No matter which varicose vein treatment clinic you go to for treatment, it is almost a guarantee that your vein doctor will suggest the use of compression stockings to help with recovery and to manage ongoing symptoms. This is because almost all vein doctors consider compression stockings, also known as compression hose or compression socks, to be one of the most important parts of any overall varicose vein treatment plan. The following five tips will help you get the most medical benefit out of your compression stockings.
1. Shop Wisely, Not Cheaply
Compression stockings are a form of medical treatment, an integral part of your overall varicose vein treatment. As such, you should not be shopping for the cheapest compression stockings you can find. Instead, when shopping for compression stockings, your goal should be to find the compression stockings that are going to provide you the greatest medical benefit period!
Of course, this does not mean you shouldn’t comparison shop online as you can sometimes find the exact brand and style of compression stockings cheaper on one site versus another. Some of the top companies also send their customers discount codes in their email boxes, so just because you shop for the best medical hose doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar. There are always ways to save money.
2. Pick a Name Brand With a Solid Reputation For Consistency
Just like you wouldn’t want to go to a second rate varicose vein treatment clinic for sclerotherapy or laser treatment of your veins, you don’t want to use second rate compression stockings as an important part of your medical vein treatment. You want to select name brand of compression stockings that produces a consistently good product using high quality materials. You also want to look for uniformity in their sizing. You don’t want to get a pair of compression stockings that fit perfect one time but are a bad fit the next time, even though you ordered the same exact style and size.
Sigvaris, Mediven, and Jobst are three of the top of the line brands for compression stockings. They offer consistently high quality and consistent sizing. You cannot go wrong with these brands in terms of performance. You can also try Juzo and Allegro brands as “second tier” brands as they are just a notch below in terms of quality and consistency. Before you buy several pairs of compression stockings from one brand, it’s better to try one pair from each of the top brands. This way, you can determine which top brand of compression stockings actually fits your specific body type the best.
3. Always Follow Your Doctor’s Advice When It Comes To Compression Rating
It follows from this tip that you should always check with your vein doctor before changing he compression rating of your compression hose. Remember, compression stockings are just as much a part of the “prescription” a doctor gives you as a medication would be. It’s very important you follow his or her advice and you remain under doctor’s supervision if you make changes to the amount of compression.
It can actually be dangerous to increase the compression rating under certain situations. For example, if you have peripheral artery disease (PAD), you can put yourself at great risk if you increase the pressure rating of your stockings. Compression stockings with a high compression rating may not be suitable for elderly or handicapped people who are not very mobile. Therefore, you should always check with your vein doctor first before making changes to this part of your varicose vein treatment.
4. Never Wash Your Compression Stockings In the Washing Machine
In order to reap the full medical benefit from compression stockings, and have them be an effective part of your overall varicose vein treatment, you’ll need to keep your compression stockings in tip top shape. Unfortunately, washing machines KILL compression stockings, including on the gentle cycle. You should always wash your compression stockings out by hand and allow them to air dry.
When you are washing them, simply swish them gently in water with a very mild body soap (the type of soap you use in the shower). Do not scrub them together and do not use regular laundry detergent as both can easily damage your compression stockings and make them less effective as a varicose vein treatment. In fat, even Woolite (and generic brands of “Woolite”) can damage your compression hose.
5. Get Custom Made Compression Stockings If You Are Overweight or Obese
Over the counter compression stockings may not work well as a varicose vein treatment if you are overweight or obese. The simple reason for this is the fact it can be very difficult to get over the counter stockings to fit right if you are much more than average weight.
If you fall into this category, to receive the full medical benefit from compression stockings, you may need to pay a premium for “prescription” compression stockings. The advantage is you can be carefully measured and a fully custom fit can be created for you. Luckily, these are easier to come by today than they were just a few years ago and the price for prescription custom fitted compression stockings has come down significantly too.
Bonus Tip: Get a Free Vein Evaluation At Metro Vein Centers
To determine if you actually need clinical varicose vein treatment, the only way to know for sure is to go into a vein clinic and get a duplex ultrasound performed. This provides a 3D look at the inside of your veins, both the vein walls and the vein valves. Duplex ultrasound also measures the velocity of blood movement through your veins and checks for irregular venous reflux.
When you get your free evaluation at Metro Vein Centers, you can talk with your vein doctor and get his or her advice about compression stockings. The staff at Metro will also be very helpful in offering suggestions.