Compression Therapy and How it Works“Compression Therapy” refers to wearing sock or stockings specifically created to improve circulation in the legs. Anyone with swelling, fatigue or discomfort in their legs can benefit from compression therapy, but it is primarily recommended for wound care or for patients with chronic venous disease.

Venous disease occurs when blood flows abnormally through the veins of the legs and feet. One of the more common signs of venous disease is dilated or “spider” veins, which are not only unsightly but can be painful. These small blood vessels are typically on the legs and face, and are easily visible. Another sign of venous disease is varicose veins. These swollen and twisted blood vessels generally occur in the legs and can be extremely painful. Aside from the discomfort, venous disease puts the patient at risk for multiple serious health issues, including blood clots and ulcers. Compression therapy with socks or stockings is often the first line of defense in strengthening vein support and alleviating the painful symptoms of varicose or spider veins. Compression increases the pressure below the skin, reducing swelling and eliminating excess fluid.

Venous insufficiency is often brought on by blood clots or varicose veins.  Symptoms of Venous insufficiency include swelling of the legs or ankles, throbbing or a feeling of heaviness in the legs, leg ulcers, and itchy legs. Compression garments such as socks or stockings are typically prescribed to improve blood flow and reduce swelling. Other recommendations include keeping legs uncrossed while sitting, elevating legs when possible, and starting a regular exercise regimen.

Compression therapy is shown to be beneficial to venous ulcer patients as a means of limiting swelling and helping the wounds to heal much more quickly. According to the American Venous Forum, in patients with severe wounds or ulcers, compression is the therapy of choice to encourage rapid healing and to prevent recurrence. When applied correctly, this therapy allows the patient to go about their daily activities with little or no disruption.

Compression garments are typically graduated, meaning that the compression is strongest at the ankle and decreases as it moves up the leg. Compression garments are generally worn during the day, from first thing in the morning until the patient goes to bed at night. The goal of compression therapy is not only to decrease symptoms but to allow you to carry on with your normal activities, including standing and walking as necessary. Compression therapy garments are generally covered by insurance.

If your doctor has recommended compression therapy, the staff at Pacific Vein Care is ready to help you select the right compression garment to get you back on the road to recovery.