Compression hose; Pressure stockings; Support stockings; Gradient stockings; Varicose veins - compression stockings; Venous insufficiency - compression stockings
You wear compression stockings to improve blood flow in your legs. Compression stockings gently squeeze your legs to move blood up your legs. This helps prevent leg swelling and, to a lesser extent, blood clots.
If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or have just had surgery, your health care provider may prescribe compression stockings.
Wearing stockings helps with:
Talk to your provider about what kind of compression stockings are right for you. There are many different compression stockings. They come in different:
Call your health insurance or prescription plan:
Follow instructions on how long each day you need to wear your compression stockings. You may need to wear them all day.
The stockings should feel strong around your legs. You will feel the most pressure around your ankles and less pressure higher up your legs.
Put on stockings first thing in the morning before you get out of bed. Your legs have the least amount of swelling early in the morning.
If it's hard for you to put on the stockings, try these tips:
Keep the stockings clean:
If your stockings feel too uncomfortable, call your provider. Find out if there is a different kind of stocking that will work for you. Do not stop wearing them without talking to your provider.
Caprini JA, Arcelus JI, Tafur AJ. Venous thromboembolic disease: mechanical and pharmacologic prophylaxis. In: Sidawy AN, Perler BA, eds. Rutherford's Vascular Surgery and Endovascular Therapy. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 146.
Lim CS, Davies AH. Graduated compression stockings. CMAJ. 2014;186(10):E391-E398. PMID 24591279 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24591279.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 7/12/2018
Reviewed By: Laura J. Martin, MD, MPH, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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