How to choose compression stockings for varicose veins

Compression stockings for varicose veins


This is half of the circulatory system.

It is also a cause for concern for millions of people around the world.

Diseases of the veins are common. Scientists have calculated that up to 15% of middle-aged men and 30% of women suffer from varicose veins - a vasodilatation of the venous system. The proportion of patients with venous diseases is even higher among the elderly.

As a result, many people go to doctors to treat swollen blood vessels. Sometimes with surgery. In other cases, conservative therapy with drugs, exercise and special underwear.

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

Varicose veins can affect any part of the venous system, but their preferred target is the vessels of the legs.

The susceptibility of the veins is easy to explain.

When blood flows through the arteries to the organs, it mainly moves downwards. That is, gravity helps blood flow and therefore there is usually no accumulation of blood in the arteries. It flows through the arteries to your feet. The blood rises back through the veins. At this moment problems begin - gravity slows the flow of blood, and part of the blood is constantly striving to drain.

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

Venous valves grow in the vessels, which block the passage of the flowing blood and lead it back into the bloodstream. Muscles also support blood circulation. They contract and press on the veins, which improves blood flow.

The blood circulation is impaired in diseased vessels. This happens for several reasons:

  • Long immobility
  • obesity
  • Older age
  • pregnancy
  • Hormonal imbalance

In varicose veins, the valves are usually weakened or damaged. Therefore, blood collects in certain areas of the vessels, pressing on the walls of the veins, causing them to expand.

The symptoms are not severe at first:

  • Heaviness in the legs
  • Blue or purple vessels appear on the skin
  • cramps
  • edema
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Itching and burning in the veins

Such signs of illness often go unnoticed and sometimes people just get used to them. So they allow varicose veins to develop.

Yes, it can take years for more severe symptoms to appear. But without treatment, complications are inevitable and by no means as harmless as the first manifestations of varicose veins.

The consequences of varicose veins:

  • Trophic ulcers. . . Non-healing wounds next to diseased vessels. The tissue does not receive the necessary nutrients and gradually dies. One symptom of the formation of an ulcer is the lightening of the skin area. To stop the development of complications, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
  • Bleeding. . . Enlarged superficial veins sometimes rupture. The bleeding from such vessels is not very profuse, but medical attention is still required.
  • Blood clots. . . Dilated vessels are a comfortable environment for blood clots, which doctors call blood clots. These formations disrupt blood circulation. Sometimes they peel off and blood can get into the lungs. This phenomenon is called pulmonary embolism, and it often leads to respiratory failure and even death.

The further the disease goes, the higher the risk of complications. Another problem is that developed varicose veins usually cannot be removed with conservative treatment and surgery is required.

It's a lot easier to deal with early on. The complex treatment with stockings for varicose veins shows excellent results. This undergarment is also useful for disease prevention.

What are compression stockings used for?

Such a jersey improves blood circulation in the legs. This will reduce the pain and swelling that bothers many people. Lingerie also helps with more serious medical conditions, such as reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis and the chance of blood clots.

Elastic stockings for varicose veins are made of a special material that stretches well and fits the leg. The jersey gently squeezes the veins. Usually the underwear puts the most pressure on the ankles and the pressure decreases down to the leg.

Doctors prescribe compression stockings for several purposes:

  • Vein support
  • Prevention of blood build-up
  • Prevention of trophic ulcers
  • Fight against venous hypertension
  • Improvement of the lymphatic drainage

When knitwear presses on the vessels, it has several positive effects:

  • Reduces the diameter of the veins. . . The blood flows faster through narrow vessels. Therefore, it rarely accumulates in one place, and blood clots almost never appear.
  • Improves blood circulation. . . The extra pressure accelerates the blood flow and gets from the feet to the heart faster.
  • Prevents bleeding. . . Despite the attraction, blood rarely flows through the veins and does not fill the connecting vessels.

Even some athletes use compression stockings when exercising. For example runners and basketball players. The underwear protects the tissue from damage and accelerates the supply of oxygen to the muscles. After exercising, the muscles recover faster.

