Compression Therapy

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

Do you experience swelling, heaviness, or cramps in your legs, especially when standing or sitting for long periods? You may have tried to figure out what could be happening on your own, self-diagnosing with restless leg syndrome or a nutrient deficiency.

However, you may not know these symptoms are common when you have a venous insufficiency, a condition caused by blood pooling in the legs because of damaged veins. There is a non-surgical option to help relieve some of these symptoms. Compression therapy can improve your symptoms by decreasing leg swelling and preventing blood from pooling.

What is Compression Therapy? 

Leg compression therapy uses snug-fitting socks or stockings to put constant pressure on the legs to improve blood flow. The stockings are made of strong elastic that provides more pressure than typical socks. The stockings are fitted around the foot and ankle with pressure gradually easing up the leg.

The socks are designed to help the blood move back up the leg. Pooling of blood in the legs and feet causes heaviness, swelling, pain, or cramps that can occur when you have varicose veins. The type you need will depend on the severity of your symptoms.

Compression socks provide different levels of pressure. Pressure is measured by millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. The categories include: 

  • Low (less than 20 mmHg)
  • Medium (20-30 mmHg)
  • High (higher than 30 mmHg)

Low-compression stockings are available over the counter and are often recommended for people who spend much of their day on their feet, are pregnant, or are traveling overseas. Medium and high compression stockings should be used in consultation or under guidance of a physician. Compression stockings can be worn any time the feet are not elevated.

Does Compression Therapy Work?

Compression therapy is an effective method for managing some conditions caused by poor blood circulation. It may be particularly beneficial as a first step in treatment of venous insufficiency or in mild cases. The conditions that can be improved with compression therapy include: 

  • Varicose veins that cause symptoms like pain and swelling
  • Venous insufficiency 
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that is characterized by a blood clot in the leg
  • Skin discoloration and wounds that form around the ankle and lower leg, often due to advanced venous insufficiency

By improving blood flow in the lower leg, compression therapy also relieves symptoms associated with spider and varicose veins, including: 

  • Aching or cramping
  • Heaviness
  • Swelling
  • Fatigue
  • Restless legs

For compression therapy to work, the stockings must be properly fitted to the individual. If the stocking doesn’t fit properly, the compression will not be effective, or the compression will be too uncomfortable.

We often recommend that patients wear compression stockings after undergoing other vein procedures like sclerotherapy. Compression therapy after your procedure can reduce swelling, lower your risk for blood clots, and promote healing in the treatment area. Be sure to always follow your doctor’s recommendation when it comes to wearing compression stockings. 

Benefits of Compression Therapy

A major benefit of compression therapy is that it can help those who cannot have surgery due to illness or other complications. 

Additional compression therapy benefits include:

  • Low-cost treatment option
  • Non-invasive
  • Painless
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable to a patient’s individual needs
  • Improves blood flow and prevents pooling

Leg compression therapy does not cure any underlying illness. This type of therapy is used to help relieve the symptoms associated with varicose veins. Other types of treatment may be recommended to improve blood flow more permanently. 

Are Compression Stockings Right for Me?

Compression therapy may be the right choice for you if you are experiencing symptoms due to venous insufficiency. Compression stockings are simple to use and can help improve many unpleasant symptoms so you can live more comfortably.

If you are unable to tolerate compression therapy or you have persistent symptoms, there are noninvasive procedures, including VenaSeal™, that can treat venous insufficiency, freeing you from having to wear compression stockings and giving you long-term relief.

If you are suffering heaviness, cramps, or swelling from varicose veins, Empire Vein Specialists can help. Our team has multiple offices throughout Southern California and offers a variety of treatments, including compression therapy. We accept most insurance plans. 

Show off your beautiful legs today. Contact Empire Vein Specialists today to learn more about our treatment options for varicose veins and more.