How to choose compression stockings, knee socks and tights for varicose veins

Varicose veins are one of the pressing problems of a modern person, which anyone can face due to age, professional employment and a number of other reasons. Of course, at the slightest suspicion of the development of varicose veins, it is necessary to consult a doctor as soon as possible, who will diagnose and prescribe treatment.

To achieve maximum effect, conservative treatment involves an integrated approach, which includes the use of drugs, physiotherapy, massage, etc. Wearing special compression garments is also part of the treatment, which will be discussed.

the effect of compression stockings on legs with varicose veins

Application of compression garments

Before we talk about the reasons why you need compression underwear, you need to understand what constitutes varicose veins. Only then will the principle of operation of special stockings, tights and golfs become clear.

Veins are the vessels that supply blood to the heart. Varicose veins are a disease in which these vessels undergo a number of pathological changes. In particular, the veins lengthen and dilate, their walls thin, and the pathological process is accompanied by the formation of vascular nodules.

In addition, with varicose veins, the function of venous valves is disrupted, which are designed so that blood can flow to the heart (upwards). Insufficient valves and deformation of the venous bed lead to stagnation of blood, which in turn causes an increase in pressure inside the vessels, this process is called varicose veins.

The principle of compression created by specialized underwear is to apply pressure to the dilated vessels from the outside. Compression of the enlarged superficial veins causes redistribution of blood flow, directing it to deep vessels. Due to this, excessive load is suppressed in patients who are not able to function normally, and blood circulation is restored.

Correctly selected underwear exerts different pressure on certain parts of the leg. It looks something like this:

  • The highest degree of compression is on the lowest part of the limb, the lower part of the lower leg;
  • In the middle of the lower leg, the compression is 30% less, or 70% of the maximum compression;
  • Closer to the knee, these indicators decrease even more, and so on, depending on the type of underwear and the extent of the disease.

Such an approximate diagram shows that at the lowest section the pressure should be higher due to the fact that the movement of blood through the veins in this area requires much more effort, that is, morepressure. As the blood rises higher, the intravenous pressure gradually decreases, as a result, the load on the veins is relieved.

compression stockings for varicose veins

Correctly selected compression underwear improves blood circulation, allowing you to improve the condition of the patient with varicose veins, get rid of stagnant processes in the vessels. At the same time, the most natural conditions for the movement of blood are provided, thanks to which this method of maintenance treatment is completely safe.


If we talk about the cases in which it is indicated to wear compression underwear, the answer is mainly one - varicose veins. This means that starting from the first stage of the development of the pathological process and ending with the most difficult - the third stage, doctors prescribe the use of such underwear.

But compression underwear may also be necessary for the prevention of varicose veins, if the development of this disease is suspected. In general, the following more specific indications are distinguished:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Prevention of the disease, especially in the presence of factors predisposing to its development;
  • Varicose veins diagnosed - as part of comprehensive treatment and in order to prevent its progression;
  • Postoperative period - if operations were performed to remove severe forms of varicose veins.


Despite the safety and harmlessness of this method of prevention and treatment, there are a number of contraindications to wearing compression underwear:

  • Severe forms of venous thrombosis, which often develop in the final stage of the progression of varicose veins;
  • Active inflammatory processes in the lower extremities of various, in particular purulent, etiologies;
  • Aortoarteritis;
  • endoarteritis;
  • Trophic ulcers;
  • Atherosclerosis;
  • Damage to the skin.

It is also very important to choose the right compression products. Underwear should fit the patient and in no case should press on the legs, as this leads to numbness, even more serious circulatory disorders and even deformation of the lower extremities.

At the same time, a bulky, that is, too loose, laundry will not provide the necessary compression, respectively, the therapeutic effect will be insignificant or will be reduced to zero.

