Compression Stockings to Treat Varicose Veins
Compression stockings help relieve symptoms and slow the progress of varicose veins. They improve circulation and are a mainstay of treatment for varicose veins that are causing symptoms. (Mild varicose veins that are not causing symptoms don't need treatment.) Compression stockings are tightest at the foot. The tightness gradually gets less and less until you reach the top of the stocking (graduated compression).
Doctors often recommend that you wear the stockings during the day to help relieve symptoms. See a picture of how to put on compression stockings. Not everyone with varicose veins needs compression stockings.
Prescription compression stockings may cost between $60 and $100 a pair. (Compression stockings are available as panty hose but are more expensive.) A pair usually needs to be replaced after 4 to 6 months of regular use.
Put your compression stockings on first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. If you wait, your legs and feet may swell.
Compression stockings have disadvantages.
Consider the discomfort and inconvenience of compression stockings compared with the chance that they may help keep your problem from getting worse and may help you avoid surgery.
Avoid elastic bandages for varicose veins unless your doctor specifically suggests them. They can cut off blood flow and may make varicose veins worse. (If this type of bandage is recommended, ask how to wrap it.)
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