You wear compression stockings to improve blood flow in your legs. Compression stockings gently squeeze your legs to move blood up your legs. This helps prevent leg swelling and, to a lesser extent, blood clots.
If you have varicose veins, spider veins, or have just had surgery, your doctor may prescribe compression stockings.
Wearing stockings helps with:
Talk to your doctor about what kind of compression stockings are right for you. There are many different compression stockings. They come in different:
Call your health insurance or prescription plan.
Wear your compression stockings all day. Your compression stockings should feel strong around your legs. You will feel the most pressure around your ankles and less pressure higher up on your legs.
If your stockings feel too uncomfortable, call your doctor or nurse. Find out if there is a different kind of stocking that will work for you. Do not stop wearing them without talking to your doctor.
Compression hose; Pressure stockings; Support stockings; Gradient stockings
Cohen JM, Akl EA, Kahn SR. Pharmacologic and compression therapies for postthrombotic syndrome: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Chest. 2012 Feb;141(2):308-20.
Robertson L, Yeoh SE, Kolbach DN. Non-pharmacological interventions for preventing venous insufficiency in a standing worker population. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jan18;1:CD006345.
Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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