How Compression Socks Help Maintain Healthy Veins

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A study estimates that approximately “20% of all adults will get varicose veins at some point in their lives.” Those are pretty high odds. And, within that 20% is a wide range of how much difficulty the varicose vein will cause.

On one end of the spectrum, some people may find their varicose veins are purely cosmetic. And on the other end, people may find their varicose veins cause them a slew of issues that render their daily lives difficult to endure.

Not sure where you stand in whether your varicose vein problems are purely cosmetic or not?

Learn the key signs that your vein problems are more than cosmetic.

Regardless of where you are on the varicose vein scale of symptoms, you want to have compression socks within reach.

Let’s get into why.

Why Compression Socks Are a Must for Healthy Veins

Even if your varicose vein issues seem to be purely cosmetic at this point, you want compression socks. Why? Because there is the possibility that your varicose vein issues develop into something more if left untreated.

Seeing a Vein Clinics of America specialist is the best way to understand what level of varicose vein issues you have, and whether simply wearing compression socks a few times a week is all you need to keep your issues at bay.

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If the doctor determines that your vein issues are more than cosmetic, he or she may suggest a prescription for compression socks, and come up with a treatment plan specifically catered for your varicose vein problems. 

Here are some of the minimally-invasive treatment options we offer at VCA:

Endovenous Laser Ablation (a.k.a. EVLA). This treatment is quick and, for more patients, very tolerable. The doctor inserts a small optic fiber directly into the damaged vein and, via laser light, delivers heat that works to collapse the unhealthy vein. Blood flow is then redirected to healthy veins, and the broken vein is then absorbed by your body.

Phlebectomy. This is another treatment that offers a quick and easy approach to varicose veins, but this is specifically for varicose veins that are bulging near the surface of your skin. The doctor makes several very small incisions in the skin, via which the damaged varicose veins are removed. The incisions are typically so small that stitches are not necessary.  

Radiofrequency Ablation (a.k.a. RFA). RFA is a great option for a quick out-patient procedure. The doctor inserts a small catheter into the damaged vein. Via that catheter, heat is delivered to collapse the damaged vein. Blood flow is then redirected to healthy veins, and the damaged vein is eventually absorbed by your body. 

Sclerotherapy. With sclerotherapy, the doctor performs a series of microinjections of a solution called sclerosant directly into the damaged veins. This solution causes the problem vein to close off, and eventually shrink and be absorbed by your body. 

VenaSeal (a.k.a. Endovenous adhesive ablation). This treatment requires only local anesthesia and is performed by inserting a small amount of medical adhesive into the damaged varicose vein via a small catheter. The doctor then applies pressure to seal the vein, which helps direct blood flow to healthy veins. 

So where do compression socks fit into all this? Depending on your type of vein disease, compression socks might play a big role in your pre-treatment and post-treatment life.

What are compression socks?

Compression stockings are prescription garments that offer gradient pressure to encourage healthy blood flow throughout your legs. The socks fit tighter around the foot and gradually loosen their compression as they move up the leg.

Explore the benefits of compression socks for varicose veins on our blog.

How to put on compression socks

Compression socks are beneficial to varicose vein sufferers because these stockings apply pressure to your legs, which can help to promote healthy blood flow that your damaged veins are struggling with. They can also help blood from pooling in your foot or other places due to their promotion of blood flow.

woman wearing compression stockings to help varicose veins

Despite the great benefits of compression socks, these garments can be tricky to put on. We recommend sitting somewhere that gives you enough space to move freely, such as at the edge of your bed or in a comfortable chair. It’s also best to have a helper if possible.

For a step-by-step tutorial on how to put on compression socks, check out this helpful video from Therafirm.

When you should wear compression stockings

This varies from patient to patient, but typically doctors recommend you wear compression socks throughout the day but take them off when going to bed. It’s best to put them on first thing in the morning before you get moving. This is because once you’re up and moving, it can be difficult to get the socks on.

Talk to your doctor about the best compression socks for you, because there are a number of different options. Some are knee-high, some are thigh-high. Some have closed toes, some have open toes. Whatever socks you end up with, you want to make sure they fit you correctly or else you may have some issues. When taking off the socks at night, check your legs to make sure they are free of irritation of any sort.

Curious if you should start wearing compression socks?

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Satish Vayuvegula
Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is the National Medical Director at Vein Clinics of America. Certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, Dr. Satish Vayuvegula is recognized as a physician who has met rigorous standards of knowledge and extensive training in phlebology, the diagnosis and treatment of varicose vein disease and related disorders. Dr. Satish also shares his passion and expertise by serving as a board member of the American Vein and Lymphatic Society, the predominant national organization for venous and lymphatic disease.

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