When the veins in your legs become enlarged and can’t return enough blood to your heart, fluid will start to build up.
Doctors prescribe compression therapy to treat these types of vein conditions.
Compression therapy treats a range of vascular conditions, such as:
Other conditions compression therapy improves include:
For people with venous ulcers, compression therapy helps the healing process by putting constant pressure on the wound. Compression stockings also help those at risk of blood clots.
Before buying or using compression stockings for any of these conditions, make sure you check with your doctor.
To request an appointment, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute:
If you're using compression stockings, your doctor will show you how to wear them.
Normally, doctors specially fit compression stockings to your legs, and you wear them all day.
In some cases, your doctor may apply compression wraps before prescribing the stockings. Doctors most often use wraps to treat venous ulcers.
If you're using an SCD or a lymphedema pump, a doctor will:
If you use an SCD or an active compression pump, your doctor may prescribe compression stockings to use at home. You should only take them off to bathe and sleep. You shouldn't stop wearing them unless your doctor tells you to.
If your compression therapy is part of post-op recovery or to treat an injury, your doctor will give you a treatment timeline.
If you're wearing compression stockings for varicose veins or a chronic heart problem, you may need to use them long-term.
You should avoid compression therapy if you have a condition that affects your skin or your ability to feel.
Other risks include improper use of compression stockings. They're usually safe to use when they're smooth, without any wrinkles, and fit properly.
Wrongly applying compression stockings can cause skin damage or, in some cases, act as a tourniquet.
To learn more about compression therapy or find a doctor, contact the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute.