Varicose veins are a very common problem. According to the American Society of Vascular Surgery, nearly 25 million Americans suffer from the condition. About 33 percent of women and 17 percent of men will develop the condition during a certain period of their life.
There are various treatment and prevention options on the market. Compression socks rank among the most popular products. The graduated compression makes it easier for blood to go up the leg, which reduces the risk of varicose veins and provides relief to people who already suffer from the problem.
Before taking a look at the specific benefits of compression socks, let’s examine all of the options that varicose veins sufferer can choose among.
Most of the treatments focus on helping blood go up the leg. Some of them will also address the accompanying skin changes like rashes, sense of heat and inflammation. Some of the potential treatments include keeping the legs of elevated, therapeutic compression, sclerotherapy, ablation or destruction of the abnormal veins and surgical removal of the veins.
Usually, a physician will recommend the most non-invasive approach first. If it doesn’t deliver results, the alternatives will be explored.
Overcoming Varicose Veins through the Use of Therapeutic Compression
Compression socks and stockings are simple products. They work by squeezing the leg (more compression is applied at the ankle and it decreases mid-calf). The stockings reduce the amount of blood in the veins at any given time and they also enhance circulation.
People that have mild problems can start with support pantyhose. Special compression socks and stockings are intended for people suffering more serious issues. They fit more snuggly and will usually be recommended by a doctor.
Compression stockings are also great for the individuals at risk of developing varicose veins. These are people who spend a lot of time standing up due to their profession. Nurses, teachers, physicians and other professionals that spend many hours on their legs should consider getting compression stockings. Apart from reducing the risk of varicose veins, these socks also bring down leg fatigue in the end of the day.
How to Use Compression Stockings
To get the best possible results, it’s important to learn how to use compression stockings.
For a start, make sure that you’ve chosen the right size. Manufacturers usually provide a sizing chart that you can use to determine which socks are best for you. Properly sized compression stockings should fit snuggly without feeling too tight or cutting off your circulation.
Always hand wash the stockings after you buy them, unless the manufacturer’s recommendations differ and you can put them in the washing machine. Having at least two pairs of compression socks will be excellent in terms of maintenance, especially if you have to use such therapeutic garments on a daily basis.
Washing will make the socks a bit more flexible, thus easier to put on.
For best results, put the stockings on early in the morning prior to any swelling occurring in your legs. Sit on a chair with a back and hold the top part of the socks. Push one of your hands inside to grab the toe and bunch up the socks.
Put your foot in the sock and start gently rolling it upward. If you’re having difficulties putting your legs inside, you may want to use a stockings butler. The metal device will keep the sock open until you put your leg inside. Once the sock is put on correctly, there should be no pain, discomfort or excessive tightness.
In case you experience any of the problems mentioned above, you may need to call your doctor. Chances are that another pair will be required (by a different brand or in another size).
Will Compression Socks Help my Varicose Veins?
The severity of the problem is the first factor that will have to be examined prior to answering the question. Compression socks can provide a lot of relief, though they will not get rid of varicose veins for you.
The type of socks you choose, the brand, their elasticity and the quality of fabrics will also be determining for the outcome of the treatment. Take some time to research the different products and compare them side by side. High quality socks should feature therapeutic graduated compression. This is the only option for enhancing circulation in the legs and getting the varicose vein improvements that you’ve been hoping for.