How to choose varicose vein compression stockings

compression stockings varicose veins


This is half of the circulatory system.

It is also a concern for millions of people worldwide.

Vein diseases are widespread. Scientists have calculated that up to 15% of middle-aged men and 30% of women suffer from varicose veins - vasodilation of the venous system. Among the elderly, the proportion of people with venous disease is even higher.

This is why many people see doctors to treat their swollen blood vessels. Sometimes with surgery. In other cases, conservative therapy with drugs, exercise and special underwear.

We'll talk about varicose vein stockings later. In the meantime, we assess the risk of the disease and its possible complications.

The varicose veins can affect any part of the venous system, but their favorite target is the vessel of the legs.

The vulnerability of the veins is easy to explain.

When blood flows through the arteries into the organs, it mainly moves downward. That is, gravitational force aids blood flow, and therefore blood does not usually accumulate in the arteries. It flows through the arteries to the legs. The blood returns through the blood vessels. At this point, problems begin - the force of gravity slows blood flow, and some of the blood is constantly trying to flow.

The situation is not dangerous. Yes, blood circulation in the veins is difficult, but the body has protective mechanisms against such discomfort.

Inside the blood vessels, venous valves grow that block the flow of blood and return it to the bloodstream. Muscles also help blood flow. They constrict and compress the veins, resulting in improved blood circulation.

Blood movement in diseased vessels was impaired. This happens for different reasons:

  • Long stillness
  • Obesity
  • Old age
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormonal imbalance

In return, the valves are usually weakened or damaged. Therefore, blood accumulates in certain areas of the vessels, pushing the venous walls and causing dilation.

The symptoms are not severe at first:

  • Feeling of heaviness in the legs
  • Blue or purple blood vessels appear on the skin
  • Cramps
  • Edema
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Itching and burning in the blood vessels

Such signs of the disease are often not noticed and sometimes people just get used to them. This allows the varicose veins to form.

Yes, it can take years for more severe symptoms to appear. But without treatment, complications are inevitable and not at all as harmless as the first manifestations of varicose veins.

Consequences of varicose veins:

  • Trophic ulcers. . . Non-healing wounds next to diseased blood vessels. Tissues do not receive the necessary nutrients and are gradually destroyed. The symptom of an ulcer is whitening of the skin. You should see a doctor as soon as possible to stop the complications from developing.
  • Bleeding. . . Enlarged superficial veins sometimes rupture. Bleeding from such blood vessels is not very severe, but medical attention is still needed.
  • Blood clots. . . Dilated blood vessels provide a comfortable environment for blood clots, which doctors call blood clots. These formations interfere with blood circulation. Sometimes they become detached and can get into the lungs with blood. This phenomenon is called pulmonary embolism and often leads to respiratory failure and even death.

The further the disease goes, the greater the risk of complications. Another problem is that the developed varicose vein is usually not removed by conservative treatment and surgery is required.

It is much easier to handle early. Complex treatment using stockings against varicose veins shows excellent results. This underwear is also useful for disease prevention.

What are compression stockings for?

Such a jersey improves blood circulation in the legs. As a result, the pain and swelling that bothers many people is reduced. Underwear also helps against more serious illnesses, such as reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis and the likelihood of blood clots.

The elastic stockings of varicose veins are made of a special material that stretches well and fits your feet. The jersey gently tightens the blood vessels. Usually, the underwear exerts the strongest pressure on the ankle and the pressure up on the foot decreases.

Doctors prescribe compression stockings for different purposes:

  • Vein support
  • Prevention of blood accumulation
  • Prevention of trophic ulcers
  • Fighting venous hypertension
  • Improving lymphatic drainage

When knitwear presses the dishes, it has a number of positive effects:

  • Reduces the diameter of blood vessels. . . Blood flows faster through narrow blood vessels. Therefore, it rarely accumulates in one place and blood clots almost never occur.
  • Improves blood flow. . . Thanks to the extra pressure, blood flow speeds up and travels faster from the legs to the heart.
  • Prevents bleeding. . . Despite its attraction, blood rarely flows down the blood vessels and does not fill the connecting blood vessels.

Even some athletes use compression stockings during training. For example, runners and basketball players. Underwear protects tissues from damage and speeds up the delivery of oxygen to the muscles. After training, the muscles recover faster.

Of course, shaping varicose veins is not considered a magical object that will save you from vascular problems. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like other drugs, compression stockings are not good for everyone.

Indications and contraindications to wearing compression underwear

Don't buy tight stockings yourself. First, see your doctor and check what jersey you need.

Find out its size. Compression ratio. And other features of lingerie that you will wear for months.

Buying a knitwear can damage blood vessels without a doctor’s recommendation. For example, the stockings press too hard and as a result the blood circulation in the veins is further damaged. As a result, the condition of the pots deteriorates.

