Compression Hosiery

Compression hose should be part of an ongoing maintenance program even after vein treatments, especially if you are unable to sit down during the day. People with standing occupations are more prone to develop venous reflux and to relapse after successful treatments. Compression hose assist the muscles to massage the veins so blood is pushed towards the heart and these should be worn during the day.  Most people welcome the relief they get from wearing the support hose during the workday.

When standing still, the pressure in the veins increases to very high levels resulting in damage to delicate valves in the veins.  These valves keep the blood from flowing downward toward the feet while assuming an upright posture.  If the valves become damaged from years of standing on your legs without support, blood will flow away from the heart and lead to damage of the skin around the ankles (brown discoloration, itchy rash, thickened skin) and eventually a venous ulceration.

Many people with early venous insufficiency (damaged valves) can delay premature surgery or laser procedures by wearing support stockings while at work.  While compression stockings will not heal the damaged valves, they will prevent further damage to other valves in the veins and allow more comfort while standing.

Compression hose are graded so that most of the pressure is exerted at the ankle.  The external pressure becomes less the higher the stocking extends.  This allows for blood to easily return to the heart as the leg muscle contracts and squeezes the veins against the external stocking.  The 20-30 mm compression stockings are the most comfortable while affording adequate venous return in most people.  If you have venous ulcer you may require more compression.

These hose are available by prescription only and require a professional to measure your legs to have a perfect fit.  Sizes are available for expectant mothers too.

The white “TED” hose are not adequate for active people.  The pressures generated by TED hose are in the range of 8-10 mm and they are not graded so they do not perform the same job as graduated compression stockings.  TED hose are beneficial for patients who are confined to bed after surgery or while hospitalized to prevent blood clots from forming in their veins.