Compression stockings, also known as compression socks, are specialized hosiery garments designed to apply graduated pressure to the legs. They are primarily used to improve blood circulation in the lower extremities and provide relief from various conditions related to the veins and lymphatic system.
Compression stockings are made of elastic materials that exert the greatest pressure at the ankle and gradually decrease as they move up the leg. This graduated compression helps promote blood flow back towards the heart, preventing blood pooling in the lower limbs. By applying gentle pressure on the veins and muscles, compression stockings can effectively reduce swelling, alleviate discomfort, and prevent the formation of blood clots.
These stockings are commonly prescribed or recommended for individuals with various medical conditions, such as:
Varicose veins: Compression stockings help compress and support the veins, reducing their dilation and improving blood circulation.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): Compression stockings are often used as a preventive measure for individuals at risk of developing blood clots in the deep veins of the legs.
Venous Insufficiency/Edema: Compression stockings can help reduce swelling or dull achiness in the legs and ankles caused by fluid accumulation.
Lymphedema: These stockings are used to manage lymphedema, a condition characterized by the accumulation of lymph fluid, by facilitating lymphatic drainage.
Pregnancy-related issues: Compression stockings are sometimes prescribed to pregnant women to relieve leg discomfort, prevent varicose veins, and reduce the risk of blood clots.
Compression stockings are available in different styles, lengths (eg. Knee-high, thigh-high, or full length) and compression levels, and it is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate type for your specific needs.