Sign up for a consultation with a phlebologist about choosing compression underwear. And look at the indications and contraindications for such stockings as well.


Doctors prescribe slimming underwear for diseases:

  • Chronic venous insufficiency
  • Phlebeurysm
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Lymphedema
  • Phlebitis
  • Lipodermatosclerosis

The leotard is sometimes prescribed to healthy people who are at risk for vascular disease. The need for stockings arises:

  • During pregnancy. . . The body of the expectant mother is under great stress. Hormonal imbalance. As a result, the venous walls weaken and often dilate. The amount of blood in the body also increases. Because of the child. Increased blood volume greatly increases the load on the vessel walls. The knitwear helps the blood vessels maintain their normal shape under such strong pressure.
  • Due to increased stress on the legs. . . In the workplace, many people have to stand on their feet for long periods of time, which increases the pressure on the vessels of the lower limbs. Frequent exercise can cause varicose veins. Underwear supports blood vessels. So they stay healthy even in people who spend their entire working day on their feet.
  • With a sedentary lifestyle. . . The fewer people moving, the harder it is for the veins to pump blood. Muscles do not work and do not improve blood circulation, so blood often accumulates and dilates blood vessels. The knitwear stops the bloating of the veins.
  • After vascular surgery. . . The success of surgical treatment depends largely on the correct recovery of the patient. At the end of the procedure, the doctor will prescribe a knitwear. It should be worn strictly on schedule as any violation of the regime could lead to relapse of the disease.

Choosing the right underwear is very important. Phlebologists prescribe some degree of compression and class of knitwear, depending on the disease and the patient’s risk factors.


Compression stockings are completely safe for most people. They have only a few limitations:

  • Suspected or already diagnosed peripheral arterial disease
  • Severe peripheral neuropathy
  • Extensive leg or lung edema after heart failure
  • Allergy to knitted fabric
  • Skin and soft tissue problems: gangrene, dermatitis, severe cellulitis

Individual patients simply cannot effectively wear elastic underwear.

Sometimes only temporarily. For example, they have wounds on their legs and have to wait for them to heal.

In other cases, it is constant. Compression stockings will not work if the legs are unusually shaped or deformed. It simply does not fix the limbs properly, so it will be useless against venous diseases.

How to choose a compression stocking

The varicose elastic jersey includes models of different lengths. Some completely cover their feet. Others only reach the knee. This depends on the purpose of the compression stocking.

An important feature of canvas is the pressure, which directly affects the efficiency of the knitwear. The stockings should fit snugly on the legs, but should not hurt.

Some models are specifically designed for operated patients. They are not suitable for other people.

The degree of compression of knitted stockings used to treat varicose veins is determined by your doctor. Therefore, be sure to make an appointment and only buy flexible underwear after you make an appointment.

Check the knitwear in the store. Choose products:

  • Antimicrobial and hypoallergenic
  • No seams
  • With a lifespan of 12 months
  • RAL quality standard

With proper care, such underwear will last a long time and will not need to be changed until treatment is complete.

Types of compression stockings

Slimming knitwear models can be divided into three types:

  • Prophylactic. . . These products are not considered medical treatment and can therefore be purchased without a doctor's prescription. They just support the dishes. This underwear reduces fatigue and foot pain. The knit presses the veins weakly and is perfect for preventing vascular disease, but it does not cure varicose veins.
  • Medical. . . The most extensive group of elastic stockings. With these products, the pressure levels are different in different areas - the underwear is most anxious near the ankle and the pressure on the foot is weakened upwards. The medical jersey is prescribed by a doctor. The stockings are intended for people with varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.
  • Antiembolism or hospital. . . This bedding is prescribed for those who need to stay in bed after surgery. It helps reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis. High compression class. The pressure on different parts of the stocking is different, as is the case with medical devices.

Yes, you can buy elastic underwear on your own to prevent vascular disease. But we still advise you to see a doctor. It will help you choose knitwear. The phlebologist also talks about other preventative methods so he learns much better about protecting blood vessels.

Compression ratios of compression stockings

Depending on the pressure level, elastic underwear is divided into four classes:

  1. Compression up to 22 mmHg. Art. Such a jersey helps stop the development of varicose veins - it removes edema, spider veins and other signs of varicose veins.
  2. Up to 32 mm Hg pressure. Art. A II. Class stockings are prescribed for chronic venous insufficiency, thrombophlebitis, and varicose veins. Knitwear is also used for prevention by people with a sedentary lifestyle.
  3. Compression up to 46 mmHg. Art. These stockings are worn by patients with trophic disorders and congenital defects of the vascular system.
  4. Pressure up to 50 mm Hg. Art. Doctors prescribe such jerseys only to those suffering from severe forms of venous disease. Underwear is used to treat severe edema.

