Do Compression Stockings Actually Help Improve Vein Health?
While undoubtedly helpful, compression socks alone may not be the most effective treatment for unhealthy veins.
When it comes to varicose or otherwise damaged veins, compression stockings can do wonders to help manage pain. But there isn't sufficient evidence to suggest that they represent an effective treatment on their own. To achieve optimal results, patients should seek out advice on treatment options from a vein specialist to determine the proper course of action.
That said, compression socks have been used for decades to provide relief to patients suffering from the symptoms of venous reflux. By adding pressure to the veins in your feet and legs, this form of compression therapy can help improve circulation. The application of pressure improves blood flow by compressing and tightening the veins, thereby making the valves in the veins work more efficiently. Accordingly, compression stockings tend to be tightest at the feet and gradually loosen as they climb the leg.
With countless varieties of compression stockings and socks on the market today, every patient can find an option tailored to treat his or her specific symptoms. Gradient compression leg wear is sold at different compression levels, and a doctor should always be consulted to ensure that the sock meets your needs. That’s especially true given the fact that the wrong purchase can actually worsen your condition. The use of elastic bandages, for instance, is generally ill-advised, as they can cut off blood flow and heighten the ill effects of varicose veins.
A Source of Relief
Despite a lack of conclusive scientific evidence that compression stockings help deter the emergence of varicose veins, they have been proven to help blood flow within the leg. And perhaps most significantly to patients, they help manage some of the most uncomfortable aspects of venous reflux. Even given the cost of some specialty compressions stockings, patients often find that the temporary relief is worth the expense.
While the regular use of compression stockings can help counter the damage caused by poor flow through veins in the feet and legs and promote better circulation, they are not a cure. Maintaining and improving the health of your veins is a lifelong process, and patients should make a concerted effort to do so at the earliest sign of chronic vein disease. Proactive measures with proven efficacy include:
Wearing comfortable shoes
Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time
Avoid crossing your legs while sitting
Eating a balanced diet
Talk to a Professional
While compression stockings undoubtedly help many patients find relief from varicose or otherwise damaged veins, there isn’t sufficient evidence to suggest that they’re an effective treatment on their own. And while managing the symptomatic pain is crucial to those suffering from venous reflux, it’s important to always seek the advice of a vein specialist when determining the best treatment for you. There are many new technologies available to treat damaged or varicose veins, including a number of non-invasive procedures that can eliminate the symptoms of vein disease altogether.