compression sleeve for better leg circulation

Compression Therapy Improves Leg Vein Health

Treatment for varicose veins and other leg vein conditions has improved dramatically in recent years, resulting in minimally invasive procedures that offer less pain and minimal downtime.

Conservative therapy for legs is an important part of the treatment timeline that comes before vein procedures such as sclerotherapy or endovenous laser ablation. Insurance companies require conservative therapy to be completed as the first stage of treatment. That means wearing prescription-strength compression stockings for an average of six to 12 weeks.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings can help alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins. They support and stabilize the legs, improving circulation and preventing excess fluid from accumulating. This helps get blood and fluid back to the heart rather than pool in the legs and cause related issues such as pain and fatigue, redness, and swelling. Untreated vein issues can lead to further complications such as blood clots or deep vein thrombosis.

While prescription-strength compression stockings are used during treatment, over-the-counter compression socks are a great investment for everyday use to help keep your legs healthy and promote good circulation. This is especially true if your job requires long periods of either sitting or standing. Fitness enthusiasts such as runners also find benefits in wearing compression socks to aid with circulation.

Tips for Wearing Compression Stocking

Whether you’re wearing compression stockings for treatment or compression socks to be proactive and maintain good leg vein health, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Wear stockings/socks as advised. Prescription compression stockings are fit just for you, with specifics related to height and strength. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on everyday compression socks.
  • The fit should be tight and snug but not painful.
  • Make sure your skin is dry before putting them on. Wait long enough after a shower and after applying lotion.
  • If you experience any redness or skin irritation, your stockings/socks might not fit right. Be sure to report any unusual reactions to your doctor.
  • The compression in stockings/socks is measured in millimeters of mercury, or mmHg. Mild-to-medium compression socks range from 8 mmHg to 15mmHg. Prescription-strength stockings tend to measure at least 40 mmHg.
  • Wearing compression stockings and socks during the day. They can be worn overnight, but typically there is not a need to do so, as legs are elevated during sleep (removing the gravity issue).

Contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic Today!

Our team at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic is here for all your treatment questions, from screening to consultation to treatment. If you have questions about compression therapy or want to get started with that stage of treatment, contact us online or call us at (779) 696-8346.

compression therapy

Compression Therapy

Varicose veins are a common problem that affects millions of people around the world. If you are one of them, you know all too well that varicose veins are more than just cosmetic nuisances. The symptoms these faulty veins cause can include achiness, fatigue and cramping. Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT) and sclerotherapy are common varicose veins treatments for these unsightly, bulging veins, but other therapies like compression therapy may also provide relief.

If severe, therapy could be an option, but to understand how compression therapy works, it’s helpful to understand what varicose veins are and what causes them.

What are Varicose Veins?

Unlike arteries, veins have to rely on a one-way valve system to keep blood flowing in one direction: back toward the heart. In people with varicose veins, the walls of the veins have lost their flexibility, weakening the one-way valves and causing them not to work correctly. When this happens, blood is allowed to flow backward through the valve and collect or pool behind it.

As the blood collects, it remains stagnant allowing it to coagulate or thicken. The vein begins to enlarge as more blood accumulates. This usually happens in several valves along the course of the vein, giving it a characteristic bumpy and twisted look. Because the blood coagulates, the vein takes on a deep bluish-purple color, making it very noticeable through the skin.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins can have many causes including:

• Not moving for long periods of time in any position (sitting, standing or laying).
• Obesity
• Excessive Weight Gain
• History of Leg Injury or Surgery
• Aging (which causes a loss of elasticity in the vein walls)
• Pregnancy

It may seem that just about anything can cause varicose veins, but thankfully there are treatments available, such as EVLT and sclerotherapy.

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins Treatment

Compression therapy is another varicose vein treatment that can help alleviate symptoms. It involves wearing a stocking that provides support to the leg, improving circulation and preventing excess fluid from accumulating in the limb. It aids the veins in fighting gravity, making it easier for them to get blood and fluid back to the heart. Although not a cure, compression therapy can help alleviate the pain and fatigue varicose veins can cause.

If you have varicose veins or think you might be at risk for developing them, contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic to schedule your appointment today.