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What Ailments Can Compression Stockings Help To Alleviate?

Most of us slip socks onto our feet every day. Let it be known, however, that not all socks are created equal. Some are special. Compression socks, which are also known as compression stockings, are specialized garments. They apply gentle pressure to the legs and ankles. Their purpose is to improve blood flow from the legs to the heart.

Why would someone need to wear compression stockings?

Compression stockings work to decrease swelling and pain in the legs and ankles. By applying pressure to those areas, blood vessels work better. The arteries that take oxygen-rich blood to your muscles can relax. This allows the blood to flow freely, enabling the veins to better push blood back to the heart. Not to mention, the use of compression stockings helps to reduce pain, fatigue and achiness.

As well, they are known to reduce swelling in the feet and ankles while also minimizing the appearance of spider and varicose veins. Believe it or not, there are numerous ailments that compression stockings can help to alleviate.

Varicose veins.

Varicose veins are more than just unsightly markings in our legs. For many sufferers, these veins can be painful. Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that are caused by weak or damaged valves. By using compression stockings to apply pressure to the legs, blood flow is improved. As a result, pain and swelling lessens. As SIGVARIS GROUP explains, users should feel a decrease in pain and heavy leg sensations from their very first use of compression stockings.

“The elastic material of the compression stocking, with stronger compression at the ankle and less going up the leg, helps to compensate for the lack of activation of the venous muscle pump system,” outlines their website, “It gently squeezes the vein walls together, thereby easing blood flow back towards the heart, reducing venous pressure, and improving overall circulation.”

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Deep vein thrombosis is a much more serious condition than varicose veins. This condition occurs when blood clots form in the deep veins of the legs. Because these blood clots can break free and travel to the lungs, the ailment can actually be life-threatening. Compression stockings help to improve blood flow and reduce the chances of blood clot formation. They come in especially handy for those who stay in seated positions for long durations of time.

As reported by Valencia Higuera for Healthline, studies have found a link between compression stockings and DVT prevention in hospitalized patients. “One study followed 1,681 people and consisted of 19 trials, including nine with participants undergoing general surgery and six with participants undergoing orthopedic surgery,” she details, “Among those wearing compression stockings before and after surgery, only 9 percent developed DVT, compared with 21 percent of those who didn’t wear compression stockings.”

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

This condition occurs when the veins in our legs are no longer able to effectively pump blood back to the heart. CVI damages the valves in leg veins, causing the pooling of blood. This increases pressure in the leg veins and causes symptoms like swelling, ulcers, burning, cramping, and discoloured skin. By wearing compression stockings, veins receive greater support and blood flow is enhanced.

“Providers commonly recommend compression therapy for treating CVI,” informs Cleveland Clinic, “Compression therapy helps ease swelling and discomfort in your legs. There are many types of compression bandages and stockings. Some offer more compression than others…But compression therapy is very important to help your veins work better and ease your symptoms.”


Edema is also listed by Cleveland Clinic as a symptom of CVI. The medical term is used to describe swelling in the lower legs and ankles. It is often caused by standing for long periods of time throughout the day. This often traps excess fluid in your body’s tissues, especially in the lower legs and ankles. Edema can also result from such conditions as heart failure and kidney disease.

Compression stockings help improve circulation in the legs to reduce the swelling. By providing consistent pressure, the stockings prevent fluid from accumulating. This invokes a lighter and more comfortable feeling in the affected areas.


Lymphedema refers to the build up of lymph fluid. This condition is marked by the lymphatic system’s inability to properly drain lymph fluid in the arms and legs. This leads to swelling and pain. Lymphedema has been known to occur after lymph node removals or cancer treatments. As Cancer Research UK explains, compression treatment puts pressure on the area of swelling and encourages the movement of lymph fluid around the lymph vessels.

“The pressure needs to be even but firm in the swollen area,” notes their website, “Compression may also help to control pain caused by the swelling…The pressure helps the trapped lymph fluid to move and flow through the lymph vessels. The compression garment, wraps or bandages also act as an extra force for the muscles to work against. This helps the fluid to drain out of the area.”

What are the different types of compression garments?

Compression stockings aren’t just for the legs ankles. There are socks and sleeves that come in different lengths to cover different parts of the body. For those who contend with DVT, for example, a compression stocking that fits just below the knee is recommended. There are also thigh-highs and tights available, if needed.  Each compression stocking has a different level of pressure. It is measured in mm Hg.

Compression stockings should feel snug, but not painfully tight. Mild compression, with lower numbers, is usually enough to keep you comfortable on your feet at work. At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we have certified fitters to help you choose the best compression solution to help you live better and healthier. We would be happy to arrange a time to meet with you!

We always ensure that you have the complete picture to make an informed decision. You will know all of the possible options so you can choose which solution is best for you. To learn more about our compression stockings, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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