Compression Socks for Treating and Preventing Varicose Veins
There are many available options for treating and preventing varicose veins. Some people who have varicose veins do not experience any symptoms. For many others, pain and discomfort is a regular occurrence, which may also indicate an increased risk for other circulatory problems.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group, “varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That's because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.”
Before we look at ways to treat and prevent varicose veins, let’s consider the primary cause: Aging
As we age, the valves in our veins become weak. When healthy, these valves should force blood toward our heart. When these valves stop working as well as they should, blood can flow backward causing it to pool in your veins. As a result, the vein becomes enlarged.
If your varicose veins are not causing you pain or discomfort, or if you have yet to develop varicose veins, simple lifestyle changes can help. There are many steps you can take to help existing varicose veins and to prevent or delay new ones from starting. Some of these steps include:
- Exercise - get your legs moving. This helps strengthen blood flow through your legs.
- Lose weight if you are obese or overweight. This will help ease the pressure on your veins.
- Avoid crossing your legs.
- Try not to sit or stand for long periods.
- Wear a lightweight compression sock with a compression up to 15mmHg to help prevent varicose veins from manifesting
If your varicose veins are causing you pain or discomfort, compression stockings can help alleviate symptoms. Compression stockings work by adding gentle pressure around the leg which increases pressure up the leg. The tendency for blood to flow backwards is minimized which keeps blood from pooling. Made for both men and women, compression stockings come in a variety of sizes, colours and compression strengths. Jobst offers stockings for both casual and formal wear.
It’s important to know that if you choose to try compression socks for the treatment of veins causing pain you will need a prescription for these as typically a physician will recommend a compression higher than the over the counter 15mmHg. Once you have your prescription, contact the local Motion Specialties store to setup an appointment for a fitting. A certified fitter will take your measurements and order the stockings for you. It’s always best to have your fitting done in the morning as your legs will be less swollen then and the fitter will be able to get more accurate measurements. When your stockings arrive you’ll be asked to come back for a fitting.
You may find that the stockings are very difficult to put on however the certified fitter will explain to you proper fitting and care for your stockings as well as tips and techniques for applying them. We recommend using donning gloves (available through your fitter) that help grip and prevent tears or rips in your stockings as you are putting them on. This will help preserve the life of your stockings and keep them in good shape. There are also a number of stocking aids that assist with application.
If you would like to learn more about compression stockings, drop in to your local Motion Specialties. There you will find qualified staff that can answer all of your questions and provide you with excellent recommendations.