Compression hose, also called compression stockings, are the typical non-invasive method prescribed for the management of varicose veins and spider veins. They provide support to the vein walls and help reduce and prevent venous reflux, meaning they aid in the prevention of blood flowing back into the veins. Keep reading to learn more about using compression stockings for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins.
Additional non-invasive treatments include adopting lifestyle behaviors to promote vein health by improving blood flow and minimizing any pooling of blood inside the veins. It is recommended to avoid sitting and standing for long periods and avoid exposing the legs to heat. Elevating the legs while resting and engaging in regular aerobic activity are also a part of conservative varicose vein and spider vein treatment protocols. Vascular specialists refer to this method of managing varicose veins and spider veins as ESES (pronounced SS) which stands from exercise, stockings, elevation, and stillness.
Vascular specialists frequently prescribe the use of compression hose in conjunction with other non-invasive, conservative treatments for supporting vein health. The treatment protocol is termed ESES (pronounced SS) which stands from exercise, stockings, elevation, and stillness. Exercising stimulates blood flow in the legs, stockings provide support to the vein walls and reduce the chances of venous reflux, elevation allows gravity to assist in the return of blood to the heart, and stillness gives the legs time to rest.
Here is an brief summary of information regarding compression stockings. Consult a vein care specialist for specific advice regarding any treatment of your varicose and spider veins.
Compression Stockings: An Overview
How It Works: Medical compression stockings work by applying continuous graduated pressure to the veins in the lower legs. The pressure is greatest at the ankle and increases as the stocking moves up the leg. They are somewhat difficult to put on but are designed to roll onto the foot and leg. The pressure from the compression stocking provides support to the vein walls and helps promote healthy blood flow.
What It Treats: Compression stockings are prescribed as part of a conservative management protocol for both varicose veins and spider veins. When used alone they mainly provide relief from the painful symptoms of vein disease, however they are also prescribed to assist healing after other treatments for varicose and spider veins, as well as a number of other surgical procedures.
Pros: Non-surgical, non-invasive, simple to use
Cons: Not effective at actually removing varicose veins and spider veins when used alone.
Alternatives: Sclerotherapy, ablation, laser and light therapy, and phlebectomy are alternatives. The use of compression stockings following these procedures aids in healing.
Results: Effective at providing relief from symptoms of varicose veins and spider veins. Effective at supporting healing after other vein care procedures, however when used alone they will not remove or reduce vein disease.
Cost/Insurance: May be covered as a medical supply. Verify with your provider.
Consult Your Doctor: You should bring any documents necessary to give your doctor an accurate medical history, including recent illnesses and any allergies that you have. Make a list of the medications and supplements that you are currently taking as well as the symptoms that you are feeling. Write down any questions that you have ahead of time and bring them with you. Make sure you understand your doctor’s answers.