Can compression stockings help with varicose veins?

Doctors often recommend compression stockings to improve circulation, prevent varicose veins from worsening, and reduce pain or discomfort. Compression socks and stockings may not always prevent varicose veins from developing. However, they can work as a great support mechanism for healthy blood flow and keep annoying symptoms at bay, especially when used long-term. Basically, compression stockings help reduce swelling and blood accumulation in the legs.

They add pressure, which helps blood flow upward from the legs, even though gravity pushes it down. These tights are recommended for more than just treating varicose veins. They can also help with deep vein thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, edema, and more. Compression stockings are also beneficial for athletes, as they can help improve circulation.

For example, wearing a knee-high stocking wouldn't be helpful if you're dealing with varicose veins in the thigh. Dr. Peter Paraskevas is a highly qualified phlebologist (vein doctor) dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins. While these studies looked at surgical venous treatment compared to compression stockings, these findings certainly also apply to minimally invasive treatments, such as thermal venous ablation, VenaSeal, and ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy.

In many cases, conservative treatments for varicose veins at home can address the problem enough that you don't have to receive more intense medical treatments. In general, patients with varicose veins of all levels of severity report an improvement in symptoms such as pain and swelling. Compression stockings have been a standard treatment for varicose veins for many decades, and are still prescribed today as first-line treatment to control symptoms and prevent the progression of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). This phenomenon is called venous reflux and causes a variety of symptoms, such as bulging varicose veins, spider veins, swelling, and cramps.

We know that, if left untreated, varicose veins do not correct themselves and the medical intervention of a doctor specializing in veins or a phlebologist is necessary. Compression stockings can alleviate symptoms and help prevent the worsening of venous disease, but they require continuous use to be effective and do not address the underlying source of venous disease. About 40 percent of the U.S. population may be affected by chronic venous insufficiency, a condition that can cause more serious problems, such as varicose veins.

You can try a couple of different compression powers to find the one that has the most benefit, but the treatment for varicose veins is usually 20 to 30 mmHg. These limitations may lead doctors to believe that they are effectively treating their patients' venous problems with a simple prescription for compression therapy when, in reality, the vein disease may be progressing as it would without any prescription. Minimally invasive treatments, such as thermal vein ablation, are more than 95% effective in treating varicose veins and resolving vein-related symptoms. If you're one of the millions of people who have problems with varicose veins, then you know how much of a problem they can be.

We have a variety of non-invasive treatments for varicose veins, including endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, VenaSeal (medical adhesive) and radiofrequency ablation.

Tia Maruscak
Tia Maruscak

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