Of course, shaping varicose vein stockings cannot be considered a magical artifact that will save you from problems with blood vessels. Unfortunately this is not the case. Like other medicines, compression stockings are not suitable for everyone.

Indications and contraindications for wearing compression garments

Don't buy tight fitting stockings yourself. First, see your doctor and see what type of leotard you need.

Find out the size. Compression ratio. And other properties of the underwear that you will wear for months.

Buying knitwear without a doctor's recommendation can damage blood vessels. Stockings, for example, are too squeezing, which means that blood circulation in the veins is even more impaired. The result is that the condition of the vessels deteriorates.

Sign up for a consultation with a phlebologist regarding the choice of compression garments. And also look at the indications and contraindications for such stockings.


Doctors prescribe slimming underwear for diseases:

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

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

  • During pregnancy. . . The expectant mother's body is exposed to great stress. The hormonal balance is disturbed. As a result, the vein walls weaken and often expand. The amount of blood in the body also increases. Because of the child. The increased blood volume greatly increases the stress on the vessel walls. The knit fabric helps the veins maintain their normal shape under such intense pressure.
  • Due to increased stress on the legs. . . At work, many people have to stand on their feet for a long time, and this increases the pressure on the vessels of the lower extremities. Frequent exertion can cause varicose veins. Lingerie supports the veins. In this way, they stay healthy even with people who spend the whole working day on their feet.
  • With a sedentary lifestyle. . . The less a person moves, the harder it is for the veins to pump blood. Muscles don't work or improve blood flow, so blood often pools and dilates blood vessels. Knitwear stops veins from puffing up.
  • After vascular surgery. . . The success of surgical treatment largely depends on the patient's correct recovery. When the procedure is completed, the doctor prescribes knitwear. It must be worn strictly on time, since any violation of the regime can lead to a relapse of the disease.

The right choice of elastic underwear is very important. Phlebologists prescribe knitwear with a certain degree of compression and class, depending on the patient's disease and risk factors.


Compression stockings are completely harmless to most people. They have few restrictions:

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

Individual patients simply cannot wear elastic undergarments effectively.

Sometimes only temporarily. For example, you have wounds on your leg and have to wait for them to heal.

In other cases it is permanent. Compression stockings will not work on legs with an unusual shape or deformation. It just doesn't wrap the limbs properly, so it's useless for venous disease.

How to choose compression stockings

Elastic jersey against varicose veins includes models of different lengths. Some completely cover their legs. Others are only up to the knee. It depends on the intended use of the compression stockings.

An important characteristic of linen is pressure, which directly affects the efficiency of knitwear. The stockings should be close to the legs, but not hurt.

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

The degree of compression of knitted stockings for the treatment of varicose veins is determined by the doctor. It is therefore essential to make an appointment and only buy elastic underwear after consultation.

Check the knitwear in the store. Select 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 you will not need to change it until the end of the treatment.

Types of compression stockings

All models of slimming knitwear are divided into three types:

  • Preventive. . . These products are not considered medicinal and can therefore be purchased without a doctor's prescription. They only support the vessels. This undergarment will reduce fatigue and leg pain. Knitwear weakly presses on the veins and is perfect for preventing vascular disease, but does not cure varicose veins.
  • Therapeutically. . . The most extensive group of elastic stockings. With these products, the pressure is different in different areas - the underwear presses most strongly near the ankle, and the pressure becomes weaker on the leg. Medical jersey is prescribed by a doctor. Stockings are intended for people with varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.
  • Anti-Embolic or Hospital. . . This bedding is prescribed to people 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 stockings is different, just like with medical devices.

Yes, you can buy elastic underwear for the prevention of vascular disease yourself. However, we advise you to consult a doctor. He will help you choose knitwear. The phlebologist will also teach you about other preventive methods so that you will learn much better how to protect your veins.

