Can You Wear Compression Stockings 24 Hours Per Day?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
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Compression stockings are an effective treatment for varicose veins. But should you wear them 24 hours per day?

If you have varicose veins or other circulatory problems in your legs, your doctor may have recommended you wear compression stockings. So, it’s natural to wonder what these garments are and how they can help you. Perhaps most importantly, you’d also like to know if it’s safe to wear them all day and night.

Available through the Compression Store at Center for Vein Restoration, these doctor-recommended tightly woven socks come in different lengths and pressure levels measured by mmHG. Upon consulting with your doctor, you can decide on the proper style and strength for your specific condition.

What You Need to Know About Compression Stockings: The Basics

Compression stockings are a non-surgical treatment for venous insufficiency. This broad term covers a variety of circulatory disorders in the extremities. Listed below are five common questions about the garments:

What are compression stockings?

Compression stockings are made of highly durable and tight fabric. They are made to be tighter around the ankle and become gradually looser as they move up the calf. By gently squeezing the tissues and veins in the legs, compression stockings aid blood flow back to the heart that may be restricted because of weakened vein valves. Blood flow fights the hardest against gravity in the legs. Compression stockings support the valves by pressing the blood upward. When those valves malfunction, blood accumulates in the leg vein, leading to sluggish circulation and swollen veins. Compression stockings counteract that phenomenon. They also prevent fluid leakage from tissues, which can lead to leg swelling.

Who should wear compression stockings?

Compression stockings are commonly prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with varicose veins or other circulatory issues, such as lymphedema or deep vein thrombosis, also known as blood clots in the leg. However, you don’t necessarily need a medical condition to wear compression stockings. People who sit or stand for long hours find the stockings helpful in controlling swelling and aching in the legs. Compression stockings are also recommended for wear on long plane or car rides when your activity level is restricted. Inactivity increases the chances of blood pooling in the veins.

Who shouldn’t wear compression stockings?

Although most people can wear compression stockings on a daily basis, certain medical conditions may cause some issues. If you have reduced heart function or peripheral arterial disease that already constricts blood flow in the veins, you should probably steer clear of compression stockings. Compression stockings are not recommended for people with peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage in the extremities. Some stockings may contain materials that could irritate the skin. It is important to always check with your doctor first before trying compression wear.

How can I get a pair that fits me?

Depending upon the severity of your varicose veins, you may need a prescription for a stronger pair of compression stockings. For those, you’ll need a professional fitting. Give yourself a few days to get accustomed to wearing the stockings if you’re using them for the first time. Compression stockings lose their elasticity after a while, so replace them as recommended by your doctor.

Can I wear compression stockings all day?

Although it’s not harmful to wear compression stockings 24 hours a day, it’s also not necessary unless your doctor advises explicitly so as to prevent open sores. As mentioned earlier, sitting or standing for extended periods of time during the day will cause blood to pool in your veins. However, when you lie in bed at night, the effect of gravity lessens, and blood flows more efficiently. It’s also best to give your skin some time to breathe without the stockings. If you do choose to wear them at night, switch to a lighter pressure for more comfort.

Vein Treatment in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, Center for Vein Restoration offers two locations, both supervised by Dr. Normand Miller, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT. A board-certified Vascular Surgeon, Dr. Miller is an expert in vascular medicine and treats venous insufficiency with surgical procedures and non-surgical methods, including compression therapy. Contact him today for a consultation.

224 Main Street, Suite 1-D, Salem, NH 03079

400 Amherst Street, Suite 402, Nashua, NH 03063

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