Types of compression underwear

Depending on the situation in which the compression underwear is used, the nature, the degree of progression of the pathological process, its extent, as well as a number of individual factors, the doctor may prescribe a type ofspecific underwear. You can classically divide the compression creation attributes into 4 types:

compression tights for varicose veins
  1. Tights- the most common and effective type of decoration which has a compressive effect. To choose the right size of pantyhose, you need to make sure that they reach the waist, not higher or lower. In addition, they should not be too loose, but at the same time make sure that they do not pinch your legs, hips, waist. According to patients' opinions, tights can be easily removed, but when putting them on, you need to put effort into evenly distributing the product consisting of compression stockings. One of the main advantages of pantyhose is that there are special models for women in position.
  2. Low- similar in principle to tights, but only reaches the middle of the thigh (the same criterion is a guarantee of the right size), and can in no way help during pregnancy. In other words, the stockings are designed exclusively for the legs, limited to the thigh. Plus, even with the right product, many patients complain that the stockings tend to slip during the day. This is not only less convenient, but also negatively affects the distribution of compression.
  3. Socks- are intended mainly for cases where varicose veins affect the particular part of the tibia of the leg, without rising higher. Knee-highs, like special socks, are more often used by men, but there are also female models. In addition, this type of underwear is more suitable for sports, since tights partially interfere with movement at the waist, which is unacceptable when performing certain exercises.
  4. Elastic bandage- does not apply to underwear, but remains a compression product. The advantage of the bandage is that it does not need to be selected on the basis of size, it is also suitable for people of all sizes and is a much cheaper option. To use it, it is enough to tie the affected areas, but in this case it is extremely important to distribute the tension well to ensure the necessary compression, this factor is a serious disadvantage.

To note!Underwear for the treatment and prevention of varicose veins is made of special compression stockings. This material is elastic and also initially involves a strict classification, that is, a division according to the degree of compression and size. To choose underwear, it is important to consult a doctor and buy them only at a pharmacy.

Usage characteristics

The main advantage of tights, stockings and golfs is the fact that when you buy them you immediately get a product that is guaranteed to perform its functions (as long as you choose the right size). This means that it is enough just to put on the underwear, distribute it evenly, after which it will begin to have a healing effect.

Tights, stockings, knee-highs and socks can be worn all day long, regardless of the type of job. However, in this regard, it is always important to consult a phlebologist, who will give precise recommendations as to the duration of wearing and the subtleties of use, because each case of the disease is unique.

In addition, for laundry to last a long time, it must be handled correctly:

  • Wear carefully to avoid damaging compression stockings.
  • Wearing underwear should only be done on dry skin (if you have used the cream before, wait until it is completely absorbed).
  • To put on tights, stockings, or knee-highs evenly, put your hand in first, then distribute evenly and gradually over your leg.
  • In addition, experts recommend putting on underwear in the morning immediately after waking up, that is, before getting up.

Use a bandage

Elastic bandage is a cheaper and at the same time unpretentious tool. However, for its correct use, it is important to master at least the basics of the technique of bandaging the limbs for varicose veins. To do this, you must adhere to the following recommendations:

  1. The bandage is wound from the bottom up, starting from the foot, toes, then the ankle, moving up higher. Depending on the nature and prevalence of varicose veins, you can start with the lower leg, without touching the foot.
  2. Applying the strips slightly overlapping is maximum effectiveness, and this technique will also prevent the dressing from slipping or unwinding.
  3. If the foot is rolled up, when moving to the tibia part, the heel remains free, and at the junction between the ankle and the tibia, the loop is placed in a cross.
  4. Do not over-twist the roll of the bandage, it should be picked up, located almost near the leg, so as not to create excessive tension.
  5. Remember that the compression should be higher on the lower leg and the tension will gradually decrease during the ascent.

There is a way to check if the dressing has been applied correctly. Immediately after wrapping, the toes become cyanotic, which should go away after 2-3 minutes. If there was no cyanosis at all, the bandage is wound too loosely, if the effect persists, you have reached too much compression, unroll the bandage, massage your leg and try again.