If you suffer from the painful symptoms of varicose veins or are at risk for developing them, compression garments are a great option to help lower your risk or delay onset of venous disease. Common risk factors that increase your likelihood of developing varicose veins are:
- Age – your veins and vein valves will wear and tear as you age.
- Gender – women are more likely to develop varicose veins largely due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation, menopause or taking birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy.
- Family history – if your direct family members have experienced varicose veins, odds are you may as well.
- Obesity – carrying around extra weight puts undue pressure on the veins leading to an increase chance of developing varicose veins.
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time – standing, sitting or crossing your legs for extended periods of time can restrict blood flow.
If you have one or more risk factors and are experiencing symptoms such as discomfort or swelling in the legs, it may be time to do something about it. Schedule a consult with one of the board certified vascular surgeons at Premier Vein Clinics and discuss your options to be proactive in fighting against varicose veins.
Compression stockings are one of your first lines of defense against venous disease for both men and women. Just as important as wearing compression garments is wearing them appropriately. Lightweight graduated compression hosiery has been proven to reduce symptoms such as discomfort, swelling, fatigue and aching. Compression stockings work by applying pressure on your veins with the tightest compression around your ankles and gradually reducing tension up your legs all the way to your thigh. The purpose is to assist in directing blood flow from your feet back up your legs to your heart and avoid pooling of blood in the veins.
You can purchase compression stockings at a medical supply store, drug store or online without a prescription, but it is helpful to talk with a physician first about your specific needs. They are available in two lengths, knee and thigh, and come in three categories of compression. To care for your compression stockings, wash them in warm water with a gentle detergent and always dry them flat. If taken care of properly, they normally last 3 to 4 months. Stockings should be put on before any swelling builds up in the legs over the course of the day, so the ideal time is in the morning, as you get dressed.
To learn more about compression stockings and find out how they differ from yoga pants, spandex, Spanx and more read, “Compression garments…just what are they?”.