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Compression Stockings: Benefits & FAQs


What you don’t know about compression stockings may surprise you. Compression stockings offer a simple and affordable solution for anyone who wants to maintain leg health or improve blood flow while reducing swelling and pain associated with issues like varicose veins. Keeping your legs healthy and happy is easy. Learn how from our easy FAQ, how compression stockings can work for you.

What Are Compression Stockings And Why Are They Useful?

Compression stockings have been used for over 160 years since they were patented in 1848. Over the years, compression stockings have come a long way. Modern compression hosiery puts comfortable pressure on the legs, increasing blood flow while reducing the pressure on veins. This simple yet effective tool relieves common leg ailments such as swelling, discomfort, and aching. They are extremely beneficial for managing the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

You may hear compression stockings referred to as gradient stockings, pressure stockings, compression hose, or support stockings. They are available in knee and thigh high lengths, as well as a variety of stylish colors for women and men.

Who Can Benefit from Wearing Compression Stockings?

Absolutely anyone can benefit from wearing compression stockings. From preventing deep vein thrombosis and blood clots, to managing swelling caused by varicose veins, compression hosiery is the key to comfort and leg health for many people.

Choosing The Best Compression Hosiery For You

It’s important to choose the type of compression stockings that will provide the greatest benefit to you. Keep our key points in mind when choosing your compression hosiery.

Prescription Strength?

Compression stockings range in strength from 10mm Hg to stronger strengths of 50mm Hg or more. You will find lower strength stockings readily available in pharmacies and online. Higher strength stockings are available with a prescription from your physician and are commonly used for varicose veins.

Gradient or Uniform?Gradient-compression-stockings

Compression stockings are available as gradient or uniform stockings. There is a very important key difference between the two. Gradient stockings are tightest at the ankle and gradually decrease pressure up the leg, while uniform stockings provide the same amount of pressure along the entire leg. Gradient stockings are the best type for most people.


Knee length stockings are the perfect choice for the majority of people unless swelling or varicose veins are present above the knee. In this case, thigh high stockings are a better choice for you.

Varicose Veins and Compression Stockings

The correct strength of compression stockings relieves many of the uncomfortable and painful symptoms caused by varicose veins. Varicose veins cause blood to collect in the legs, which results in pain and swelling. The constant pressure applied to the leg by compression hosiery causes blood to flow naturally through the veins, reducing pressure, pain, and edema.

For men and women with varicose veins, it’s best to have a physician prescribe the correct strength of compression stockings. Your stockings can even be made specifically for you, to provide the most benefit and comfort.

How Long To Wear Your Compression Stockings?

The amount of time you wear your compression stockings each day should be guided by a physician. Why you are wearing stockings and the strength of your stockings will make a difference in wear time.

People who have chronic venous issues often wear their stockings 16 hours per day, removing them at bedtime. You should never wear your compression stockings to sleep in unless your physician has specifically prescribed 24-hour wear. For instance, following treatment for varicose veins, some patients are required to wear stockings for a specified number of hours or days.

What Time of Day to Put Your Compression Socks On?

The best time of day to put your stockings on is in the morning when you wake up. This is the time when your legs are at their least swollen. If you find it difficult to put your stockings due to age or weight issues, try some of these tips.

  • Sprinkle a small amount of baby powder on your legs.
  • Use a special dressing aid available for socks and stockings.
  • Always roll the stocking down completely before placing your foot inside.
  • Try open toe stockings.

How to Properly Care for Your Stockings?

compression-stockings-in-lobby-vein-institute-utahIt’s best to have two or more pairs of stockings if you wear them on a regular basis. Be sure to wash your stockings after each wear with a gentle detergent and warm water, allowing them to air dry on a flat surface before using them again. This will help them keep their elasticity and provide proper support for your legs. Stockings shouldn’t have to be replaced more often than every 3 to 6 months at most with proper care.

Will My Insurance or Medicare Cover Compression Stockings?

Many people wonder if insurance will pay for compression stockings. In some cases, insurance does pay for prescription strength stockings of 20mm Gh or greater. Individuals with Medicare Part B will find that compression stockings are not covered, even with a prescription. It’s best to call your insurance provider to address this concern.

Whether you want to prevent blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, are experiencing mild leg discomfort; or living with the pain and swelling associated with varicose veins; compression stockings are an invaluable tool for leg and whole body health.

For more information on how compression stockings can benefit you, contact the Vein Institute of Utah today!

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