Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins

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Overview

Compression stockings can improve blood flow and help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Specially fitted, or graduated, compression stockings are tightest at the foot. They gradually loosen as they fit higher on the leg.

If your doctor recommends compression stockings, wear them during the day to help relieve symptoms.

  • For very mild symptoms, you may want to start out using over-the-counter compression options. These can include support panty hose or compression socks or stockings which end just above the calf, below the knee. You may find that these help swelling and aching considerably. They are available at most department stores or online.
  • Your doctor may prescribe special compression stockings. You can buy these from a medical supply store, where you can be fitted for them.

Compression stockings can be expensive. They may be hard to put on, and it may take you awhile to get used to wearing them all day. But if they fit right, they should be snug but comfortable. If you have problems wearing the stockings, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Avoid elastic bandages for varicose veins unless your doctor specifically suggests them. If this type of bandage is recommended, ask how to wrap it.

Credits

Current as of: March 28, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
David A. Szalay MD - Vascular Surgery




The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.