What Is Compression Therapy?
Compression therapy is a treatment that helps increase blood flow and offer vein support in the legs. Compression stockings or legs are designed to help prevent the occurrence and/or progression of different venous disorders, including: varicose veins, spider veins, venous insufficiency, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression wear is designed to gently apply pressure around the legs and ankles; they help stretch out vein walls, and improve circulation. When wearing compressing stockings, a person will see a reduction of swelling in his or her legs.
Compression stockings are specially made and are stronger than average hosiery. They are made from a strong, elastic material and creates pressure/construction starting at the ankle and working its way up through the leg. The material constricts at certain points on the legs, which allows the veins to loosen so the pain subsides.
There are two types of compression stockings: gradient stockings and anti-embolism stockings. Gradient stockings help with faulty leg vein valves and help patients suffering from blood clots, blood pooling, and edema. Anti-embolism stockings help support venous and lymphatic drainage of the leg.
Compression stockings replicate a muscle by adding pressure to contracting areas. The stockings compress muscles, veins, and arteries, which force the blood to fit through a narrower channel. Because the blood is flowing in a narrowed path, there is an increase in the arterial pressure, so more blood will flow back to the heart instead of pooling in the legs and feet.
Compression stockings are known to alleviate painful symptoms and bring comfort to patients suffering from chronic venous diseases. These stockings can be worn under pants, long dresses, or long skirts; these days, the stockings are made to be fashionable, so a person doesn’t have to hide them under clothing if they so choose.
People who suffer from the following venous disorders/diseases and conditions can benefit from wearing compression stockings:
Here is a list of conditions and symptoms compression stockings can help with:
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Tired and/or achy legs
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Pain from prolonged sitting or standing
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Economy class syndrome