Thigh highs
The size should be chosen according to your weight and height; otherwise, the stockings may do more harm than good. There are also several types of fibers that have various levels of compression. The pressure of the stockings is measured in mmHg and stockings of 10 to 20 mmHg are available without prescription. These stockings can be worn even by people that don’t have varicose veins or by people that engage in various sports, to regulate the distribution of lactic acid.
It’s best to consult your doctor to establish the best option of compression stockings.