Compression ratios of compression stockings

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

  1. Compression up to 22 mm Hg. Art. Such a jersey will help stop the development of varicose veins - remove edema, spider veins and other signs of varicose veins.
  2. Print up to 32 mm Hg. Art. Class II stockings are prescribed to patients with chronic venous insufficiency, thrombophlebitis and varicose veins. Knitwear is also used for prevention by people with sedentary lifestyles.
  3. Compression up to 46 mm Hg. Art. These stockings are worn by patients with trophic diseases and congenital defects of the vascular system.
  4. Print up to 50 mm Hg. Art. Doctors only prescribe such jerseys for people with severe forms of venous disease. Lingerie is used to treat severe edema.

With the correct choice of compression level, you can successfully fight vascular diseases, while unsuitable knitwear additionally damages the veins.

Choosing the right size for your underwear is just as important.

Size chart for compression stockings

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

  • Calf circumference
  • Ankle circumference
  • Thigh circumference
  • Leg length from floor to hip
  • Foot length

Take all measurements in the morning after you wake up. Do not get out of bed - this is how you will get the most accurate results that cannot be obtained while standing due to the pressure on the vessels. The leg measurements recorded are useful when using the stocking size chart.

The size Height (cm Weight (kg Hips, 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

Put on and wear compression stockings

how to put on compression stockings

First of all, put on elastic underwear immediately when lifting. Without getting out of bed.

Raise your leg. It should be above the level of the heart - in this position the pressure in the vessels decreases. Gently slide your foot inward and slowly pull the fabric upward.

Straighten your stockings. They should be snug against the skin. Line up the folds. The top of the linen must not be turned over, otherwise the jersey will press like a tourniquet and thereby impair the blood circulation.

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

How long should the knitwear be worn?

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. Rarely, throughout my life.

With a carefree attitude, knits won't even last several months. Therefore, it is necessary to properly care for them.

Care of compression stockings

Stockings don't look like a long-lasting product. And indeed - as a rule, their lifespan is not 12 months, and in many cases the laundry breaks and expires even sooner.

What to do?

First of all, the stockings must be washed. Including jersey with antimicrobial protection. Remember - you wear elastic underwear all day and dead skin cells are constantly building up on it. So wash daily.

The best - by hand.

Use baby soap or other delicate products for washing that will not damage the knitwear. The laundry cannot be boiled.

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

Dry the knitted fabric on a flat surface, only in cool or warm places, as high heat can destroy the material.

Even with proper care, stockings lose their elasticity sooner or later. Sometimes after a few months. Less often - after a year.

How do you change jerseys in good time?

The loss of elasticity is easy to notice when putting on the stockings in the morning. Old compression stockings are very easy to put on. Hence the conclusion - it no longer encircles the legs with the necessary force, and therefore it is necessary to buy a replacement.

How much compression stockings should I wear after the operation?

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

The time to wear stockings is determined by the doctor.

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

  • Caesarean section - up to three weeks
  • Removal of the uterus - two to eight weeks
  • Laporoscopy - from three days to a month
  • Removal of a kidney - from five days to four weeks
  • Removal of the gallbladder - from ten days to a month

How much compression stockings should I wear after sclerotherapy?

It is necessary to take into account the number of vessels treated by the doctor. During the operation, the phlebologist uses various methods to destroy the inner walls of the veins, as a result of which they become inflamed. The blood circulation in the vessel stops and the diseased vein disappears completely after a while. Blood flows through other vessels.

The compression stockings help to keep the treated veins closed and prevent blood from entering. Therefore, the vessels disappear faster.

Elastic underwear should be worn for up to four months if the doctor has operated on one or two veins. A larger number of distant ships require longer maintenance - six months. Also, this is not a complete term. So much does the patient wear a second class leotard, and then the doctor can replace it with first class underwear.

Form stockings are also used in other vein operations. They are useful, for example, for recovery after phlebectomy and miniflebectomy.

However, endovascular treatment does not require compression therapy, and undergarments are used only if signs of venous insufficiency - edema and trophic disorders - persist.

Unfortunately, this information is not universal. It cannot be applied to absolutely every situation and every person. The doctor prescribes knitwear and determines how long patients should wear special stockings.

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