What exactly are Varicose Vein Socks?
Well, the short answer is that varicose vein socks are specialized socks or stockings that apply pressure to the legs continuously, but there is much more to how and why they work and a few of the negatives.
Swelling in the legs caused by varicose veins is due to an increased pressure within the vein, as blood accumulates from the weakened vein walls and incomplete closure of the valves, causing some of the fluid to move from the blood into the surrounding tissue. The swelling also causes symptoms of muscle cramping, fatigue, and heavy legs. Since veins need the help of muscle contraction to move blood and the veins have to work against gravity, the symptoms of swelling and heavy legs are usually worse toward the end of the day or with any stationary position, like long standing or sitting.
Varicose vein socks are tight and apply a set amount of pressure to the legs. Different socks may apply different pressures. For instance, over the counter socks apply less pressure than prescription strength socks. There is also availability to have socks that stop at the level of the knee and socks that are thigh-high, based on needs and symptoms. Over the counter socks may be purchased at many pharmacies, or purchased online. Prescriptions socks are measured and fit specifically for the individual.
The compression that varicose vein stockings provide helps the veins to move blood toward the heart. In order for varicose vein socks to work appropriately, it is best to apply them before symptoms of swelling have started. This is typically first thing in the morning, as there is less swelling after laying down all night. They do not have as much effect once swelling has already started.
Varicose veins socks, also known as compression stockings for varicose veins, are a great option to treat symptoms of varicose veins and as a prevention to avoid worsening symptoms of varicose veins. Although they are a good treatment option, there are a few negatives to their use. They are very tight and can be difficult to put on, can cause irritation of the skin, and need to be replaced every 3-6 months. Overall it is a relatively good way to treat varicose veins, but is also commonly used after varicose vein surgery or procedures.
If you think that you may benefit from the use of varicose vein socks or are interested in learning more about varicose veins socks and how they may be right for you, please speak with your doctor.
Talk to a Vein Specialist
Speak with Dr. Julian Javier, a board certified interventional cardiologist and endovascular specialist in Naples, Florida. He will discuss your medical history, perform a thorough exam, and explain how varicose vein compression stockings can help you and which pressure is right for you.