Compression Stockings for Varicose Veins

Overview

Compression stockings can improve blood flow and help relieve the symptoms of varicose veins. Specially fitted, or graduated, compression stockings are tightest at the foot. They gradually loosen as they fit higher on the leg.

If your doctor recommends compression stockings, wear them during the day to help relieve symptoms.

  • For very mild symptoms, you may want to start out using over-the-counter compression options. These can include support panty hose or compression socks or stockings which end just above the calf, below the knee. You may find that these help swelling and aching considerably. They are available at most department stores or online.
  • Your doctor may prescribe special compression stockings. You can buy these from a medical supply store, where you can be fitted for them.

Compression stockings can be expensive. They may be hard to put on, and it may take you awhile to get used to wearing them all day. But if they fit right, they should be snug but comfortable. If you have problems wearing the stockings, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Avoid elastic bandages for varicose veins unless your doctor specifically suggests them. If this type of bandage is recommended, ask how to wrap it.

Credits

Current as of: August 6, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.