What is Compression Therapy?
Compression, most commonly with hose or stockings, is one of the mainstays of vein care. All treatment sessions include a period of stocking wear or, occasionally, leg wraps. These are very valuable in the success of the procedures.
Compression is also extremely helpful in conservative therapy and symptom relief, even in patients without actual vein disorders. Dr. Moore regularly prescribes graduated compression stockings for patients with only mild symptoms, those whose treatment may be delayed or who aren’t candidates for definitive procedures or as a trial to determine if treatment is warranted. (“Graduated“ means the stockings are tightest at the ankle and become less tight higher in the leg.) This assists malfunctioning veins in lifting the blood against gravity toward the heart and gives soothing support to overworked calf muscles.
Are Compression Stockings Effective?
They do not treat the underlying vein problem, but properly fitted graduated stockings can be so effective that sometimes we look for a different cause for the patient’s symptoms if the stockings don’t help!
Good compression is also essential in treating leg ulcers, a complication of advanced venous insufficiency. Stockings, wraps, massage, and sometimes more sophisticated garments and devices are often useful for patients whose leg swelling is not from vein disease, conditions such as lymphedema, heart or kidney failure, post cancer surgery, or severe obesity.