Do Compression Socks Help Varicose Veins?
More than 50 percent of Americans develop varicose veins at some point in their lives. Minimizing risk factors by avoiding extended periods of sitting and standing, staying away from cigarettes, and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the likelihood that you will experience this condition.
There are additional steps you can take to reduce the discomfort of varicose veins without undergoing invasive surgery. For example, many people want to know, “Do compression socks help varicose veins?” Compression socks and compression stockings are effective tools to promote healthy circulation, which is helpful in the prevention and management of varicose veins.
Specialized vein doctors have the experience and expertise necessary to provide you with the information you need to determine whether this treatment option is right for you.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Many people experience the discomfort of varicose veins. They are easily visible, pushing against the skin as thick, twisted protrusions. In addition to creating a feeling of self-consciousness about your legs, you might notice aching, cramping, heaviness, or swelling in the area.
Some patients develop restless leg syndrome, which is a compulsive urge to move and stretch the legs even when you are relaxed. Others notice changes in the texture and color of their skin. When left untreated, these symptoms progress, leading to serious complications.
Varicose veins occur when the vessels become diseased or injured. Veins have the difficult job of moving deoxygenated blood from the lower half of your body to your heart. Since they must work against gravity, they have a special feature: tiny one-way valves that ensure blood flows in the right direction. Unfortunately, these valves are fragile. If they are damaged, blood can leak through.
If some of your blood fails to move in the right direction due to damaged valves in your veins, it can start to pool in the lower half of your body. This creates pressure in the veins where the blood collects, which harms other valves, as well as the vessel walls. As the pressure increases, the veins swell and protrude against your skin.
In many cases, varicose veins are caused by an underlying disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency or CVI. Unfortunately, CVI often goes undiagnosed. Other specialists such as dermatologists treat the symptoms – varicose veins – without looking for the underlying cause. A specialized vein doctor in NY or vein doctor in NJ has the experience and expertise necessary to ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.
How Can Compression Socks Help Varicose Veins?
One of the easiest things you can do to prevent and treat varicose veins is to wear compression stockings or compression socks. They are highly elastic knee-high garments that put gentle pressure on your legs and ankles. You may be wondering, “How do compression socks help varicose veins?” The pressure compresses the arteries and veins on the surface of your legs, making it easier for your circulatory system to move deoxygenated blood to your heart.
Even if you haven’t noticed an issue with varicose veins, compression socks are useful if you spend a lot of time sitting or standing. You may wish to wear them during periods when you are at high risk for varicose veins, such as during a pregnancy, and they can increase comfort and improve circulation during long air or road trips when your activity is limited.
What Do I Need to Know About Compression Socks?
There are a few tips you should keep in mind when choosing and wearing compression socks. First, be sure to buy the strength that is most appropriate for your condition:
- Mild Compression – If you haven’t noticed symptoms of vein disease, but you know you are at risk, mild compression offers support in situations in which you must stand or sit for long periods of time.
- Medium Compression – This strength is most appropriate if you have already developed some of the symptoms of CVI, such as varicose veins and spider veins, or cramping, aching, and swelling in your legs.
- Firm and Extra Firm Compression – Do compression socks help varicose veins in severe cases? The strongest compression stockings should be reserved for situations in which your vein specialist recommends them. These are typically best if you are already experiencing serious vein disease and related symptoms. Compression therapy may help varicose veins in severe cases, but your vein doctor is likely to suggest additional steps to ensure healthy blood flow.
If you aren’t quite sure which strength to choose, your vein doctor in New York or vein doctor in New Jersey can help.
The second tip to remember when using compression socks is that they are most effective when you put them on before you get out of bed in the morning. Lying down gives your circulatory system a break from its battle against gravity, but as soon as you stand up, the battle begins again. By putting your compression stockings on before you get up, you ensure that your valves remain in the most effective position throughout the day.
The third tip to be aware of when it comes to compression socks is that in limited cases, they may be covered by insurance companies. Generally, if you use compression socks or compression stockings for prevention or to treat mild symptoms, they are not covered. However, if your vein doctor prescribes them for treatment of more severe symptoms, you may receive reimbursement for a portion of the cost. Consult your insurance provider for detailed information on your medical plan.
How Are Varicose Veins Treated?
The most common question vein doctors hear after “Do compression socks help varicose veins?” is “Will I need surgery?” For many years, treatment for varicose veins was limited to invasive vein stripping surgery, and many patients believe that they will have to see a vascular surgeon for relief. Fortunately, there have been extraordinary advances in this area of medicine, and invasive surgery is rarely the first option on any treatment plan today.
The physicians at your vein treatment clinic will work with you to determine the best procedure for managing your vein disease and treating your varicose veins. Essentially, they use a variety of highly-effective methods to close diseased veins, allowing blood to be automatically rerouted through other, healthier vessels. Some of the most popular treatments for vein disease include the following:
- Radiofrequency Ablаtіоn (RFA)
- Endоvеnоuѕ Lаѕеr Ablаtіоn (EVLA)
All of these procedures are minimally invasive and virtually painless. The best part is that once the unhealthy veins are closed, the tissue is absorbed by the body, which eliminates unsightly and uncomfortable varicose veins.
If you are experiencing the discomfort of varicose veins, the Board-Certified physicians at the Vein Treatment Clinic can help. These experts are highly skilled in diagnosing and treating vein disease, and they will work with you to develop a treatment plan that best suits your individual needs. Schedule your consultation online or call today.