If you suffer from vein-related issues such as chronic venous insufficiency or varicose veins, you’ve probably heard of compression stockings or you have been recommended to wear them by your doctor. Compression stockings, despite not being the most attractive piece of clothing, have proven to be very helpful in situations your legs would rather avoid: prolonged sitting or standing, traveling on a plane or bus with limited leg room, etc. The benefits of compression stockings are countless, so give them a chance!
Choose the right compression level
There are 4 main compression levels you can choose from depending on what the underlying problem is and how seriously damaged your veins are: mild compression, moderate compression, firm compression, and extra firm compression.
Mild compression usually serves as prevention of varicose vein formation and a support for proper blood circulation. Almost anybody can wear these stockings as they will alleviate the swelling and pain and make your legs more energized. Moderate compression is more effective than the first level and they are the right choice if you are already experiencing a mild case of spider or varicose veins. They are also very handy during pregnancy. Firm and extra firm compression levels are typically used after varicose vein treatments, and for more severe vein-related disorders, such as lymphatic edema, leg ulcers, post-thrombotic symptoms, and others.
Choose the right size
Measuring your legs to get the right size of compression stockings can be tricky. It is absolutely vital to take the measures accurately so you can take full advantage of all the benefits this special kind of elastic hosiery brings:
- You definitely need to take all the measures in the morning, before you leave bed – your legs are rested and not swollen.
- For a knee high sock, first measure the narrowest part of your ankle. Then measure the widest part of your calf. Then sit down on a chair and bend your knee in a 90-degree angle – measure the distance between the floor and your bent knee.
- For a thigh high stocking, measure the ankle and calf the same way as for a knee high sock. Then measure the widest part of your thigh right under your buttocks, and then measure the distance between the floor and your buttocks.
Take proper care of your compression stockings
Taking care of compression stockings to make them as long-lasting as possible is not difficult at all. You can both hand-wash and machine-wash them on cold or warm temperature. It’s okay to use your regular laundry detergent, but make sure you never use fabric softener! Fabric softener could affect the