The right level of compression allows for a successful fight against vascular disease, while inadequate knitwear also damages blood vessels.

Choosing the right size of underwear is just as important.

Compression stocking size chart

Be sure to weigh your feet before buying clothing. You need to measure:

  • Calf circumference
  • Ankle circumference
  • Thigh circumference
  • The length of the foot from the floor to the hips
  • Leg length

Perform all measurements in the morning after waking up. Don’t get out of bed - this way you can achieve the most accurate results that cannot be achieved due to the pressure on the dishes when standing. Fixed foot sizes come in handy when using a stock size chart.

The size Height, cm Weight, kg Hip, cm
S; S1 150 - 162 41 - 55 90-100; 90
M; M1 152-170 55 - 75 88-100; 98 - 115
L; L1 155 - 175 58 - 95 113-130; 98 - 115
XL 167-180 68 - 95
XXL 160 - 178 85 - 108

Putting on and wearing compression stockings

how to put on compression stockings

First, wear elastic underwear immediately when lifting. Without getting out of bed.

Raise your feet. It should be above the level of the heart - in this situation the pressure in the blood vessels decreases. Carefully slide your foot inward and slowly pull the fabric upward.

Smooth out your stockings. Fit snugly to the skin. Straighten the folds. The top of the canvas should not be folded down, otherwise the leotard will be pressed like a gymnastics and blood circulation will be damaged as a result.

It is not recommended to remove the compression stocking during the day. Only in the shower or bath. Before going to bed, lie down on the bed and raise your legs. Then take off your laundry.

How long should I wear the knitwear?

Ask your doctor. Mild forms of varicose veins can be eliminated in a few months, but chronic diseases are a more serious problem. Sometimes phlebologists recommend that patients wear elastic stockings for several years. In rare cases my whole life.

With a careless attitude, knitwear won’t even last for months. Therefore, proper care is needed.

Care of compression stockings

Stockings are not like a durable product. And indeed - their lifespan usually does not exceed 12 months, and in many cases the laundry tears and wears out even earlier.

What to do?

First, the stockings should be washed. Includes antimicrobial protected jersey. Remember - you wear elastic underwear all day and dead epithelial cells keep accumulating on it. So wash daily.

Best of all - by hand.

For washing, use baby soap or other delicate product that does not damage the knitwear. The laundry cannot be boiled.

After washing, squeeze the water out of the stocking very carefully. Do not stretch them or damage the fabric. You can wipe off the moisture with a towel.

Dry the knitwear on a flat surface, only in a cool or warm place, as high heat can destroy the fabric.

Even with proper care, stockings will eventually lose their elasticity. Sometimes in a few months. Less often - after a year.

How to change the jersey in time?

The loss of elasticity is easy to spot in the morning when you put on your stockings. Old compression garments can stretch very easily. Therefore, the conclusion - it no longer holds the legs together with the necessary force, so it is necessary to purchase a replacement.

How much to wear compression stockings after surgery

Elastic knitwear is not only used in the complex treatment of vascular diseases, but also for the prevention of varicose veins. Such underwear is also prescribed for patients who have undergone surgery. Sometimes for several days. In other cases, for months.

The date of wearing the stockings is determined by the doctor.

After treatment, the knitwear should be used at different times, depending on the procedure:

  • Cesarean section - up to three weeks
  • Removal of the uterus - two to eight weeks
  • Laparoscopy - from three days to a month
  • Kidney removal - from five days to four weeks
  • Removal of the gallbladder - from ten days to a month

How much should I wear compression stockings after sclerotherapy?

The number of blood vessels treated by the doctor should be considered. During surgery, the phlebologist uses various methods to destroy the inner walls of the blood vessels, making them inflamed. The blood circulation in the blood vessel stops and after a while the patient’s vein disappears completely. Blood moves through other blood vessels.

The compression stocking in this case helps keep the treated veins closed and prevents blood from entering them. Therefore, the blood vessels disappear faster.

Flexible underwear should be worn for up to four months if your doctor has operated on one or two veins. A larger number of removed containers should be stored for a longer period of time - six months. Plus, it's not a complete cycle. So much so that the patient wears a second-class leotard and then the doctor can change it to first-class underwear.

Shaping stockings are also used in other vein surgeries. For example, they are useful in the recovery of phlebectomy and miniflebectomy.

But endovascular treatment does not require compression therapy, and lingerie is used only if signs of venous insufficiency — edema and trophic disorders — persist.

Unfortunately, this information is not universal. It doesn’t apply to absolutely every situation and every person. The doctor prescribes a knitwear and determines how long patients should wear the special stockings.

Reading information about elastic underwear is a good start, but the real fight against vascular disease will only flare up after a visit to the doctor.