Compression stockings are specialized stockings utilized for the management of venous conditions such as varicose veins. These stockings place pressure around the entire leg to propel blood in the veins towards the heart.
When are compression stockings used?
Varicose veins and a chronic case of venous insufficiency are the conditions affecting the veins where compression stockings are utilized. It is important to note that these conditions are triggered by a defect in the functioning of the venous valves that are required for proper circulation and preventing the back flow of blood.
Once these valves malfunction, the blood builds up in the extremities especially the legs. As a result, the blood pressure within the veins increases, resulting to venous hypertension. This causes the engorgement of the veins and drives fluid within the veins to leak out to the interstitial space which results to edema.
The development of edema can lead to ischemia of the leg tissues and eventually the root case for non-healing ulcers.
How do they work?
Compression stockings are made out of an elastic material that places varying degrees of pressure on different segments of the leg.
The region that has the highest compression are the ankles since most of the blood in the veins buildup in the area due to gravity. The pressure placed by the stockings steadily drops in the upper regions of the legs since gravity has minimal effect on the blood in these areas.
The stockings also minimize venous hypertension by driving the venous blood flow from the legs all the way to the heart. They also minimize edema by stopping additional seepage of fluids from the veins.
The advantages of the reduced venous pressure include the following:
- Improved flow of blood which lowers the risk for ending up with blood clots
- Management of ischemia which encourages healing of the ulcers
The compression stockings are proven to effectively reduce venous pressure. Take note that there are no special preparations required when the stockings are used, but it is best to consult a doctor first to choose the suitable one to use. It is also recommended that physical activities such as walking should be performed as well.